“It gives us an opportunity to retain great expertise while creating a more stable and cohesive structure than a collaborative network. We want to keep the unique things that work well and preserve the culture that is established at each individual company and think that this was an excellent way to offer customers a broader expertise,” says Karin Meyer, who has been CEO of the CTR Group since May this year.
The group currently consists of five companies, each with its own CEO. Working closely with customers, but giving companies a high degree of autonomy is a stated strategy and has its advantages. Customers are offered flexibility and proximity that may be more difficult to achieve in larger companies. As the customers themselves are often quite small and agile, they find it valuable to link up with smaller companies. Often it is heavy, deep expertise that they want help with. Today it is not only Nordic companies that find their way to Sweden, but there is great interest in the Nordic region and Sweden around the world.
“More and more players from outside the Nordic region are choosing to come here. There is a lot of knowledge and expertise here and we are good at collaborating. We are far ahead when it comes to collaboration between life science companies, healthcare, life science consultants, CROs and authorities. I think this is an important success factor. They know that we deliver and are good at minimizing risks”, says Karin Meyer.
All companies in the CTR group have expertise in fundamental areas for all drug development. The latest acquisition of Toxicology Knowledge Team Sweden (TKT) in Södertälje took place in April this year. TKT offers Swedish and foreign companies expert advice on toxicology and risk assessment. TKT’s pharmaceutical and medical device support enables customers to efficiently take their product under development to clinical trials and on to the market. They started the business back in 2012 when Astra Zeneca closed its research and development in Södertälje. At the time, eight toxicologists from Astra Zeneca joined forces to set up TKT.
“We have long been one of the largest toxicology consultancies in the Nordic region. We look forward to the development that comes with being part of a larger group. Our hope is to be able to cover a larger field. We become broader when we have easy access to cross-functional expertise and this is also something our customers are asking for. It’s about helping customers in the best possible way,” says Carl-Johan Zettervall, co-founder and consultant at TKT.
By bringing the companies under one roof, CTR hopes to provide even better service, faster processing and shorter communication channels. Ultimately, the hope is that products will reach the market faster and patients will have earlier access to new treatments. However, the regulatory framework is complex and new legal requirements are emerging, most recently in the area of medical devices. One of the sister companies is working on finding a regulatory strategy. Here at RegSmart, Brita Liljestrand works as a senior consultant and strategist and is an expert on the new medical device regulations.
“There is a very high demand for our expertise from our customers, not least with new regulations on medical devices. As a company we are growing and have hired several new consultants during the year”, says Brita Liljestrand.
Like most of the consultants currently working at RegSmart, she previously worked at the Swedish Medical Products Agency. As consultants, they are in a different position to guide companies forward. Today they are eight senior consultants, but soon they will be nine, and Brita will be joined by a new colleague who is also an expert in the medical device regulations.