Highlights from NLSDays Digital, 20th April 2021

NLSDays 2021 kicked off with a show of great strength and belief in the industry. Undaunted by the move to a virtual format, presenters and attendees from the Nordics and beyond gathered to consider future-looking solutions for healthcare’s changing and conflicting needs.

The opening session focused on the great achievements delivered during the current pandemic, through the industry’s huge and collaborative efforts to find and approve coronavirus vaccines. One of the main themes that emerged from the speakers was how the great trust and willingness among Nordic companies to work together has led to the region becoming a real epicenter for innovation. The session included a Keynote from Emmanuel Ligner, Cytiva’s CEO, and a showcase of flagship companies from across Iceland, Finland, Denmark, Norway and Sweden that demonstrated how life scientists from big and small companies are continuing to work together to bridge gaps in knowledge and technologies.

The first supersession featured a panel of representatives from academic, research and drug development organizations who discussed “Data as the new currency”. The region has a wealth of high-quality data and strongly shared values of trust and quality. The session addressed pressing questions such as how to ensure the fair and sustainable use of health data for innovation in the long term, and what additional governance may be needed for managing real-world data.

These large-scale themes continued during the further supersessions, beginning with the microbiome, which has now been implicated in so many diverse diseases and conditions. It opens up so many opportunities for research and understanding, but also brings much complexity and many translational challenges too. Solving these will require shifting focus from the detail to a more multidisciplinary approach. The third supersession was all about novel vaccine technologies for both preventive and curative approaches. How can the industry achieve more through collaborating to overcome the challenges of rapid vaccine development, approval and distribution?

From bioconvergence – the emerging field that combines diverse industries to find novel answers for megatrend questions – to targeted precision medicine, the Nordic’s ecosystem is more interactive than ever in delivering innovative healthcare solutions for many unmet needs. Emmanuel’s final words of advice this morning became a red thread for the day: “Just reach out.”

Highlights from NLSDays Digital, 21st April 2021