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New centre for biomedicine aims to increase patients’ quality of life

2018-02-05

Malmö University is one of several collaboration partners in NextBioForm, a new international research centre for next generation biopharmaceuticals.

The initiative, which is funded by Vinnova and the Swedish Research Council, aims to generate knowledge to expand possibilities for treatment. The overall goal is to ensure increased quality of life for patients.

Although biopharmaceuticals such as insulin and antibodies have great potential to alleviate and cure many different diseases, it’s not always easy to make them stable and patient-friendly. Unfortunately, this means that a lot of promising treatments never reach patients. This is why Malmö University, together with several business partners, Lund University and RISE (Research Institutes of Sweden), has been commissioned to launch NextBioForm. The centre’s funding amounts to a total of 38 million SEK over two years.

NextBioForm will develop new knowledge, new pharmaceutical formulations and new methodologies to increase the stability of biopharmaceuticals, thereby increasing treatment potential. A biopharmaceutical is a drug product in which the active substance has been manufactured in, or purified from, biological sources such as living cells or tissues.

“NextBioForm will allow new opportunities to expand our industrial network. We will get a better understanding of business needs and, together, be able to investigate relevant research questions,” says Malmö University Professor Vitaly Kocherbitov.

The project includes both small and large businesses within the fields of biomedical manufacturing, advanced analytical techniques, regulatory issues and contract research. These partners are spread across two geographical regions with strong biotech profiles: Stockholm/Uppsala and Lund/Malmö.

"Together, we will bridge the gap between the production of active substances and product manufacturing. In this way, we can help create new pharmaceutical products that make a difference for patients and the healthcare sector," says Centre Manager at RISE, Anna Fureby.

Sobi, a company that develops and markets biopharmaceuticals for rare diseases, is one of the organisations involved in the project. Jonas Fransson, who is Director of Drug Design and Development at Sobi, as well as Chairperson of the NextBioForm Steering Committee, is very pleased with the direction the initiative is taking.

"Just like many other companies, we depend on skills, services and techniques within pharmaceutical formulations in order to design innovative and successful treatments. This has been lacking in biomedicine, which is why are thrilled that NextBioForm is focusing on this field,” he says.

Text: Carolin Lind

Last updated by Maya Acharya