With few pharmaceutical companies of its own, a cursory look at Finland might suggest there are few pickings to be had for foreign companies considering investment. “Quite the opposite”, says Oliver Rittgen, Managing Director at Bayer Nordic. “Finland’s public investment in healthcare research is significant and has been in line with spending by the other Nordic countries. The opportunities here are real and under-exploited. That’s encouraged us to build a significant R&D operation in Finland with over 200 employees,” he explains.
Bayer lists Finland as its fourth largest Clinical Study site in pharma, along with USA, Germany and China. Being close to the action, Bayer also saw an opportunity to cooperate with the local pharma company, Orion. Finland’s Orion has a pipeline of potential new drugs, including in oncology. But bringing new drugs to market is famously costly - and more so in oncology. Now, Bayer and Orion are partnering on a highly promising phase III program in oncology. Partnering helps manage financial, as well as development risks, for both parties.