Denmark unveils NEXT partnership for clinical trials

Nordic country confirms role as global leader in Life Sciences

Denmark has long been celebrated for its strong health research traditions and its distinctive way of gathering and organising the health information of Danish citizens into electronic registries. Decades of compiled data have, in fact, turned the tiny country of five and a half million people into one of the world’s premiere testing grounds for innovative medical solutions in oncological research.

Now, a new public-private partnership is seeking to build on the these successes by combining the efforts and resources of the five Danish regions, the country’s universities, twelve pharmaceutical companies and a technological service provider to promote new technologies and methodologies.

The National Experimental Therapy Partnership (NEXT), as the new initiative is called, will seek to cement Denmark’s already stellar reputation by providing easy access to the country’s strongest clinical research environment within experimental research in the early phases, national recruitment of patients and patient databases as well as optimised administrative and regulatory processes.

Prof. Ulrik Lassen speaks to representatives of major US pharmaceutical companies.

“A mix of fast recruitment, patients in healthy conditions, centralised health data profiles as well as genomic data, patient availability and a high level of clinical expertise and Good Clinical Practice systems make Denmark a great location for clinical trials,” Professor Ulrik Lassen, Head of the Department of Oncology at Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen, told Denmark In NY during a recent meeting with US pharmaceutical companies.

The ultimate goal, Professor Lassen concluded, is to ensure Denmark’s place as the pharmaceutical industry’s first choice for early clinical trials of new drugs for patients.

The number of clinical trials in Denmark has, in fact, increased in recent years. At the Phase 1 Unit at Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, where Professor Lassen leads a team of researchers, the number of Phase 1 trials has tripled from 10 in 2014 to 30 in 2016, and the number of patients referred has more than doubled from 200 to 450 over the same period. Overall, Denmark is already the country with the most clinical trials per capita in Europe but researchers are looking for more opportunities.

“There are still too few opportunities for patients in need,” confirmed Jannik Grodt Schmidt, Investment Manager at Invest in Denmark. “Denmark would like to attract even more clinical trials and larger trials to bring new treatments to patients.”

For more information about clinical trials in Denmark, visit Clinical Trials Denmark and the NEXT Partnership.