Last week, the Swedish government joined the competition to become the new host country of the European Medicines Agency (EMA). Sweden joins multiple other countries, including France, Spain and Poland, which are bidding to be the new home of the regulatory agency, post-Brexit.
Currently, the EMA is headquartered in London, England, however this will need to change as the country has voted to leave the European Union (EU). Denmark, Italy and Ireland have also nominated themselves for the position.
“With one of Europe’s top national medicines agencies, an excellent climate for research and life science as well as good conditions for an efficient relocation, Sweden is a good future home for the EMA,” said Gabriel Wikstrom, Sweden’s Health Care Minister, in a statement. By having the EMA close to Sweden’s capital Stockholm, the country could see a major boost in the pharmaceutical and biotech sectors.
Sweden lost a major player in the industry when multinational pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca relocated its headquarters to England. Still, the country boasts a number of small medtech companies who thrive in the country’s startup environment.
Sweden is already the home of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), which could make it a logical choice for the new site of the EMA. The EMA comprises over 900 employees, which will eventually need to be relocated with minimal effect on day-to-day operations including drug approvals.
As the UK has yet to start the process of exiting from the EU, the decision of where the EMA should be based is unlikely to be made anytime soon. In June of this year, 52 percent of the UK voted in favour of leaving the EU.