Prosilico is a medtech firm with its origins in Stockholm. The firm has developed a unique AI-based in-silico prediction methodology platform that is used in the pharmacokinetics sector. The service has been successful in Scandinavia and the founders, two ex-AstraZeneca researchers, are keen to expand abroad and get a piece of the global market, which grows 10 percent annually and attracts backing from pharmaceutical giants.
“We are the first company to objectively demonstrate that it is possible to predict human clinical pharmacokinetics of drug molecules directly from chemical structure just as accurately as is done in the laboratory,” says Urban Fagerholm, CEO of Prosilico.
He adds, “What we are doing is a paradigm shift away from the traditional methods such as animal testing and narrow-range test tube-studies for this kind of research. Our validated technology has great potential since it is faster and more cost-efficient than going to a lab, and gives our customers ethical advantages and an opportunity to get reliable data and to optimize at the drug design stage.”
The firm collaborates with a drug discovery company in Spain and will soon launch a unique, validated web-based prediction platform.
Stockholm is of course home to the world famous Karolinska Institutet, which has a long history of producing doctors and researchers. Neighbouring city Uppsala also enjoys a similar reputation. Such deep resources of knowledge and expertise in the region make Stockholm an obvious hub for the burgeoning health tech sectors, says Fagerholm.
“The Stockholm region, with many former AstraZeneca scientists and top-ranked universities, is a natural place for research within this field.”
Even in a country with a world-class health service such as Sweden, it can still sometimes take a while to get an appointment with your GP and even longer to meet a specialist. Many Swedes live in rural locations that are many miles away from their local healthcare centre, which can make it problematic to see your doctor at short notice.
Fortunately, Sweden has broad internet penetration across the country; 94% of the population are online. The developers of MediCheck have been quick to spot that Swedes are both health and web savvy. MediCheck users can consult with specialist doctors via video calls or instant messaging simply by using their smartphone, tablet or computer.
With multi-lingual specialists from all fields of medicine, MediCheck is shaking up the traditional doctor/patient relationship by making it virtual and more accessible.
“By providing access to the right specialist and virtual specialist teams we empower the patient's ability to control their personal wellbeing where ever they live. If you, for instance, suffer from arrhythmia, we can help you manage your disease by monitoring your heart with a Coala and at the same time give specialist advice based on your history and Coala data,” says Christian Tärnholm, CMO of MediCheck.
He adds, “Stockholm is a great place to be as a young company. The start-up community in Stockholm is really supportive and there are several good incubate and acceleration programs from players like Sting, Connect, SUP46 and more.”
Photo: Coala Life / Creative Commons, Bonzun, and MediCheck