Interview with Ulf Malmqvist

Ulf Malmqvist is the director and node manager for Forum South - and thereby part of the network Clinical Studies are working with in Sweden.

Who are you?

My name is Ulf Malmqvist and I am Director and Node Manager for Forum South. I have worked with clinical research for 20 years, both within health care, academia and industry, and I am a specialist in clinical pharmacology.

How is the node organisation
structured for Forum South?

Forum South provides support to the Southern Health Care Region, which comprises:

  • Region Skåne
  • Kronoberg
  • Blekinge
  • Södra Halland

Forum South’s node organisation consists of a central support organisation located at Skåne University Hospital in Lund and local support organisations in each region/county council.

The Forum South central organisation has some 30 employees who primarily work within the units; the Unit for Clinical Study Support, the Clinical Trial Unit and the Unit for Medical Statistics and Epidemiology.

Why is this assignment important?

It ensures that patients receive the best possible care in the long term. It is today’s patients who, by participating in clinical studies, develop tomorrow’s medicines and methods of treatment. It is also proven that organisations that participate in clinical studies generally achieve better care results, regardless of whether or not these studies concern their own discipline.

Aside from the fact that research in health care drives development forward and ultimately results in improved care, it also means better care for the patient. In this respect, Clinical Studies Sweden plays an important role.

This is partly through focusing on and working to create the best conditions for a national and regional infrastructure that promotes the participation of health care in research, both from the perspective of academia and industry, but also through improving the prospects for achieving high quality within the clinical studies being conducted. Clinical Studies Sweden also creates an arena in which Sweden can be an important actor both nationally and internationally.

What is currently happening in your region?

There is an ongoing formalisation of the network with the other regional units included in Forum South. Several meetings have already been held and more are planned for the autumn.

Our region is also developing an international research and development centre for cell and gene therapy, which is a collaboration between Region Skåne, Lund University and Medicon Village (a cluster of life science companies). World-leading research within cell and gene therapy is being pursued at Lund University. A number of research projects find themselves in a position where the research needs to progress through so-called Phase 1 clinical trials, that is, the first time a new substance or treatment is administered to a human being. In Skåne there are also several companies that are developing future cell and gene therapy, but which require access to expertise and appropriate infrastructure within the area. That is why Region Skåne, Lund University and Medicon Village are now engaged in a joint venture to develop this centre in order to be able to carry out Phase 1 trials. Forum South will be involved as it will be based on existing infrastructures for clinical studies.

There is also a major initiative underway concerning a collaboration between the Clinical Trial Unit at Forum South and oncological activities (the care and treatment of patients with various cancers) regarding the implementation of Phase 1 trials within oncology.