Meet the SweDeliver partners: Apotek Produktion & Laboratorier AB (APL)
A friend of SweDeliver is a friend of ours and Apotek Produktion & Laboratorier AB is the company that steps into action where the needs are most evident: As one of Europe's leading manufacturers of extemporaneous medicines, they adapt drugs and technical aids for care recipients with unique needs. Join us for a Q&A with Christina Holmberg, one of two Managers at APL's department for Pharmaceutical Development, about an operation that contributes to both survival and increased quality of life.
Apotek Produktion & Laboratorier AB may at first glance appear to be an odd ingredient in SweDeliver's industrial network. This state-owned company with just under 600 employees at four production facilities is tasked with stepping up wherever care recipients cannot be treated with available drugs. Since its inception in the early 1970s, seriously ill children as well as hypersensitive adults have all been helped to more and better years of life.
“Our work often start with an individual need, but once we have developed a product that works for one care recipient, demand normally grows. This means that many of our drug formulations have continued life and that we scale up production for future storage. In addition to our social mission, we are among the leading contract manufacturers in Scandinavian Life Science and deliver products and services to customers both in Sweden and abroad.”
How did state-owned APL end up in an industrial network?
“Regardless of ownership, we all work with related challenges, and when APL was offered to join what would become the Swedish Drug Delivery Forum - and currently SweDeliver - I remember that we made the decision pretty much there and then. Functional drug formulation is a large, complex and very important science, and it is absolutely necessary that we collaborate and learn from each other if we are to fulfill our mission.”
How do you engage in SweDeliver in practical terms?
“We prioritise participating in gatherings and knowledge exchanges. We also identify great importance in contributing to the supply of future skills, and in summer 2021, we hosted summer intern Anton Norberg who developed alternative formulations for one of our products. It was both an inspiring and valuable experience and our ambition is to take on a new intern within the framework of SweDeliver already next summer.”
How would you describe the SweDeliver network?
“Open and prestigeless. At each meeting place, competencies are shared as generously as it is allowed to reflect and ask questions without worrying about the context. This in turn means that we gain insight into new initiatives within the world of pharmacy where we can contribute with our knowledge - and vice versa, which can generate great values.”
How can can it add to APL's operations?
“Via SweDeliver, we have – for example – been introduced to a project at Uppsala University with a focus on 3D printers that adapt drugs for seriously ill children. Recently, we hosted a master's student, Nani Aro from Uppsala, who in her degree project created prototypes for formulations, that can in the long term be highly valuable for the project, and we are now reviewing our capacity to assist the team in elevating their progress to community level.”
What further development potential do you see for SweDeliver?
”Perhaps the knowledge-flow within the network can become even more effective. Spontaneously, I envision short, preferably online workshops with a focus on specific problem formulations. With a time-limited format and solution-oriented talks that don’t touch company secrets, it has the possibility to become attractive arenas that are easy to prioritise.”
And how can APL advance its involvement in SweDeliver?
“Above all, we can improve how we make use of some of the opportunities within the center. For example, we could develop better routines to host master’s students and summer interns, since we all know how valuable that is for both ongoing operations and future skills supply.”
- Apotek Produktion & Laboratorier AB, APL, is a state-owned company with four production facilities that develop, analyse and produce medical products that improve and save lives.
- APL is one of Europe's leading manufacturers of extemporaneous medicines and stock formulations.
- On April 14, 2023, the Swedish Parliament decided to expand APL's social mission into being able to maintain operations during peacetime crises, heightened preparedness and ultimately war.
- APL is an established contract manufacturer within the Life Science industry that develops and manufactures drugs for both Swedish and foreign customers.
Christina Holmberg, Manager
Pharmaceutical Development, APL
text: Magnus Alsne, photo: private
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