20 years of innovation - Karolinska Institutet
The journey from a research breakthrough to an innovation that improves the lives for people can vary in any number of ways. We have collected a selection of such journeys from Karolinska Institutet in the fields of Diagnostics, Medtech, Biotech, Digital Health, Social Innovation and Pharma. We hope that every one of them gives you an inspirational snapshot of the process that takes ideas to innovation.
Brightening the future through increased innovation
Karolinska Institutet has a proud history of ground breaking discoveries that have improved the lives for people all over the world, with the pacemaker, the gamma knife and the Seldinger technique as inspirational examples. Now we have the opportunity to re-establish Sweden as a strong global actor in life sciences.
The man who has saved the lives of a million babies
The Curosurf story is a tale of success. To date, the drug has saved the lives of around one million premature babies worldwide. And the story is far from over. Despite being 73, Tore Curstedt returns to the lab every day - the lab where he has developed a new variant of a drug that is set to help many more babies in the future.
New drug treatment for the world’s most common genetic conditions
Many years’ research has led Mats Wahlgren to a possible first drug treatment for acute manifestations of sickle cell anemia - a genetic condition that affects millions of people.
New drug candidate under development
Oncopeptides has a new drug candidate for the treatment of a form of cancer of the blood, multiple myeloma, under development. KI Innovations played a key role in getting the project underway.
Working close to industry stimulates research
Top research is based on teamwork, with success derived from continually querying results. Pär Nordlund likens the work of a research director to the job of forming a talented corporate team.
Development of cell therapy drug treatments
Biobank Cellaviva offers parents-to-be the chance to store stem cells from umbilical cord blood and tissue at birth. Experiences from stem cell management have now led to the development of one of Sweden’s first cell therapy drug treatments.
Putting a brake on Alzheimer’s
BioArctic is getting closer to producing a drug that substantially limits the development of Alzheimer’s.
Guardian of the genome
Aprea Therapeutics AB is working on the development of a new p53-based treatment for cancer. Klas Wiman is one of the company’s founders, and he draws a clear distinction between the roles of researcher and entrepreneur.
The hunt for a better cure for inflammation
In 2020, Gesynta raised SEK 190 million in one of the year’s largest private biotech investments in the Nordic region. Now the company is one step closer to a new drug for systemic sclerosis. The future promises several innovative treatments for a number of inflammatory diseases, including cardiovascular disease and cancer.
Interdisciplinary teams are the key to success
Staffan Holmin has developed a microcatheter that delivers drugs and cells directly to the body’s organs via blood vessels. The next step is to take samples from organs that are hard or too risky to reach with other methods. The key to success is an interdisciplinary team with a variety of core skill sets.
Technology that improves the everyday helmet
Professor Hans von Holst is in his element where different disciplines intersect – where medicine meets technology. This is where his ideas have helped create, amongst other breakthroughs, MIPS, a technology that improves the protective properties of everyday helmets. Since 2011, the company has delivered around nine million helmets worldwide.
Leading the way for greater social innovation
The DöBra (“Die Well” ) cards help people to reflect on and talk about their values and preferences for the end of life—a topic that can often be difficult to raise. This tool was developed through an interdisciplinary research programme at Karolinska Institutet and Umeå University, and has contributed to an ongoing process to develop support for social innovations at Karolinska Institutet.
Improve the accuracy of radiotherapy
Approximately five million cancer patients have received optimised radiotherapy with the help of RaySearch Laboratories. Today, the company is a global player, offering a management system that optimises the running of entire cancer clinics. And it all started with a Master’s thesis at Karolinska Institutet.
From clinical tool to increased learning in schools
Children who exercise their working memory also find it easier to concentrate. This was one of the key insights that Torkel Klingberg gained from developing a clinical training programme for children with ADHD. The next step is a research-based tool to increase knowledge of mathematics among the world’s children.
Tracking the risk for dyslexia in children
The eye movement of a child reading may indicate an increased risk of dyslexia or reading difficulties. This discovery led to the formation of the company Lexplore that today has operations in Sweden, the UK and the US. Now, the researchers behind the breakthrough are adapting the technology to identify early Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Saving lives with a smartphone
In Sweden, there are currently some 21,000 volunteers ready to respond to help cardiac arrest victims. A smartphone alert system guides them directly to victims – often faster than ambulances. The service, the result of research carried out at the Centrum för Hjärtstoppsforskning, is now ready for export markets.
Research-based methods reduce time spent in care
The introduction of ERAS Society surgical guidelines results in reduced time spent in hospital and improved patient outcomes. The methods, which are being promoted by the company EnCare, have improved care provision in some 23 countries. One of the people behind the initiative was once a young surgeon at Karolinska University Hospital, critical of the status quo.
Connecting the world’s radiologists in an AI-supported collective
Collective Minds Radiology’s digital platform brings together more than 8,000 radiologists from all over the world in a space where they share knowledge and experience that results in better diagnoses and more equal care.
Stratipath’s AI analysis to prevent breast cancer relapse
Stratipath Breast is an AI-based image analysis and decision support platform that aims to reduce the incidence of breast cancer relapse. Stratipath received early-stage support from Karolinska Innovations and the product is now going from being a pilot project to being rolled out in hospitals nationwide.
Providing researchers with the tools to succeed
Family business BioLamina has a unique technology for growing stem cells. It is an area that is currently experiencing strong growth and now the company is scaling up production.
Building a tool that maps genes in cells
CartaNA’s technology has been described as Google Maps for finding how specific genes are expressed in the body. The technique is set to have a major impact on accelerating the development of new drugs.
The world’s first nitrogen monoxide test for asthma sufferers
Aerocrine developed the world’s first nitrogen monoxide test for asthma sufferers. Today, the product is used around the globe to monitor asthma symptoms and adjust medication accordingly.
Measure alterations in the skin
SciBase improves the reliability of malignant melanoma diagnoses. The technique is used by skin doctors to support decision-making as an alternative to biopsies in cases of suspected skin cancer.
The right contacts led the way
He is behind a unique test to distinguish benign prostate cancer from aggressive forms of the condition that require immediate treatment. Finding the right contacts at the right time was key to the success of the project.
Putting patients in control of their asthma
A wireless lung function meter and smartphone app is making life easier for many asthma sufferers. The idea was born in a clinic at Astrid Lindgren Children’s Hospital and now the popular solution is spreading throughout Sweden.