KI & MSD in patient-centred research partnership

In November 2016, KI entered a five-year research collaboration with pharmaceutical company MSD, a subsidiary of Merck and Co. Inc. In 2021, the partnership was extended with additionally five years to 2026. The aim of the venture is to improve conditions for clinical research in the future and support product development by encouraging patient-centred studies – that is, studies on how approved drugs work in the real clinical world, a concept known as Real World Evidence.


About the partnership

The purpose of the partnership between KI and MSD is to jointly identify and perform research in the areas of patient inspired innovation, and real-world evidence methodologies. The aim is to use patient-centered research and real-world data to produce meaningful evidence that enables better healthcare decisions, improves patient outcomes, and drives greater value in healthcare delivery.

A joint steering group, comprising representatives from both KI and MSD, advises which research projects are to be included. The agreement sets the framework for a close collaboration in which researchers from both parties work together without imposing any limits on the scope of the research in advance.

The collaboration encompasses 2 broad activity arms: 

Registry-based research – focused on identification and development of robust real-world data sets for innovative research utilising the unique Swedish register infrastructure.

Analytic and methodological research – focused on advanced real-world data analytics, predictive modeling and development of new methodology.

KI and MSD are together interested in exploring novel methods e.g. predictive modeling, informatics, natural language processing, machine learning, artificial intelligence as well as other advanced analytic methods focused on generating insights and scientific evidence from real-world data to enhance product development and identify/quantify the clinical and economic value throughout the product lifecycle.

Focus areas & projects

The collaboration between KI and MSD mainly covers, but are not limited to, 5 focus areas. The partnership has since it was initiated in 2016 been very fruitful.

By October 2022, the partnership had resulted in 10 finalised projects, including publications of high quality data and the successful development of new methodologies.

Research projects within the partnership has for example focused on exploring effectiveness and impact of HPV vaccination on public health, description of a technical and legal structure on patient-reported data and data management, protecting integrity and self-determination of patients, and societal burden of disease in Alzheimer’s disease.

In addition to the already finalised projects, a number projects are still ongoing and under discussion to be initiated. See the list of all ongoing & finalised projects


See ongoing & finalised projects



See ongoing & finalised projects


See ongoing & finalised projects


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Cecilia Aulin

Alliance Manager