Sponsored by Daiichi Sankyo Nordics

Patrik Grandits, General Manager & CEO, Daiichi Sankyo Nordics

Daiichi Sankyo Builds up a Strong Nordic Presence

Japanese pharmaceutical company, Daiichi Sankyo was drawn to Denmark and the Nordics’ life sciences ecosystem. Now they’re a thriving part of the scientific environment.

In a bid to drive science and foster sustainable partnerships across the Nordics, last year Daiichi Sankyo settled into Denmark. The global pharmaceutical company, which focuses on oncology and haematology, has its origin in Japan and is present in more than 20 countries worldwide. Their Nordic headquarters is located in the Copenhagen Bio Science Park (COBIS), in the heart of ­Greater Copenhagen and the epicenter of Medicon Valley.

As Patrik Grandits, General Manager & CEO, Daiichi Sankyo Nordics, explains: “Denmark and the Nordic region generally is appealing to us because of the scientific infrastructure and the thriving ecosystem of universities, hospitals, authorities, and industries.”

We want to be an ­active partner and contribute to the Nordics’ life sciences ­ecosystem. We can offer a lot, but the ­region offers a lot to us as well
Patrik Grandits

The move to the Nordics was a strategic step for the ­internationally-focused company. Gaining a foothold required a number of factors, particularly their innovative edge: “Innovation is at the core of how we address patient’s needs, pursue new medicines and methods of drug discovery, and how we attract talent and build our organization,” Grandits points out.

Strengthening Nordic scientific engagement

Science is a strong part of Daiichi Sankyo’s DNA. In Grandits’ words:

“We are passionated about science. Whether our team is based in Japan, New York, or Copenhagen. We are committed to creating first-in-class and best-in-class therapies to address high unmet medical needs. Our ambition is to be a global pharma innovator with a competitive advantage in oncology by 2025. Realizing this vision will require a global effort, and building a sustainable Nordic presence with a strong scientific foothold is a cornerstone of Daiichi Sankyo’s strategy to achieve that.”

“A key priority for us in that process is to strengthen our Nordic scientific engagement. Not only will it demonstrate our commitment to the region – it is also central for our core ambition of transforming science into the benefit of patients in areas with high unmet medical needs.”

A strong step in the right direction is the organization’s collaborative partnerships in the Nordic life sciences cluster. “We want to be an ­active partner and contribute to the Nordics’ life sciences ­ecosystem. We can offer a lot, but the ­region offers a lot to us as well,” Grandits acknowledges.

The organization has initiated collaborations with research institutions, patient associations, and commercial partners across the Nordics and will continue to expand their engagements.

Thanks to their efforts, the team became part of the pharmaceutical industry association in Denmark, securing seats on several committees, and are now exploring potential partnerships that can help drive their aspiration to advance the science to improve patient outcomes.

Getting the right people on board

According to Grandits, “The Nordics have a big talent pool and many people with in-depth knowledge about life sciences, but in order to have a well-functioning team it is also important to find people with the right growth-mindset.”

Eager to set a new standard in customer-centricity, the company measures the impact made on the entire value chain in healthcare and focuses on team targets rather than individual targets. In terms of their recruitment process: “We value team players and the ability to listen, ask the right questions, and engage. One year has gone by since opening our office, and we now have a multicultural, highly-experienced, agile team in the Nordics,” Grandits says with pride.

Over the next 8 years, Daiichi Sankyo aims to deliver 7 new treatments in the following domains: investigational antibody drug conjugates, acute myeloid leukemia, and scientific breakthroughs.
“Our focus is on oncology and hematology and our ­mission is to leverage our innovative science and push beyond traditional thinking to create meaningful treatments for ­patients with cancer,” Grandits concludes.

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Facts about Daiichi Sankyo
  • A Japanese pharmaceutical company with more than 100 years of scientific expertise
  • More than 15.000 employees worldwide
  • A strong pipeline within oncology and haematology
  • A strong scientific focus: 21,9% revenue investment in R&D
  • Nordic HQ established in October 2018 in ­Copenhagen, Denmark
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