Mån 6 dec / År 39 / Nr 4 2021

Life Science 2021

The task of developing the healthcare systems, technology and treatments of the future requires a much sharper focus on facilitating collaboration across borders. Not only geographical – but across disciplines as well. Gothenburg has a strong and growing Life Science cluster which deserves to be highlighted from a national point of view.

iLab plays a key role in covid-19 testing and patient data handling

The pandemic has put Sweden and the world in a new situation. Healthcare has handled large amounts of data over long periods of time, but during the pandemic it has become even clearer how important it is to be able to efficiently receive, process and evaluate large amounts of patient test data. iLab was established in 2020 in response to the great need for testing in connection with the spread of covid-19.

Testing for covid-19 on patient
Foto: Mufid Majnun

Doctor Simon Pålsson is a specialist surgeon at the Sahlgrenska University Hospital. During the pandemic he has temporarily lent his expertise to a more urgent area; the development and handling of covid-19 tests. Today, Simon Pålsson is the CEO of iLab which in turn is a subsidiary of the Gothenburg-based company Gynius Plus, experts in women’s healthcare, and Svea Vaccin, Sweden’s largest Vaccine Administration Company.

The birth of ILAB

Early on in 2020 Dr Pålsson saw the need for efficient and safe testing of potential covid-19 patients. Initially, the tests covered active infections. However, as the Swedish public health authority released information that it is possible to develop a certain amount of immunity after receiving covid-19, the demand for so-called antibody tests increased as well.

“The development was swift, and in a matter of weeks we were able to present a solution and carry out tests and analysis for covid-19 antibodies. iLab had by then already introduced and carried out the very first tests for active infections of covid-19 in Sweden, and through partnership with Svea Vaccin we are now able to further develop our entire testing facility here in Gothenburg”, Dr Simon Pålsson explains.

The road from here

People are being vaccinated but we are not out of the woods yet. The world is still in the middle of combating a pandemic that has struck hard and continues to flare up in many parts of the world. The road from here is to develop more molecular and clinical testing facilities at iLab.  

“Our goal is to help combat covid-19 through our offer of adequate, safe and reliable testing facilities, plus our extensive patient test data handling and analysis. Not to mention our role in considering the future opportunities of studying large amounts of accumulated patient data which can possibly be the very means of inventing a cure. We are a key part of this development”, says Dr Pålsson.

The future journey

iLab was established to address the urgent need for covid-19 testing. Further, iLab is currently also developing and carrying out genetic testing.

“Our goal is for iLab to be both research-oriented and to actively develop new tests, and at the same time through our partners perform the tests and analyse the results. iLab will be instrumental in monitoring patient groups to analyse the side effects and consequences of covid-19 for a long time to come. In parallel, we will develop genetic analyses in other areas as well”, concludes Dr Simon Pålsson.