Mån 17 jun / År 42 / Nr 4 2023

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.

Innovations that make a difference to everyday life

Wellspect is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of urinary catheters. The trend in development is towards consumer-friendly products that are easy to use allowing individuals to lead as normal life as possible. In fact, regaining independence despite urinary and bowel issues is a recognised characteristic of Wellspect products globally.

Eva Wahlberg, VP R&D and Martin Lovmar, Principal Scientist in front of the production plants solar panels.

The driving force is to develop products that facilitate the users’ everyday lives as far as possible as well as reducing the environmental impact in the process.

“Using an intermittent urinary catheter should not be associated with difficulty or even be a time-consuming matter”, says Eva Wahlberg, VP Research and Development at Wellspect.

Innovations that matter
Wellspect is founded on innovations from Sweden and from the Gothenburg-region in particular. Wellspect has its global headquarter in Mölndal, Gothenburg, where most of the products are also manufactured, in close vicinity to the company’s research and development activities. In addition, Wellspect has a smaller production unit in Turkey and marketing companies in 14 countries.

“We are constantly looking to develop new and improve existing products. The foundation for many of our success stories is the LoFric hydrophilic surface, which makes our products easy to insert and withdraw. We are therefore really proud that the LoFric coating process has recently become more sustainable, with environmentally friendly solvents and substantially lower energy consumption.”, says Martin Lovmar, Principal Scientist at Wellspect, and continues;

“At Wellspect we launch new innovative products every year. Two recent examples are a new urinary catheter for women, with an angled handle to make the catheterization process easier, and an innovative fecal incontinence insert i.e. a soft insert to prevent accidental bowel leakage”.

Being a collaborative partner

Wellspect’s head office is located near the GoCo Innovation City-area in Gothenburg.

”As GoCo now has been established, we believe in expanded collaborations between companies in our region; both the more traditional and newcomers. Wellspect is an innovative company and one of the region’s largest Life Science companies, but to pursue the many exciting ideas and projects that we want, we need to increase our collaborations with both other companies, academia and healthcare.”, Eva Wahlberg explains.

Collaboration is always key. Wellspect has a good reputation for being a collaborative partner in many projects. As an example, there is currently an ongoing collaboration with Chalmers University regarding a new application of the “wonder material” graphene.

“We are developing an antibacterial surface for medical devices based on graphene. We have already seen some really promising results and – if applied to medical devices – the material has unique properties that make it a really interesting solution for reducing the global problem of device related infections.”, says Martin Lovmar.

Global impact

Wellspect’s products are sold worldwide.

“As our products are paid for by hospitals, county councils and insurance companies, the largest customer group is based in the western world and countries where patients have their healthcare paid for by the state”, clarifies Eva Wahlberg.

Today, Wellspect employs around 1000 people, most of them in Mölndal, Gothenburg.