The UK and Sweden have announced an ongoing co-operation in the life sciences sector after signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). The MoU was signed by Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Innovation at the Department of Health and Social Care, Lord Kamall, and Swedish Minister for Education, Anna Ekström.

In a statement, the UK government said that the agreement would promote co-operation between the countries in local, regional and national healthcare, research and innovation systems in the life sciences. Areas of co-operation will include sustainability in the life sciences, implementation of innovation, antimicrobial resistance, manufacturing processes and genomics.

Sweden and the UK say that they are each recognised as international leaders in attempts to tackle the “silent pandemic” of antimicrobial resistance. The MoU will see the two nations co-operate on R&D for novel antimicrobial treatments, preventatives and diagnostics, along with sharing best practice.

Activities to support the co-operation will include: designing and implementing standards to help build data-driven approaches; knowledge exchange for strategies, policies and market interventions; evaluating and implementing newly developed treatments and technologies.

A joint working group between the two countries will also be set up to support these efforts, with the group meeting every six months at least.

The UK said that the MoU is the latest example of a long tradition of collaboration between the two countries, which in the past has included the pioneering work of Anglo-Swedish firm AstraZeneca in developing one of the leading COVID-19 vaccines.

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