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Through Global Expansion, TFS Keeps Business Personal

With today’s presence in 18 countries, it’s hard to believe that twenty-six years ago, TFS was founded in Lund, Sweden as a small, but mighty CRO. In 1996 at our founding, we were a tight-knit team focused mainly on clinical trial documentation (reflected in our name, Trial Form Services). Our small size made us nimble, and we took great pride in building flexible, trusted relationships with biopharma. Others may have been bigger, but no CRO rivaled the heart we brought to our client relationships.

So what’s changed since our founding? As the saying goes, “everything, and nothing at all.” Today, TFS is a full-service CRO boasting offices in the United States, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Canada, France, Germany, Hungary, Japan, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom. Now, with the recent acquisition of the Swiss-based CRO Appletree CI Group, we can add Switzerland to that list—and we have more growth still to come in our 2023 pipeline. But even as we’ve massively expanded our services and global footprint, we’ve maintained our commitment to tailored service and flexibility only a mid-sized CRO can deliver, including strategic resourcing to meet our clients where they are.

Underpinned by therapeutic expertise, operational excellence, and unparalleled quality, TFS today is a cadre of more than 800 professionals dedicated to bringing health innovation to life. Our experts have a special focus on dermatology, hematology, oncology, ophthalmology, internal medicine, and neuroscience, and we are skilled in supporting even the most challenging studies, including those involving pediatrics, rare diseases, and real-world evidence. We have conducted our work across more than 12,000 clinical sites and 150,000 patients.

Headquartered in the center of Nordic innovation

While we have achieved impressive growth, TFS has always stayed true to its Nordic roots. The Nordics are an excellent region for running early clinical trials, given the cooperation between research groups, healthcare, and biopharma. These attributes have made the region an unquestioned hotspot of life science innovation, and our TFS Headquarters are ideally positioned in the heart of the action: Lund, Sweden’s Medicon Village.

Once an 80,000 square meter research facility for AstraZeneca, Medicon Village has transformed into a regional collaboration initiative in life science. Diverse life science organizations have brought their offices into the village to capitalize on collaborative synergy that enables them to develop solutions faster than if they were working alone. An open, innovation-rich environment that actively promotes wide-ranging cooperation between researchers, the village is a nod to the fact that the clinical research landscape has changed, particularly in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. To solve humanity’s grand challenges, collaboration is key; patients can’t wait for us to go it alone.

To that end, TFS actively pursues opportunities to connect and spark insights across the research ecosystem. Just last month, we hosted Science for Breakfast, an initiative by Medicon Village to facilitate networking and knowledge sharing among scientists and entrepreneurs in the village and others. Our presentation focused on why listening to and learning from patients is critical to building better protocols, accelerating processes, and ultimately delivering meaningful results that improve healthcare for everyone.

We also know that upcoming advances in clinical research promise an even more dynamic future, and the next generation needs the training and tools to meet the moment. That’s why TFS is partnered with neighboring Lund University, one of Sweden’s biggest and most prominent academic institutions, and Upsala University, the oldest university in Sweden and the Nordic countries, to open pathways for tomorrow’s clinical researchers. For example, in 2022, we hosted students enrolled in clinical drug development courses at our office in Solna, Sweden, to share the ins and outs of contract research support. In addition, we have worked closely with local universities to develop internships and trainee programs that offer opportunities to learn about our processes and gain real world experience in clinical research.

Our priorities, our people, and the art of ‘sisu’

Of course, research isn’t just about tools and processes—the patient principle is at the heart of everything we do at TFS. Our commitment to advance a healthier world isn’t just something we say; it’s something we live and breathe daily, even in the face of challenges and adversity. In the Nordics, we refer to sisu (pronounced “sis-uh”) as the embodiment of grit, resilience, and determination to advance the greater good. Our TFS teams channel sisu in everything they do, and that’s why our employees remain our greatest asset by far. As we continue to grow with our clients in 2023 and beyond, we celebrate the unwavering heart of TFS: our people, our principles and our commitment to a healthier world.

Would you like to see what our personal approach to partnership can do for your clinical study? Contact us today to start the conversation!

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