“I’m amazed about the work BCB Medical has done”

Lisse-Lotte Hermansson started last week as Director of Real World Data and Business Development Data Science at BCB Medical. She has over 20 years of experience from U.S. and international pharmaceutical companies, and now she is happy to return to her native Finland. “What BCB Medical has done this far is truly unique, and I’m really looking forward to working with Finnish and Nordic people again,” she says.

Lisse-Lotte Hermansson had never planned a career within the medical industry. Her father, professor in medicine, was CEO of Helsinki University Hospital, and he advised his kids to choose another career path. Her daughter ended up studying for a master’s degree in business, but coincidentally made her master’s thesis for Eli Lilly and Company.

Now, over twenty years later, Lisse-Lotte Hermansson has made a remarkable international career in the USA and Europe, working both for the pharmaceutical companies and with the European health authorities and healthcare organizations. Her latest employer was – once again – Eli Lilly and Company.

“Honestly, I thought that my career had come to full circle, but then I was contacted by BCB Medical, and I realized that we share the same goals.”

Demand for real-world data is growing

Her job at BCB Medical is to find both new users and new ways to use medical data. The challenge is to engage not only doctors but groups such as the medical and pharmaceutical industry and health authorities to find ways to utilize the data for our society’s benefit.

“At the moment, randomized clinical trial data is considered as the highest level of evidence. However, often only 10 % of patients have the same characteristics and react the way clinical research shows in real life. So, we need real-world data, too.”

Real-world data means all collected data outside the clinical trial data – the kind that for instance BCB Medical produces. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the USA is one of the first authorities to accept real-world data, but Lisse-Lotte Hermansson believes that the trend is growing. FDA uses RWD and RWE to monitor postmarket safety and adverse events and to make regulatory decisions.

“Today patients are gathering data themselves, and at doctor’s appointment it is easy to go through the data together. We already have so much data that it has the possibility of revolutionizing the whole healthcare industry.”

Three ways to contribute

For her new job, she has three goals.

“Firstly, I want to remove the obstacles in getting the data. What is preventing doctors from filling information to databases? Secondly, I want us to act as a neutral third party in collecting and analyzing data, so that the industry and authorities can follow their real world evidence requirement agreements – for instance how a certain medicine is working and contribute to value-added pricing of that medicine. Additionally, using the data to support clinical trial designs, for example pragmatic clinical trials such as nested observational studies.”

The third goal is more patriotic, helping Finnish medical technology to succeed globally.

“Finnish people are too modest! I know the industry very well, and I’m truly amazed about the work BCB Medical has done. It is also very nice to work with Finnish people, who in general deliver what they promise. I also believe that I understand the way the Swedish investors of the company are thinking – so I have a unique combination of Finnish and Swedish knowledge and international network.”

The Swedish mentality is familiar to Lisse-Lotte Hermansson, as she lives in Djursholm, Stockholm with her Swedish husband and children. Her 20-year old daughter is studying and competing in Div1 university women’s golf team in the USA, and 16 and 12 year-old sons are competing in golf and ice-hockey in Sweden.

“For the past years, my hobby has been to act as a private Uber-driver for my sons,” she laughs.

The new job means there will be a lot of travelling between Stockholm, Espoo and Turku.

“But that’s okay. My kids have grown so old that they don’t need me around that much. In fact, my eldest son is 2019 Swedish champion in cyber security and data hacking, and I think he was quite impressed that I have this new position within data science!”

References:

Herland, K., et.al. How representative are clinical study patients with asthma or COPD for a larger “real life” population of patients with obstructive lung disease?

Respiratory Medicine, Volume 99, Issue 1, January 2005