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Cancer Systems Biology and Target Discovery


VTT aims to increase understanding on cancer gene function, improve discovery of lead anti-cancer compounds and identification of novel biomarkers with enhanced predictive value. To reach this goal, we combine deep biological understanding, state-of-the-art high-throughput methods (-omics) and bioinformatics.

Our areas of expertise are;

  • Cancer systems biology
  • Breast and prostate cancer biology
  • Translational research
  • Chemical biology
  • High-throughput screening (HTS)
  • High-content screening (HCS)
  • Statistical analysis
  • Software for data analysis and graphics
  • Database design and implementation


We offer our customers a full line-up of modern cancer biology technologies that improve the discovery process of cancer drugs, understanding their mechanism of action as well as identification of cancer genes and biomarkers with follow-up functional analyses.

HTS cell-based assays

We use a panel of over 80 human cancer cell lines representative of all major tumor types, 3D-culturing of specific cancer cell models and primary cell cultures. Our screens are done using 384-well formats with multiple endpoints using luminescent, fluorescent or protein lysate readouts. Our proprietary CellArray technology is used for rapid and cost effective large-scale targeted siRNA screens e.g. for the druggable genome.

Drug discovery

We have in-house chemical compound libraries consisting of over 70.000 small molecules. HTS-discovery of putative drug repositioning candidates (from other indications towards anti-cancer purposes) and novel small molecules (synthetic or natural compounds) inhibiting cancer cell growth.

Drug target identification

We offer RNAi based HTS-discovery of novel cancer drug targets. Our in-house libraries include genome-wide siRNA and miRNA libraries as well as focused sets such as epigenetic enzymes and cell cycle-related genes. 


We develop algorithms for data analysis and statistics, well designed database solutions, and graphical user inferfaces. Our bioinformatic expertise has been used for discovery of cancer biomarkers using our In-silico transcriptomics database (IST).


Our current and past customers include Bayer Schering Pharma, Roche, GlaxoSmithKline and Santen.

Additional information

Marko Kallio
Principal Scientist, Team Leader
+358 20 722 2810