Editorial

VTT develops technologies for drug discovery

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Significant progress has been achieved in recent years in Finland in the medical biotechnology and molecular medicine fields. Active efforts to commercialise these fields were started over ten years ago, and these efforts are now beginning to yield positive results after some initial difficulties.

Product development cycle in the drug development is slow due to the requirement for lengthy and expensive clinical trials. However, when a drug enters the market, its life cycle can be dozens of years. Overall, it is worth investing in drug development, biotechnology and related research fields, but this needs to be done on a long-term perspective.

Over the past two decades, VTT has been active in the health care sector, such as in the development of diagnostic methods and in medical engineering. A more focussed effort on Medical Biotechnology began six years ago, when a joint professorship was established in Turku together with the University of Turku and the Åbo Akademi University. This Centre for Medical Biotechnology has grown rapidly and now involves over 70 people. Two years ago, it was nominated as an Academy of Finland Centre of Excellence. The centre undertakes active cooperation with Finnish companies and has contracts with several major international “big pharma” companies.

Medical applications are a broad area and VTT cannot always act alone in these sectors. VTT recently became a member of the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM), which will create synergies for large-scale projects and infrastructure development. The importance of the pharmaceutical and diagnostics sector in VTT’s operations has grown considerably over the last few years and this trend can be expected to continue.

 


Additional information

VTT is an impartial expert organisation. Its objective is to develop new technologies, create new innovations and value added thus increasing customer's competencies. With its know how VTT produces research, development, testing and information services to public sector and companies as well as international organisations.