February 8, 2016

Finnish researchers and Pfizer develop targeted cancer drugs

The purpose of the collaborative research project is to create new targeted cancer drugs particularly for the treatment of leukaemia.
The purpose of the collaborative research project is to create new targeted cancer drugs particularly for the treatment of leukaemia.
iStock.com/AlexRaths

Cancer researchers at the University of Helsinki’s Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM) have agreed on a collaborative research project with the pharmaceutical company Pfizer. The purpose of the project is to create new targeted cancer drugs particularly for the treatment of leukaemia.

Significant advancements have been made in cancer treatments in recent years. Targeted drugs have been developed for cancers resulting from genetic mutations. Other targeted drugs have been developed to improve the body’s immune defences against cancerous tumours.

“We are still badly in need of better cancer drugs,” says Maija Wolf, FIMM’s senior researcher in charge of the project.

The objective of FIMM’s and Pfizer’s research project is to speed up the early stages of drug development. The research group will screen the most promising drug candidates for further trials. The project will utilise the high-throughput screening method developed by the Helsinki University Hospital Comprehensive Cancer Centre. In addition samples collected in Finnish biobanks offer novel opportunities for developing drugs.

“This partnership is a promising example of how a global pharmaceutical company can bring employment and investments to Finland. Competition between countries for these investments is tough but Finland has been able to develop unique research expertise and pioneering operating models,” says Pfizer Finland’s medical director Jaakko Parkkinen.

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