Desentum aims to ease the sneeze from allergies with a promising immunotherapheutic vaccine heading into first-in-human trials.
 Desentum aims to ease the sneeze from allergies with a promising immunotherapeutic vaccine heading into first-in-human trials. Image: Shutterstock

Desentum selected for EUR 1.9 million EU grant

Finnish biopharmaceutical company Desentum has been awarded a 1.9 million-euro grant from an EU funding programme to use towards its AllergyVAX project.

The two-and-a-half-year project about to be launched by Desentum will include early clinical trials of the Finnish company’s primary product candidate, an immunotherapeutic vaccine for birch pollen allergy.

Desentum’s approach uses targeted DNA techniques to modify allergens into hypoallergens, which are expected to make allergen immunotherapy safer while significantly reducing the time of the treatment.

According to Desentum CEO Pekka Mattila, the main objective of the AllergyVAX project is to gain first-in-human clinical data of the birch pollen allergy vaccine.

“It is an important step towards the clinical proof of concept of our platform technology and the grant helps us reach that goal faster,” he says. “Also, competition for the public SME Instrument funding is extremely tough and Desentum being recognised as one of the most promising SMEs in Europe gives a very positive signal to both our current business partners and potential future collaborators.”

Desentum received the grant from the highly-competitive European Innovation Council’s (EIC) pilot SME Instrument, part of EU’s research and innovation programme Horizon 2020. The Finnish company’s efforts to fight allergies have helped it to raise significant funding in the past as well.

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