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Business Finland funding for development and commercialisation of new treatment for cardiovascular disease based on epigenetherapy

  • Health and well-being
  • Technology and innovations

A research project led by Docent Mikko Turunen has received Business Finland “New business from research ideas” funding for developing a novel treatment for cardiovascular diseases. The Next Generation Treatment for Heart Failure project aims to provide both technological and commercial abilities in the productization of a new RNA-based technology for therapeutic regulation of vasculature. The total funding received from Business Finland for the 18-month project is 550,000 euros.

The prevalence of cardiovascular diseases increases with the aging population, thereby also increasing costs for society. The global market value for cardiovascular diseases is estimated at 146 billion euros in 2022. There is an apparent need for new effective and targeted therapies. Turunen’s project is focused on heart failure that will be treated with a completely novel gene therapy method. The medicine is based on small non-coding RNA molecules that regulate vascular endothelial growth factor. The RNAs will be delivered to the treated tissue by targeted exosomes.

The project develops a new, efficient and targeted RNA-medicine for the treatment of a major public health challenge. This unique RNA-drug can be administrated as a single dose which targets the tissue to be treated. For the patient, this is the most efficient, safest and most convenient treatment method, and it replaces surgical treatment. This will lead to a significant reduction of costs on society.

We anticipate that this project will lead to new growth-orientated, international health business in Kuopio. This also strengthens both the national and local health sector innovation ecosystem by creating jobs, promoting interactions with other companies and increasing international export.

This project is based on Mikko Turunen's over fifteen years of basic research of non-coding RNAs in gene regulation and their application for th edevelopment of gene therapy. Turunen thanks Business Finland for funding and the university's Entrepreneurship and Innovation Services for the support for the application.

Further information:

Docent Mikko Turunen, University of Eastern Finland, phone +358 44 5537 414, mikko.turunen (a) uef.fi

Business Finland funding: Business Development Advisor Matti Höytö, phone +358 40 354 5916, matti.hoyto (a) uef.fi