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UEF liput lipputangoissa

Business Finland funding for novel drugs for brain diseases

A project led by Professor Jari Koistinaho has secured funding from Business Finland's New Business from Research Ideas programme for the development of novel small molecules for brain diseases. Professor Jari Yli-Kauhaluoma is a research partner in the project. The Smart Small Molecule Drugs project seeks to commercialise a technology that relies on a novel drug development strategy to inhibit the complex mechanisms underlying brain diseases. The project was granted a two-year funding amounting to 1,088,000 euros, of which the share of the University of Eastern Finland is 605,715 euros.

Neurodegenerative disorders are a global epidemic with no cure available, and current treatments are merely capable of alleviating patients’ symptoms. In addition to a health and social burden, brain diseases also cause a major economic burden, which is estimated to reach six billion US dollars by 2030. The need to find a cure for neurodegenerative diseases is imminent, and the drug industry is actively searching for promising drug candidates in universities and small companies. The project led by Koistinaho will develop a drug compound that targets all the key mechanism pathways leading to neurodegeneration. Affecting multiple targets, this “ten-in-one treatment” is expected to stop or slow down the development of neurodegenerative disorders. 

“Drug development always involves great risks. However, by targeting the drug compound at a cell function that inhibits several neurodegenerative mechanisms and by using human-derived cells to support drug development, it is possible to achieve significant treatment response without serious side effects. This collaboration between the University of Eastern Finland and the University of Helsinki makes Finland’s finest expertise available to drug development for brain diseases, and also creates the best opportunities for significant business activities,” Professor Jari Koistinaho says.

The amount of funding granted by Business Finland is well above average, speaking volumes of the funder's confidence in the project’s commercial potential.

For further information, please contact:

Professor Jari Koistinaho, University of Eastern Finland and University of Helsinki, tel. +358 40 355 2427, jari.koistinaho (a)