“We are very pleased to have Tuija Keinonen as the CEO of Rokote Laboratories Finland, and to start collaborating with her. She has a long experience of building, growing and managing a successful company, as well as extensive international expertise and networks in the sector. In addition, she has broad experience of collaborating with companies, which is an excellent advantage for Rokote Laboratories Finland’s ecosystem-based business model. She is a well-known and respected figure in the field. We are pleased to welcome Tuija to our company,” says Seppo Ylä-Herttuala, Chair of Rokote Laboratories Finland’s Board of Directors.
Rokote Laboratories Finland is a new Finnish company developing a vaccine against the coronavirus. The vaccine is based on gene transfer technology developed by Seppo Ylä-Herttuala’s research group, and the technology has already been successfully used in several clinical trials using gene therapy to treat cardiovascular diseases and cancer. In summer 2021, the company secured 9 million euros of funding (from Ferring Ventures SA, Jenny and Antti Wihuri Foundation, the Finnish Cultural Foundation, and Business Finland) for the development of a coronavirus vaccine to be administered as a nasal spray.
The funding makes it possible for the company to move forward in launching manufacture of the FINCoVac vaccine candidate, and to complete phase I and phase II clinical trials. The vaccine is based on research carried out at the University of Helsinki and the University of Eastern Finland. The research collaboration has involved Professor of Virology Kalle Saksela, Academician Kari Alitalo, Academy Professor Seppo Ylä-Herttuala, and Pasi Kemppainen, MSc (Technology). Both universities are also shareholders in Rokote Laboratories Finland Ltd.
"I am very excited about joining the company now, when it is taking its first, interesting steps. I look forward to working with the team to develop a domestic coronavirus vaccine for both Finnish and international markets. It is great to be involved in building a common and safer future, and to launch vaccine production also here in Finland,” Tuija Keinonen says.
Keinonen started in her new role on 1 October 2021.
For further information, please contact:
Chair of Rokote Laboratories’ Board of Directors Seppo Ylä-Herttuala, University of Eastern Finland, seppo.ylaherttuala (at) uef.fi, tel. +358 40 355 2075
CEO Tuija Keinonen, Rokote Laboratories Finland Ltd., tuija.keinonen (at) rokote.com, tel. +358 50 555 1541