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Jukka Mönkkönen ja Matthias Krieger.

Rector Jukka Mönkkönen and FinVector's Managing Director Matthias Krieger.

University of Eastern Finland and FinVector to further intensify collaboration

The University of Eastern Finland and the biotechnology company FinVector have signed a memorandum of understanding committing the two to a long-term strategic partnership and to further development of collaboration. FinVector is a cGMP manufacturer of viral-based gene therapy drugs and part of the global Ferring Ventures SA consortium. FinVector operates in Savilahti, Kuopio, which will see the launch of a new gene therapy drug manufacturing facility – one of the largest in the world in its league – later this year. 

“The memorandum of understanding will intensify the already close collaboration between the university and FinVector by making it increasingly systematic and goal-oriented. Collaboration with one of the world’s leading companies in one of our strongest fields is significant for us,” says Jussi Pihlajamäki, the Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences.

The partnership will be strengthened by expanding collaboration from research to also include worklife and educational collaboration. For students at the university, FinVector will offer opportunities for, e.g., thesis projects and internships, as well as a business perspective to the development of degree-awarding and continuing education alike.

“Competent workforce is at the heart of our operations. FinVector is working in a specific field of business, hence we often require niche expertise from our people. Through collaboration, we want to emphasise that active dialogue between educational institutions and companies can improve the alignment of work and education. Such projects are already underway in collaboration with the university, like the ReguVa project, which develops regulatory and responsibility expertise,” says Tiina Bies, HR Director at FinVector.

Collaboration will also be reinforced in the development of the Kuopio campus ecosystem, and in promoting the attractiveness of the Kuopio region.

Both FinVector and the cell therapy R&D company Kuopio Center for Gene and Cell Therapy (KCT) are part of Ferring Ventures SA, and they both draw from the pioneering research of Professor Seppo Ylä-Herttuala. At the University of Eastern Finland, cell and gene therapy is one of the strongest internationally recognised fields of research, with significant competitive funding from, e.g., the Horizon Europe programme. Professor Ylä-Herttuala is also the leader of the national GeneCellNano Flagship developing new biological drugs. 

The University of Eastern Finland and Ferring Ventures also have an existing agreement on research collaboration and manufacturing method development in cell and gene therapy. Close research collaboration will continue with the Kuopio-based Kuopio Centre for Gene and Cell Therapy (KCT).

Jukka Mönkkönen, Minna Hendolin, Tiina Bies ja Matthias Krieger.
Rector Jukka Mönkkönen, Director of Impact Minna Hendolin, FinVector's HR Director Tiina Bies and Managing Director Matthias Krieger.