Finnish Herantis Pharma has received funding of EUR 6 million from the research and innovation program of the European Union known as Horizon 2020.
The grant is for phase 1–2 clinical study with Herantis’ drug candidate for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease, using a drug administration device of Renishaw, and for supporting scientific research. The short name of the project is TreatER.
TreatER will be executed by a consortium of 11 members, including Herantis as the formal sponsor of the clinical study and the owner of CNDF patents, and the University of Helsinki where CDNF was discovered. The consortium also includes three universities, one in Finland and two in Sweden, that will conduct the patient treatments, two pharmaceutical companies, the University of Oxford and Renishaw in the UK and the European Parkinson’s Disease Association.
“This is a great achievement for our consortium and a significant reward for years of hard work by the Herantis team,” says Pekka Simula, CEO of Herantis. “Horizon 2020 grants are very competitive and this award required a strong European consortium, leading science, and highest potential to advance clinical practice. Collaboration of the TreatER partners has already been unique toward a common goal: breakthrough in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease.”
The grant also provides funding for important supportive scientific research at the University of Helsinki and the University of Oxford. Full commercial rights to CDNF remain with Herantis.
“Starting clinical studies is a great moment for a scientist,” notes professor Mart Saarma of the University of Helsinki. “I am very optimistic about our prospects, because CDNF has been efficacious in a number of disease models of Parkinson’s disease.”