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Finnish project to accelerate clinical testing of cancer drugs

kuva_konf_2000 päivi-lehtinen

A joint development 2 year-project, “TEHO adaptive clinical trial design – poised to accelerate approval” by University of Helsinki and University of Turku has been awarded with over 2 million Euros in the Challenge Finland competition.

The TEHO project aims to develop a new, faster and more efficient, adaptive approach to clinical trials which constitute one major bottleneck in transforming Finnish innovations in cancer research into new, effective therapeutics. It will approach this challenge by developing and validating new multifaceted approach to clinical testing. The aim is to utilize latest data from preclinical cancer models, predictive biomarkers and computational simulations parallel to an active clinical trial. This new adaptive concept will make it possible to evaluate the clinical significance of the proposed markers of clinical efficacy before and during the actual clinical testing. Therefore, this new paradigm could decrease the time and cost of clinical testing and accelerate clinical adoption of new cancer therapeutics since it will be possible to make evidence-based real-time adjustments to patient cohorts and drug doses throughout the trial.

TEHO is a collaborative partnership between academia and industry, whose members include University of Helsinki, University of Turku, Comprehensive Cancer Center, AbbVie Oy, Aurexel Life Sciences Ltd, Bayer Oy, Biomedicum Genomics Oy, Orion Oyj, PacoMed Oy and StatFinn Oy. Responsible project directors are the cancer scientists Juha Klefström from the University of Helsinki and Jukka Westermarck from the University of Turku.

Challenge Finland

Challenge Finland competition by Tekes is an embodiment of the goals set by the current government to foster national expertise and education. The goal of Challenge Finland program is to uncover commercially viable solutions to significant needs by combining Finnish knowledge and innovations with research and development of Finland-based companies. In the spring of 2016 Tekes selected 70 most promising project proposals from nearly 300 applications. These finalists were then given the opportunity to further develop their original concept and identify industrial partners for eventual commercialization. The best projects were subsequently awarded funding for the years 2017 and 2018.

Photo: Päivi Lehtinen/Aurexel Life Sciences