FinnGen study to find the next breakthroughs in disease prevention, diagnosis and treatment

A unique study has been launched in Finland that will deepen our understanding about the origins of diseases and their treatment. The FinnGen study plans to tap into 500 000 unique blood samples collected by a nation-wide network of Finnish biobanks. The study is expected to continue for six years, securing funding of 59M€.

The goals of the study are ambitious. ”All breakthroughs that arise from the project will eventually benefit health care systems and patients both locally and globally. The study will, for instance, help us find new areas for drug discovery and ways to prevent disease. The FinnGen study will most definitely have a positive impact on the attractiveness of Finland as a global pioneer for medical research and innovation,” says Research Director Aarno Palotie, from the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM) at the University of Helsinki.

The research project is based on matching genome information with digital health care data from national registries. All samples are coded before analysis, and the study is conducted following the highest standards of data security.

‘’The FinnGen- project casts light on the reasons behind diseases in the population. With this new information it is possible to develop better and more tailored treaments,’’ says Anne Remes, Professor and Dean of the Medical Faculty, University of Oulu.

In addition to biobanks and research organizations, the Finnish Funding Agency TEKES, nine Finnish enterprises and seven international pharmaceutical companies take part in the study. ”Tekes wanted to support the project, because of its potential to promote healthcare innovation and support the growth and internationalization of local businesses. In addition, the project makes Finland more attractive in the eyes of global businesses and investors,” says Development Director Minna Hendolin, who is responsible for Health and Wellbeing at Tekes.

FinnGen is coordinated by researchers from the University of Helsinki and the Helsinki University Central Hospital. FinnGen is a national research project that can benefit everyone – both nationally and globally. Samples are needed from all over Finland in the thousands, because solutions in the field of personalized healthcare can be found only by looking at large masses. All Finns can take part in the study by giving a biobank consent allowing the use of their samples.

Read more information.

Contact persons

Professor Aarno Palotie
Research Director, Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM),
HiLIFE, University of Helsinki
041 501 5915
aarno.palotie@helsinki.fi

Anne Remes, Professor, Dean
University of Oulu, Faculty of Medicine
050 533 0090
anne.remes@oulu.fi

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