InFLAMES Corporate Corner: diagnostics are being developed together with companies
– Developing new diagnostic methods for detection and treatment of various diseases are key objectives of the InFLAMES Research Flagship. Collaboration with companies is invaluable to achieve this goal. The next InFLAMES Corporate Corner discusses on how the University and companies are already facilitating the cooperation and what more is needed, both from us and the diagnostics companies, to make the process even smoother, says InFLAMES Project Manager Kaisa Hakkila.
Hakkila reminds that many of the diagnostics companies and their employees in the Turku region have a background in academia. Still, there is plenty of room and opportunities for new companies and novel university collaboration projects.
For the inventions born from the research at the University to break through commercially and actually reach the patients, the academy and the companies need to learn to understand the expectations of the other and what they both have to offer. Corporate Corner strives to increase this mutual understanding, summarizes Hakkila.
The representatives from PerkinElmer, Kaivogen-Uniogen and ArcDia International will be among the presenters at the June 17th event. Mikko Sairanen, the Scientific Director of PerkinElmer, wishes for a strong participation and looks forward for an update on the current research at the University.
PerkinElmer has mostly participated in diagnostic collaborations with the researchers in Turku, but Sairanen wants to discuss the prospects of global operations and his company’s portfolio. Present are concepts such as tools of immunology, as well as cell and gene technology. For anyone looking for collaboration Sairanen has clear down-to-earth advice.
– Pick up the phone and contact our product development side, that’s how it usually starts.
One of the InFLAMES researchers present in the Corporate Corner is Docent Janne Leivo from the Department of Life Technologies biotechnology unit.
– In our department, we have developed new methods for detecting cancer. Most cancer markers are proteins with attached sugar structures that transform already at an early stage of cancer. Utilizing these sugar structures in the early diagnosis of cancer has led to the development of new preliminary detection methods. Within the InFLAMES ecosystem we are currently investigating their associated commercial potential and functionality in patient treatment, Leivo says.
Leivo sees Corporate Corner an excellent opportunity to discuss how new collaboration projects can be launched in smooth and mutually beneficial way with participating companies.
Urpo Lamminmäki, a professor at the Department of Life Technologies, will discuss techniques enabling diagnostics outside a living organism, in vitro, such as blood sample diagnostics. Lamminmäki says that the Department of Life Technologies in Turku is rare even on a global scale with its focus on in vitro diagnostics.
– We have been successful in a sense that we have seen new companies being established and the results being commercialized through not only though them but other players as well, Lamminmäki says.
The unit is no stranger to commercial collaboration.
– We know the process, but would like to be able to do even more large-scale collaborations in addition to the smaller projects, Lamminmäki adds.