Finnish-based FinVector May Emerge as Global Gene Therapy Player for its Bladder Cancer Drug

Jun 2, 2019 | Finland, Gene Therapy, Kuopio University Hospital, Viral Gene Therapy

Viral-based gene therapy product company FinVector has invested 25 million euros in the new medication, reported to be the world’s sixth gene therapy drug. Gene therapy refers to the delivery of nucleic acid (containing DNA) into a patient’s cells with the intent of using genetic information to create new proteins to fight off infections.

FinVector Background

FinVector is a world leader in the research and development of Viral-based Gene therapy products. They have invested in “State-of-the-art facilities as well as a highly experienced scientific team.  They are authorized under EMA for the production of gene therapy products for clinical and commercial supply. The company is owned by Swiss Frederik Paulsen Foundation,  which also owns Ferring Pharmaceuticals.  No surprise as Frederik Paulsen Jr., a Swedish billionaire, is the Chairman of the Ferring.   His father was the founder of Ferring Pharmaceuticals.

Professor Seppo Yla Herttuala formed the company in the mid-1990s. The company offers a wide range of viral-product types, including Adenoviral, AAV, and Lentiviral-based vectors. They leverage their fulling-licensed, cutting-edge GMP manufacturing facility in Finland to continuously add to an extensive pipeline of gene therapy products and technologies.

Recent Bladder Cancer Medication

FinVector has recently to trial its new bladder cancer medication and has applied for market authorization. They have 25 million euros ready to produce the gene therapy drug.  The drug has been tested in three phases in the U.S. on patients and the Kuopio University Hospital has also started trialing the medication on patients with promising results.

U.S. Market Demand

Timo Ristola, FinVec’s marketing director, reports that there is a strong demand for the medication in the United States.  Why?  Mr. Ristola stated “Each year 20,000 new patients are diagnosed with bladder cancer.  This is medication that should never run out, whether there’s one patient or 10,000.”

Within Finland, 1,300 new cases of bladder cancer are diagnosed annually.  Of this population, 80% are men. For this reason, the article in Yle noted the company will commence producing the drug before it is authorized in the commercial pharmaceutical market. Ristola noted they will be ready then they are approved.

The company is planning on hiring 50 new employees to create the new medicine.

World’s Sixth Gene Therapy Drug

The article reports the development and production of gene therapy drugs is expected to increase significantly. Their drug is reportedly the sixth gene therapy drug in the world. FinVector also develops an anti-ovarian and pleural anti-cancer drug both of which are in production.

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