24. januar 2018

Professor at Department of Pharmacy is leading new Nordic Collaboration


A pharmaceutical collaboration between Nordic universities receives DKK 35 million from NordForsk. The project will focus on new pharmaceutical products specially adapted to each patient. Project leader is Professor Jukka Rantanen from Department of Pharmacy.

In the world of health and medical sciences, there has been a lot of talk about the new wave of so-called "personalised medicine" which is adapted for each patient's needs. However, the development of actual products have not yet lived up to the high expectations.

A new Nordic collaboration among universities with the name "Nordic POP" (Patient Oriented Products) is aiming to change that: NordForsk under the Nordic Council of Ministers have just granted DKK 35 million for the collaboration with University of Copenhagen and Professor Jukka Rantanen at the helm.

"This grant enables us to do more application-oriented research in the field of personalised medicine and actually invent products that benefit each patient. The collaboration will be anchored here with us in Copenhagen but all the partners in the Nordic countries will share knowledge, exchange PhD students and benefit from each other’s facilities and expertise", says Jukka Rantanen, Professor at Department of Pharmacy and leader of the Nordic POP-collaboration.

From mass production to personalised production

Among the project's partners are pharmaceutical researchers at universities in Finland, Sweden, Norway, Iceland and Denmark. The 35 million DKK will form a basis for establishing the collaboration and the following six years of joint research activities.

The researchers will develop strategies to design new type of pharmaceutical products, make the production of medicine more flexible, and move it closer to the end-user.

"With the phenomenon personalised medicine we are facing paradigm shift in the way we think about medicine. When our illnesses are varying from one individual to the next one, our medication should do the same. Traditional pharmaceutical products with a fixed amount of active compound in them are made with mass production principles in mind. That will change", says Jukka Rantanen.

Products in all shapes

Beyond that, the researchers will aim to find better ways of using health data in medication. Knowledge about the patient's intake of other medicine and food, genetics as well as physiological condition can dramatically change which medication and dose is best suited for treating a given illness.

The products of the collaboration revolve around the use of medicine. However, the results of the collaboration might take many other shapes like apps for health care personnel and patients, data storage in the actual product and methods for quality assurance of personalized medicine.

The new collaboration will start with a kick-off meeting at University of Southern Denmark 29-31 January 2018.