The pharmaceutical development ecosystem in the Kuopio region consists of a strong network of international businesses and highly skilled talent. The competence of these actors includes expertise in early-stage product development and manufacturing, clinical trials and production chain management using robotics.
Some of the best-known companies in pharmaceutical development in the Kuopio region are Kuopio Center for Gene and Cell Therapy (KCT), which studies future therapies, namely biological medicines; FinVector, which manufactures viral-based gene therapy products; and Aurealis Therapeutics, a biotech company that develops medicines e.g. for chronic inflammatory diseases.
The School of Pharmacy in the University of Eastern Finland Faculty of Health Sciences educates talent for the needs of the pharmaceutical industry and conducts high-quality scientific research that focuses on medicines, their development and their effects. There are about 1 000 undergraduate and postgraduate students studying at the School of Pharmacy.
Another institute that conducts high-impact research in this field is the A.I. Virtanen Institute (AIVI) for Molecular Sciences at the University of Eastern Finland. The research in molecular medicine conducted at AIVI examines the causes and mechanisms of diseases on a molecular level and applies the acquired knowledge in disease prevention, diagnostics and treatment. The two key areas of international research in the strategy of the University of Eastern Finland are cardiovascular diseases as well as metabolic diseases and neurosciences, and these also form the basis for the research done at AIVI.
Various actors in the Kuopio region are also actively involved in developing solutions to the challenges presented by the coronavirus. Rokote Laboratories Finland, a Finnish company developing a COVID-19 vaccine, is utilizing a gene transfer technology that has been long developed by the research group of Professor Seppo Ylä-Herttuala from Kuopio, and the University of Eastern Finland is one of the co-owners of Rokote Laboratories Finland.