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.
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. All Finns can take part in the study by giving a biobank consent allowing the use of their samples.
- 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.
FinnGen is globally an unprecedented research project – a similar study has never been performed at the same scale. Due to the unique heritage of the Finnish population, our genome data can be analysed faster and more effectively than in populations of more heterogenous origins – significantly improving the chances of breakthrough findings.
- Finland offers a great foundation for nation-wide genome research. The FinnGen study is also characterized by exceptionally broad and open cooperation between biobanks, universities, health care districts, the health care industry and hopefully hundreds of thousands of Finns, says Kimmo Pitkänen, Director of Helsinki Biobank.
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: Abbvie, AstraZeneca, Biogen, Celgene, Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, NJ, USA and Pfizer.
- 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.
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. The FinnGen study will benefit Finns long into the future.
- With FinnGen, we can build a foundation for health innovations and personalized treatments. When the study is finished, all data that has been produced during the project will stay in the ownership of Finnish biobanks and will remain at the disposal of Finnish researchers and companies, Palotie concludes and wishes all Finns welcome on a common journey into our heritage.
For more information:
Professor Aarno Palotie
Research Director, Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM),
HiLIFE, University of Helsinki
Faculty member, Center for Human Genome Research at the Massachusetts General Hospital
Associate member, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard
Tel: +358 41 501 5915
Minna Hendolin, Development Director
Tel: +358 50 5577665
Anne Remes, Professor, Dean
University of Oulu, Faculty of Medicine
Last updated: 14.7.2020