ERC Proof of Concept funding for Associate Professor Hélder Santos
With the help of the funding, iNANOVAC4CANCER aims to develop biohybrid and biodegradable nanovaccines for cancer immunotherapy.

Associate Professor (tenure track) Hélder Santos in the Faculty of Pharmacy and HiLIFE, University of Helsinki, has received ERC Proof of Concept funding worth €150,000 for 18 months for his iNANOVAC4CANCER project. The main objective of iNANOVAC4CANCER is to establish technical and commercial viability for a personalised biohybrid and biodegradable nanovaccine platform, a novel patient-focused nanomaterial-based immunotherapy platform for the treatment of melanoma, prostate, and breast cancers with potential to expand to other cancers and diseases. 

The commercial aim of this activity will be to establish go/no go criteria for further development of biohybrid nanovaccine platform for cancer immunotherapy. The project aims to for example make the critical go/no go decisions regarding the potential to build a spin-off or start-up company,  foster academic co-development with industry and out-license the technology. 

This project is in close collaboration with Associate Professor (tenure track) Vincenzo Cerullo, at the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Helsinki,  Associate Professor (tenure track) Anu Airaksinen, at the Faculty of Sciences, University of Helsinki, Professor Jarno Salonen at the University of Turku, and the campanies Valo Therapeutics, Kolster and ttopstart.

The ERC Proof of Concept funding is made available only to those who already have an ERC funding to establish proof of concept of an idea that was generated in the course of their ERC-funded projects.

Associate Professor Santos received an ERC Starting Grant in 2013–2017 with the project "Multistage-Multifunctional Porous Silicon Nanovectors for Directed Theranostics".

More on ERC Proof of Concept funding (ERC web site)