University of Helsinki collaborates with Boehringer Ingelheim on human translational models

The target of the collaboration is to accelerate innovative gene therapy for brain diseases with high medical need.

The Neuroscience Center of the University of Helsinki has entered into a research collaboration with Boehringer Ingelheim, a leading research-driven biopharmaceutical company.

The aim of the collaborative project is to improve human brain organoid models to study central nervous system (CNS) tropism of next generation AAV capsids.

The 2-year project takes advantage of the Neuroscience Center’s unique expertise in stem cell research and aims to extend its know-how to advance the technology to a completely new level.

The project is part of Boehringer’s Research Beyond Borders (RBB) initiative advancing emerging science and technologies, such as AAV-based gene therapies. RBB will therefore aim to accelerate the development of new research methods to select the next generation AAV capsids with selective tropism for the brain.

This collaboration will offer a path forward towards enabling the validation of new therapeutic solutions.  

“We are extremely happy to enter such an interactive research collaboration with Boehringer Ingelheim, a leading biopharmaceutical company”, says Professor Jari Koistinaho, Director of Neuroscience Center and the PI of the project.

“While the program provides evidence of the potential impact of our cutting-edge technologies and expertise, it may also help opening a way for more-long term and fruitful co-operation”, Koistinaho adds.  

The Neuroscience Center is an international research unit within Helsinki Institute of Life Science (HiLIFE) of the University of Helsinki, a leading Nordic university with a strong commitment to life science research. NC aims at making fundamental discoveries about brain functions and especially translate research findings into improvements in the treatment, prevention and diagnosis of psychiatric and neurological disorders. The research groups of NC conduct research in neuroscience at the highest international level and actively apply the results for the benefit of the society.