Industry collaboration case examples

Thanks to our long-term efforts and relationship building, the magnitude of industrial collaboration projects and their impact on FIMM funding have been steadily growing. We at FIMM, with our key collaborators, are able to quickly provide answers to many problems that industry is currently not equipped to answer alone and thus can accelerate the product development process.

FIMM and Bayer together investigated activity and mechanisms of action of both, approved and investigational small molecule and biologics compounds for cancer treatment. Human samples of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients from Finland stored in the FHRB BioBank with informed consents and the corresponding molecular profiles were used in this study. In vitro potency data for several compounds were collected using luminescence- and fluorescence-based cell viability and toxicity measurements and high throughput flow cytometry readout at FIMM.

Project members from Bayer AG participated at ‘FIMM Meets Pharma’ networking events to get an even deeper understanding what FIMM has to offer and to discuss what a pharmaceutical industry expects from FIMM.

Face-to-face meetings helped us to get to know each other and to build good and reliable relationship. I personally enjoyed having had the opportunity of visiting the campus of Bayer AG in Berlin, Germany. Benefits of this research collaboration were the possibilities to gain deeper understanding of cell behavior, to develop technologies and to acquire drug effect comparison data.

Tanja Ruokoranta, HTB Unit



The collaboration initiated in 2013 with the US company Celgene originally started as a feasibility study in multiple myeloma led by FIMM Group Leader Caroline Heckman, but during 2015 expanded to an extensive preclinical project using our Individualised Systems Medicine framework. The collaboration has resulted in unique data resources shared by FIMM and company researchers to make new discoveries and for the development of improved, novel therapies. The collaboration has benefited FIMM research efforts, and long-term gains to healthcare in Finland are also possible in the form of new phase I/II clinical studies. In addition, the hospitals are utilising results from the project to make more informed treatment decisions on costly drugs and to avoid toxic, ineffective treatments.


The collaboration between the biotechnology company Labcyte and FIMM led by FIMM-EMBL Group Leader Krister Wennerberg began in 2013. Labcyte manufactures acoustic liquid handling systems that use sound energy for precise transfer of liquids, such as pharmaceutical compounds. This is a key enabling technology for FIMM’s high throughput drug sensitivity and resistance testing. FIMM is further testing Labcyte’s instruments in single cell analytics, as well as genomic and proteomic applications downstream of drug testing.