Finnish research into ocular medication secures FDA funding for the first time

Research into ocular medication carried out in Finland has secured a significant 250 000 dollar funding from the US Food and Drug Administration, FDA, which oversees the use of drugs and drug approval. This is the first time the FDA grants funding to a Finnish project.

A project led by Professor of Biopharmacy Arto Urtti at the University of Eastern Finland has secured the first-ever Finnish research funding from the FDA. In addition to Professor Urtti, the project, which is estimated at approximately 250 000 dollars in value, also includes the research group of Professor Clare Strachan at the Faculty of Pharmacy of the University of Helsinki.

The one-year project will develop new research methods for ocular drugs, hoping to speed up the development of ocular suspensions in particular as well as authorities' approval processes when granting sales permits. The new methods are expected to reduce the need for expensive animal tests and clinical trials.

The research project focuses on the development of experimental and computer-based methods that predict the absorption of ocular drugs. The FDA will use this information in the development of the research documentation required of new ocular drugs.

"It is possible that the methods developed in this project are taken into use in ocular drug development globally. This is an important opening in the direction of the FDA, and can also help in securing research funding from other US sources," Professor Urtti says.

The FDA is the world's most prestigious authority overseeing the use of drugs and drug approval. The FDA's definitions of policy impact drug development globally, as it defines the kinds of tests required of drugs in order to enter the US markets.

For further information, please contact:

Professor Arto Urtti, arto.urtti(at)uef.fi, tel. +358405402279

Associate Professor Clare Strachan, clare.strachan(at)helsinki.fi, tel. +358503185341

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The University of Eastern Finland, UEF, is one of the largest universities in Finland. The activities of the UEF underscore multidisciplinarity, and the university is especially strong in research related to forests and the environment, health and well-being, and new technologies and materials. The UEF offers teaching in more than 100 major subjects. In addition to the high standard of teaching, the university offers its students a modern study environment, which is under constant development. The university comprises four faculties: the Philosophical Faculty, the Faculty of Science and Forestry, the Faculty of Health Sciences, and the Faculty of Social Sciences and Business Studies. The university’s campuses are located in the heart of beautiful eastern Finland in Joensuu, Kuopio and Savonlinna. The UEF is home to approximately 15 000 students and nearly 2 800 members of staff.

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