Orion is launching a project to build a unique data and AI-based pharmaceutical research ecosystem in Finland in cooperation with other companies, research institutes and universities. Business Finland has granted nearly EUR 10 million in funding to Orion, and reserved nearly EUR 20 million for the research institutes and companies participating in the ecosystem to be created.
The four-year ecosystem project led by Orion aims to reduce the time needed to research and develop new innovative medicines by using artificial intelligence and improving data processing and analysis. Efficient and optimal data use can reduce the pharmaceutical research phase by up to three years compared with the current situation.
The operations of the research ecosystem are based on sharing information and various types of expertise within the network and creating new data to validate novel predictive models. The project will create new competencies by bringing together experts in disease biology, pharmaceutical research and data science. The operating model of the ecosystem to be built during the project will be tested in new drug discovery projects while also creating international business opportunities for the ecosystem companies.
“Artificial intelligence-guided use of data is a competitive advantage when developing new innovative medicines. It improves the probability of success and shortens the discovery and development time significantly. The volume of knowledge is growing continuously, and its optimal use requires more resources and special expertise. Finland has a great deal of high-level knowledge, but expertise is fragmented. By joining forces, Finnish pharmaceutical, biotechnology and technology companies, research institutes and universities can succeed in tough international competition. A well-functioning and thriving pharmaceutical research ecosystem will also attract talent and investment to Finland,” says Outi Vaarala, Head of Orion’s Innovative Medicines division.
Business Finland aims to increase innovation and the competitive advantage of Finnish companies in international markets through partnership funding.
Outi Vaarala, SVP, Innovative Medicines and Research & Development
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Orion is a globally operating Finnish pharmaceutical company – a builder of well-being. We develop, manufacture and market human and veterinary pharmaceuticals and active pharmaceutical ingredients. Orion has an extensive portfolio of proprietary and generic medicines and self-care products. The core therapy areas of our pharmaceutical R&D are oncology and pain. Proprietary products developed by Orion are used to treat cancer, neurological diseases and respiratory diseases, among others. Orion’s net sales in 2022 amounted to EUR 1,341 million and the company had around 3,500 employees at the end of the year. Orion’s A and B shares are listed on Nasdaq Helsinki.