The driving force behind our work

Explore our gene therapy journey and discover how science fuels our mission to inspire hope and transform lives.

The genesis of FinVector

The story of FinVector finds its origins in one of the world’s first gene therapy companies, Ark Therapeutics.

Established in 1993 by Professors Seppo Ylä-Herttuala and John Martin, Ark Therapeutics emerged as a spinoff from the combined efforts of individuals at the University College London and the University of Kuopio in Finland, now recognised as the University of Eastern Finland. The company dedicated itself to the research and development of viral-based gene therapy products, focusing first on a type of brain cancer of which development encountered regulatory challenges that necessitated further research. Despite this setback, it laid the foundation for groundbreaking adenoviral innovations.

Over the following decade, the company underwent a series of name changes. In April 2013, it rebranded itself as Finvector Vision Therapies Limited following a company acquisition. In 2014, the Ferring Group acquired the company, and in 2018, it streamlined its name to FinVector. As of 2023, the company continues to operate under the name FinVector.

The founders’ visionary investment decisions and commitment to develop FinVector facilities in Kuopio have been pivotal to FinVector’s success. Over the years, the company and its dedicated team have pioneered the development and regulatory pathway for gene medicine, establishing adenoviral gene therapy as a viable therapeutic platform.

Gene therapy unveiled

Human gene therapy represents a transformative approach, aiming to modify gene expression and manipulate the biological properties of living cells for therapeutic purposes.

Gene therapy is a groundbreaking technique designed to alter a person’s genetic makeup to treat or even cure diseases. This innovative field operates through various mechanisms:

  • Gene replacement: substituting a faulty disease-causing gene with a healthy, functional copy.
  • Gene silencing: inactivating a malfunctioning disease-causing gene.
  • Gene augmentation: introducing new or modified genes into the body to combat diseases effectively.

Gene therapy is a promising frontier in medicine, with ongoing research focusing on its application in treating a wide range of conditions, including cancer, genetic disorders, and infectious diseases.

How Gene Therapy works

Gene therapy involves the direct insertion of new genes into cells using a specialised carrier known as a “vector.” These vectors are genetically engineered to transport the required genes for treating specific diseases.

Vectors must efficiently deliver genetic material into cells, and various types of vectors exist. Currently, viruses are the most commonly used vectors in gene therapies due to their natural ability to transport genetic material into cells. However, before a virus can be utilised to carry therapeutic genes into human cells, it undergoes modifications to eliminate its ability to cause infectious diseases.

Gene therapy can be employed to modify cells either inside or outside the body. In cases where gene therapy is used to modify cells within the body, a physician will administer the vector carrying the gene directly into the patient.

Alternatively, when gene therapy is employed to target cells outside the body, doctors collect blood, bone marrow, or another tissue sample and isolate specific cell types in the laboratory. The vector containing the desired gene is introduced into these cells, which are then injected back into the patient, where the new gene produces the desired therapeutic effect.

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