National PET Center in Turku signs collaboration agreement to develop imaging for tissue fibrosis research, with help from EATRIS

Published 8 January 2018

Institute Turku PET Centre
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The National PET Center in Turku, the Vrij University Medical Center (VUmc) in Amsterdam and the Belgian pharmaceutical company, UCB, have signed a major research collaboration agreement aimed at improving the understanding of cellular mechanisms that lead to tissue fibrosis.

The agreement has come as a result of complex, multidisciplinary project planning and initiation, established through EATRIS’s Matchmaking service.

Professor Juhani Knuuti, Director of the PET Center said ’The EATRIS infrastructure can truly optimize collaboration between researchers and the pharmaceutical industry, to advance science. The PET Center now has great opportunities to push the use of imaging techniques to understand cellular mechanisms and we look forward to working with UCB.’

Fibrosis refers to thickening of connective tissues and the formation of scar tissue in different organs. The underlying cause of fibrosis formation is usually illness, such as hypertension, diabetes, or various immunological diseases. It can affect all organs and lead to the decline of organs in hundreds of diseases.

Commenting on the partnership, Jay Tibbitts, UCB Pharma Research Director said “We are excited to find a top-level, long-term partner in the Turku PET Centre, through the European Infrastructure for Translational Medicine. We are now able to drive forward this area of real unmet need with the aim of improving the quality of life of patients with fibrosis.”

Anton Ussi, Operations and Finance Director, said ‘EATRIS is excited about this project. It sees two of its translation imaging centres of excellence collaborating in a complimentary manner, with industry supporting this key step toward clinical proof of concept. The partnership will further consolidate the imaging capabilities that can be delivered by the research consortium.’

The EATRIS Matchmaking service offers access to facilities and expertise at more than 80 highly acclaimed medical research facilities worldwide, helping to promote collaboration as the cornerstone of innovation.


Additional resources

UCB (Brussels, Belgium) is an international biomedicine company that develops innovative medicines and therapies, especially for serious diseases of the immune system and central nervous system. The company has an estimated 7,700 employees in some 40 countries and its turnover in 2016 was € 4.2 billion. UCB is listed on the Euronext Brussels Stock Exchange (UCB). Twitter: @UCB_news

The National Pet Center (Turku PET Center, performs both scientific research and clinical service activities using imaging techniques (especially PET and MRI). The center employs approximately 200 experts in various fields and the center produces more than 100 high-quality scientists annually.