The VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and Bayer Schering Pharma AG, Germany have signed a two-year research contract to study the mode of action of a Bayer Schering Pharma's preclinical cancer drugs. As part of this contract, VTT will use its new gene and cancer biology methods such as the 3D-cell culture model developed at VTT's Medical Biotechnology unit in Turku, Finland.

In the research, VTT will utilise newly developed 3D cancer cell culturing model that enables the study of the cells in an environment that better resembles the conditions in the human body as compared to the conventional 2D cell culture models. The model also allows for improved analyses on the invasive and metastatic behaviour of cancer cells. Through this methodology, VTT scientists can better predict the drug's efficacy and investigate the molecular mechanisms of action of small compounds.

"Over the past five years, we have invested heavily in R&D and we have become leading specialists in the field of molecular cancer research. Our work and technologies have greatly benefited clients and this has now translated into major new business assignments," says the project leader Dr. Marko Kallio, VTT's Senior Research Scientist. Through these actions, VTT aims to increase its impact on the international pharmaceutical sector.

This new contract furthers the collaboration between VTT and Bayer Schering Pharma AG and acknowledges the respected position VTT has gained within the pharmaceutical industry.

VTT's Medical Biotechnology knowledge centre develops and applies new sophisticated research technologies for drug development and diagnostic purposes. The focus of the unit is on identifying primary driver genes and the targets of genetic alterations in cancer. The unit also works to find small molecule inhibitors that prevent the growth and metastasis of various types of cancer. In addition, it develops and utilises versatile recombinant antibody methods and plant biotechnology tools for the needs of pharmaceutical and food industries. Over 100 people work at VTT's Medical Biotechnology knowledge centre on different commercial and academic projects.

About VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland is the biggest contract research organization in Northern Europe. VTT provides high-end technology solutions and innovation services. From its wide knowledge base, VTT can combine different technologies, create new innovations and a substantial range of world-class technologies and applied research services, thus improving its clients' competitiveness and competence. Through its international scientific and technology network, VTT can produce information, upgrade technology knowledge and create business intelligence and value added to its stakeholders.