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About CDR

The development of new pharmaceuticals is extremely expensive and time consuming. It takes an average of 13 years and more than 1 billion USD to develop a new drug. The single biggest factor driving this cost is the rate of failure, with about 90% of drug discovery projects failing in the late clinical phases of development.

Based at the University of Helsinki in Finland and within the Faculty of Pharmacy, The Centre for Drug Research (CDR) is a multidisciplinary research incubator that fuses advances in biology, computational methods, and materials science towards pharmaceutical applications. We believe that by improving the technologies used in the early phases of drug discovery and development, new medicines can be produced more effectively and at a lower cost. To achieve this, our research teams are focused on the development of innovative biological and natural product drug discovery tools as well as drug delivery and pharmaceutical nanotechnology.

Biological & Natural Product based Drug Discovery ToolsThese include: DNA, RNA, cell therapies, engineered recombinant proteins, and small molecular weight natural compounds. Scientists at CDR are active in natural compound bioactivity screening; extraction technologies for natural products; bioinformatics and computational modeling of complex biological systems; and complex cell models including 3D cell models, transfected mammlian cell lines, and differentiated stem cells and iPS cells.

Drug Delivery & Pharmaceutical Nanotechnology - Biological drugs and drug delivery research are closely linked, because better drug delivery systems are needed for effective use of biological drugs (e.g., recombinant proteins, genes, siRNAs, and cell therapies). Scientists at CDR are actively developing advanced drug delivery systems by researching drug conjugates and nanoformulations; polymer, lipid, peptide, and protein nanoparticles; biopharmaceutical protein engineering and chemical conjugation; and self-assembly and processing of nanomedicines. We characterize the physico-chemical properties of nanoparticles and nanomedicines as well as their efficacy in delivery in cell models and even in vivo. In addition to developing high throughput screening technologies using unique cell models, we also employ real-time in vivo imaging of nanodrug delivery using SPECT/CT. Finally, we perform molecular and drug pharmacokinetic computational modeling to predict behavior of nanomedicines and to improve their properties.

CDR Vision

To be a leader in biological and natural product based drug discovery tool development, drug delivery & pharmaceutical nanotechnology research, innovation, and pharmaceutical training.

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