One of the most noticed initiatives in Sweden will be based at GoCo Health Innovation City. OligoNova, a national platform for developing oligonucleotides pharmaceuticals, just received multimillion support, including Knut and Alice Wallenberg foundation.
OligoNova and the research on oligonucleotides is an initiative that has attracted several funders in a short time. The Wallenberg Foundation has contributed 54 million (SEK), and the public founded SciLifeLab and the University of Gothenburg, contributing 48 million (SEK).
"This is a project where many great forces have come together", says Eva Wiberg, President University of Gothenburg, one of the strategic partners engaged in the development of GoCo Health Innovation City.
One of the initiators to OligoNova is the professor of medical biochemistry at Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Claes Gustafsson.
"OligoNova will give Swedish scientists access to cutting-edge technology for the future development of medicine. Through this, new scientific findings can more quickly come to practical benefits for patients. The work at the OligoNova Hub will hopefully lead to the formation of new exciting life science companies that continues to grow in GoCo Health Innovation City," says Mr Gustafsson.
Another initiator is Agneta Holmäng, Professor and Dean at Sahlgenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg.
"We see great opportunities in OligoNova as one of the most important international centres for collaboration on future medicine development, she says.
OligoNova will be connected to the Wallenberg centrum for molecular and translational medicine at the University of Gothenburg and be a part of the national infrastructure for life science, SciLifeLab (Science for Life Laboratory). Initially, the initiative will be physically located at AstraZeneca, in the heart of GoCo Health Innovation City.
The development of the OligoNova Hub will be in a close collaboration with AstraZeneca, which contributes unique knowledge and guidance. The company has recruited several Swedish and international scientists with cutting-edge knowledge within oligonucleotides in a short amount of time.
"As one of the initiators of OligoNova, we can also state that the investments were healthcare, academia, and the private business sector overlap to make the whole stronger and contribute to a living life sciences environment in the region," says Matti Ahlqvist, site manager for AstraZeneca's facility in Gothenburg.
"Therapeutic oligonucleotides are a critical future area in pharmaceuticals. A significant, goal-oriented investment such as OligoNova can have a decisive effect on Sweden's role in the field," he adds.
Facts about Oligonucleotides
OligoNova will build on the knowledge that has emerged about the possibility of developing new drugs based on oligonucleotides, short DNA, and RNA molecules. With this knowledge, it will be possible to produce medicine faster and more precisely than ever before. So far, this pharmaceutical has been life-changing for patients with rare conditions. But recently, a pharmaceutical based on oligonucleotides was also launched to treat high blood lipids. Researchers see great potential in the fact that pharmaceutical-based on oligonucleotides can be targeted at several common diseases.
A story about the three-year-old that was saved by oligonucleotide-based therapy. The episode also features a conversation with Swedish and international researchers and the business community talking about OligoNova and the medicines of the future.