Five Projects with the Participation of UCPH Researchers Receive Innovation Fund Denmark Funding – University of Copenhagen

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14 March 2019

Five Projects with the Participation of UCPH Researchers Receive Innovation Fund Denmark Funding

Grants

Innovation Fund Denmark has awarded just under DKK 72 million to five different research projects with the participation of researchers from the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen. The funding will go to research into healthier fish, pig vaccines, historical disease patterns, blood clots and the MMR vaccine.


Five projects with the participation of researchers from the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences at the University of Copenhagen have received so-called Grand Solutions funding from Innovation Fund Denmark. The projects will be conducted in cooperation with various private and public companies and organisations. They will do research into healthier fish, vaccines for pigs, blood clot medicine, historical disease patterns and an earlier vaccine for measles.

In total, Innovation Fund Denmark has awarded just under DKK 72 million to the five projects. Each year, the fund awards Grand Solutions funding to collaboration projects which, through research, seek to create tangible solutions to large social challenges.

Healthier Fish
Professor Kurt Buchmann from the Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences heads a project aiming to make fish healthier using DNA technology. With this technology the researchers will be able to identify the fish that by nature have particularly good genes and resistance to disease. The project results will optimise fish production, reduce the consumption of medicine and improve the environment in and around fish farming facilities. 

The technique makes it possible to produce more resistant fish in a couple of months rather than over a period of many years. The project is a collaboration between the University of Copenhagen and the company AquaSearch. Innovation Fund Denmark has awarded DKK 7 million to the three-year project, which has a total budget of DKK 10 million.

Read more about the TECHFISH project at Innovation Fund Denmark (in Danish).

Historical Data and Hereditary Diseases
Together with the Danish National Archives and the Copenhagen City Archives, two professors from the University of Copenhagen, Søren Brunak from the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Protein Research and Anne Løkke from the Saxo Institute, will collect historical disease data on the majority of families residing in Denmark from 1787 to 1968, which was the year the Civil Registration System was introduced.

They will subsequently analyse and compare the old data from before 1968 with the new data collected since the introduction of the Civil Registration System. This way, the researchers hope to gain insight into disease patterns and be able to identify correlations across generations, for example in connection with deaths due to cancer. Innovation Fund Denmark has awarded DKK 11 million to the three-year project, which has a total budget of DKK 23 million. 

Read more about the historical project Link-Lives at Innovation Fund Denmark (in Danish).

Earlier Vaccines for Measles
Together with Rigshospitalet and Herlev Hospital, Professor Søren Buus from the Department of Immunology and Microbiology will determine whether giving the MMR vaccine to children aged six months instead of 15 months, which is the case today, provides better protection. This is the ambition in order to protect children against measles from an earlier stage and to reduce the number of hospitalisations due to infections among children aged six months to a year.

Over two years the researchers will recruit 6,500 children for the project. Half of them will be given a placebo vaccine and the other half the MMR vaccine at the age of six months. This will enable the researchers to determine whether the vaccine provides better protection when given at an earlier stage in life. Innovation Fund Denmark has awarded DKK 22.9 million to the four-year project, which has a total budget of DKK 30 million.

Read more about the MMR vaccine test at Innovation Fund Denmark (in Danish).

Vaccines Against Intestinal Inflammation in Pigs
Professor John Elmerdahl Olsen at the Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences will be heading a project aiming to develop vaccines for pigs using new technology. The vaccines will protect pigs against three different infections, all of which cause intestinal inflammation. The researchers thus hope to make it unnecessary to treat entire herds of pigs with antibiotics for intestinal inflammation.

The University of Copenhagen will be cooperating with the vaccine company AdaptVac and the Danish Agriculture and Food Council on the project. Innovation Fund Denmark has awarded DKK 11 million to the four-year project, which has a total budget of DKK 14.5 million.

Read more about the vaccine project at Innovation Fund Denmark (in Danish).

Clinical Blood Clot Trials
Professor Kristian Strømgaard from the Department of Drug Design and Pharmacology is heading a project that will be testing a potential new drug developed in Denmark – AVLX-144 – for treating blood clots in the brain. The team will be testing the drug on humans in clinical phase one trials. In the long term, the researchers hope AVLX-144 can be used in emergency treatment of blood clots in the brain.

Innovation Fund Denmark has awarded DKK 20 million to the project, which has a total budget of DKK 26 million. The 2.5-year project is a collaboration between the University of Copenhagen, Avilex Pharma (co-founded by Kristian Strømgaard), Rigshospitalet, the University of Southern Denmark and the University of Turku in Finland.

Read more about AVLX-144 and the project at Innovation Fund Denmark (in Danish).

Contact:
Professor Kurt Buchmann, (+45) 23983065, kub@sund.ku.dk.
Professor Søren Brunak, (+45) 20672477, soren.brunak@cpr.ku.dk.
Professor John Elmerdahl Olsen, (+45) 51250399, jeo@sund.ku.dk.
Professor Kristian Strømgaard, (+45) 35336114, kristian.stromgaard@sund.ku.dk.
Professor Søren Buus, (+45) 28757885, sbuus@sund.ku.dk.
Press Officer Cecilie Krabbe, (+45) 93565911, cecilie.krabbe@sund.ku.dk.