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Juha Jolkkonen, Executive Director, Health and Social Welfare and Juha Aarvala, CEO of Clinical Research Institute HUCH. (Photo: Kimmo Brandt)

City of Helsinki and HUCH start clinical trial collaboration

The City of Helsinki and the Clinical Research Institute HUCH have signed a framework agreement for the administration of clinical trials on Tuesday 18 April 2017. The collaboration is part of Helsinki's aim to open its functions for corporate collaboration and offer its objects as platforms for development and pilots studies.

Thanks to the agreement, the employees of the City of Helsinki's Social Services and Health Care Sector can perform clinical trials in their units. The broad population base and large number of patients in Helsinki offer excellent opportunities, for example, for clinical trials concerning chronic diseases and medical treatment of the elderly.

"Helsinki's Social Services and Health Care Sector is Finland's leading actor and reformer in social welfare and health care. The enabling of clinical trials is a good example of our diverse role in social welfare and health care, and even in society in general. Clinical trials are also a great opportunity for our professionals to diversify the job description, and it is surely another good reason to be working for us", says Juha Jolkkonen, Executive Director, Health and Social Welfare.

The pharmaceutical industry is very interested in research collaborations, because the performing of clinical trials in primary health care is currently restricted mainly to private medical centres.

"In terms of industrial policy, clinical trials play a very important role, when we build Helsinki as a competitive competence cluster of health and well-being. The research collaboration will increase Helsinki's attractiveness as an investment object and operational environment for international pharmaceutical corporations and domestic companies in the field. This is a great boost for the Health Capital Helsinki initiative, states Helsinki's Director of Economic Development Marja-Leena Rinkineva.

Research based on solid experience

The City of Helsinki's collaboration with the Clinical Research Institute HUCH ensures a flexible and professional administration of the trials, as the institute has years of experience from HUCH's clinical trials.  

According to the agreement, the Clinical Research Institute HUCH administers the research activities performed in the City's units, makes the agreements with the pharmaceutical corporations and hires the doctors and research nurses for the time of the trial, on their payroll. All the monetary transactions connected to the agreement are made between the Clinical Research Institute HUCH, the research groups and the pharmaceutical corporations, it is not part of the budget for the City of Helsinki's Social Services and Health Care Sector. Participation in the clinical trials is voluntary for the clients and they receive specific advance information on the course of the trial.

"The clinical trial collaboration with the City of Helsinki goes very well together with our basic task of promoting high-quality international research for the benefit of patients in the entire Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa. The collaboration is also well in line with the ongoing social welfare and health care reform and we see this as a sensible combination of resources. The Clinical Research Institute HUCH brings its 25-year service experience of clinical trials to the benefit and support of the professionals at the City of Helsinki. This combination is a good way to elevate the City of Helsinki's clinical trials volume to a new level. As a small nation, we should focus on combining rather than dissolving our resources. Everyone benefits from working together", says Juha Aarvala, CEO of Clinical Research Institute HUCH.

Further information on clinical trials for the companies in the field: > Palveluntuottajat ja yhteistyökumppanit (website in Finnish, will also be published in Swedish and English later)

Research collaboration as part of the Health Capital Helsinki alliance collaboration
Life science and health technology-focused Health Capital Helsinki is an alliance formed by the City of Helsinki, the University of Helsinki, the Aalto University and the Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa, which develops the research-based innovation and business environment. Its goal is to make the metropolitan area and Finland known and the best place of the Nordic countries to conduct research, development and business activities.

The Six City Strategy (6Aika)
Work contributions to promote clinical trials cooperation has also been directed through the Six City Strategy’s Open innovation platforms spearhead project. The Six City Strategy (6Aika) is a common development strategy for the six largest cities in Finland.