EARTO innovation prize

In 2013 the European Association of Research and Technology Organisations EARTO awarded VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland an innovation prize for the technological development work behind an allergy vaccine. The award ceremony was held in Brussels on Wednesday 4 December, 2013.

VTT spin-off Desentum Ltd is responsible for developing and commercializing new generation allergy vaccines based on the VTT technology. The first vaccines are expected to be ready for launch in about five years. 

VTT has patented the technology that helps the human body to develop resistance to allergens (proteins causing allergy). The patents are based on genetic engineering of the allergen structure in a way that it will cause fewer allergic symptoms while remaining effective in a desensitization therapy.

The foundation for the development work rests on a scientific breakthrough made in a cooperation project involving VTT, the University of Eastern Finland and HUCH Skin and Allergy Hospital. Research scientists were able to determine how an IgE antibody binds an allergen, and were the first to present a detailed 3D structure. The complex proved to be different from that anticipated by scientists around the world.

“The innovation behind the allergy vaccine is a good example of just how significant the impact of science and technology on society can be. This is the second time EARTO has awarded VTT its innovation prize. Considering EARTO has around 300 member organisations, winning the prize in two consecutive years speaks volumes for the high level and impact of our research and development work,” says Johanna Buchert, Vice President, Strategic Research, VTT.

EARTO (European Association of Research and Technology Organisations) is an organization established to protect the interests of European research and technology organizations. It plays a key role as a point of contact with the European Commission and other institutions, particularly in research-related matters. Through its activities, EARTO seeks to promote the R&D operations of its 300 member organisations.


Watch the EARTO video of the VTT prize: