BerGenBio Completes NOK90 Million Fundraising

Oslo Cancer Cluster member BerGenBio AS, a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing innovative drugs for aggressive drug resistant cancers, announces that it has raised NOK90 million (c. $15 million) in a private placing from new and existing investors.

BerGenBio will use the proceeds from the financing to support the development of its pipeline of innovative cancer therapeutics, in particular an enlarged clinical development program for its lead drug candidate, BGB324, a first-in-class selective Axl kinase inhibitor, which is currently in Phase 1b clinical trials for patients with acute myeloid leukaemia (AML).

Richard Godfrey, Chief Executive Officer of BerGenBio, commented:

“I am delighted we have received continued funding support for the Company and our clinical development plans for BGB324. Our recent research findings have shown broader potential clinical application for BGB324, and we intend to evaluate these in additional Phase 1 and Phase 2 clinical trials starting in 2015. In aggressive drug resistant cancers our on-going Phase 1b trial in AML is expected to report towards the end of 2015 and in non-small-cell-lung-cancer we will start enrolling patients very soon.”

Ann-Tove Kongsnes, Investor Director at Investinor, commented:

“We are very satisfied with the development of BerGenBio and its exciting pipeline of first-in-class cancer therapies. In the near future we see attractive opportunities for value uplift in the Company and are pleased to support the business.”

Arctic Securities AS acted as sole bookrunner for the private placement.

About BGB324
BGB324 is a first-in-class, highly selective small molecule inhibitor of the Axl receptor tyrosine kinase. It blocks the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), which is a key driver in drug-resistance and metastasis.

About BerGenBio AS
BerGenBio AS is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company. The Company is committed to developing innovative therapeutics that inhibit EMT, prevent the formation of cancer stem cells and disrupt the cellular mechanisms that drive acquired cancer drug resistance. The Company is founded on proprietary platform technology, CellSelect™, which uses information from RNAi screening studies to identify and validate novel drug targets and biomarkers. BGB324 is the first compound in BerGenBio’s pipeline to enter clinical trials in AML and soon NSCLC, with additional compounds and drug targets at different stages of preclinical development. www.bergenbio.com

Career Day at University of Oslo

Real Karriere is the meeting arena for industry and companies and the students within technolgy and natural sciences at the University of Oslo. February 12 Real Karriere invites companies to have a stand, set up speed-dates with students and/or present them selves. 

Please find more information here:

You may register your company here: https://nettskjema.uio.no/answer/60769.html

Questions regarding this event may be adressed to:
Kristina E. Sæterdal, e-mail: realkarriere@mn.uio.no, mbile: +47 95819674 web page: uio.no/realkarriere

 


Real Karriere ved Universitetet i Oslo er en kontaktarena for bedrifter og våre studenter innen realfag og teknologi.

Ved å delta på Real Karriere kan du profilere din bedrift gjennom:
● Stand
● Speed-intervjuer i egne lokaler med påmeldte studenter
● Bedriftspresentasjoner

Alt vil skje i Vilhelm Bjerkes’ hus.

Opplegg for dagen:
12.00 Åpning av standområdet. Servering av kaffe og kake
16.00 Mingling i studentkjelleren med matservering, underholdning og premieutdeling.

For å gjøre denne dagen mer attraktiv for begge parter ønsker vi at:
● Dere har informasjon om mulige sommerjobber og/eller faste jobber om dette er mulig
● Dere er tydelige på kompetansen dere søker
● Hold gjerne egen konkurranse på standen, der premien blir delt ut under minglingen

Vi vil fra vår side forberede studentene best mulig for denne dagen.

Meld på din bedrift via nettskjema: https://nettskjema.uio.no/answer/60769.html

Ved spørsmål, kontakt: Kristina E. Sæterdal, realkarriere@mn.uio.no, 95819674 Nettside: uio.no/realkarriere

Priser
Prisene (ekskl. moms) inkluderer profilering av bedriften i forkant av arrangementet og matservering.
– Stand, 2 meter bred: 6 000,-
– Stand, 3 meter bred: 10 000,-
– Speed-intervju: 3000,-
– Bedriftspresentasjon (20 min): 5000,-

Profilering: Som deltaker på Real Karriere vil din bedrift profileres på nettsider og i brosjyren som deles ut til studentene.

The investment in proton therapy for cancer

Written by Prof. Stein Kvaløy, senior physician and Head of Research at the Division of Cancer, Surgery and Transplantation, Oslo University Hospital and University of Oslo.
First featured in forskning.no


In 2012 there were just above 30,000 new cancer cases in Norway. The number of cases is increasing by 1-2 percent each year, so that more than 40,000 cases are expected in 2030.

More cancer survivors

Fortunately, treatment results are improving. During my time as a cancer specialist (from 1976) the healing improved significantly – from 40 percent survival to 70 percent for both men and women. There are several reasons for this improvement.

We can roughly divide cancer treatments into three methods; surgery, radiation therapy and medication. Nowadays various specialists jointly discuss the treatment program and the best use of the three modalities of treatment for each case. Often will all three methods be used in a well-planned combination to best suit the patient. This is referred to as a multi-disciplinary approach.

Radiotherapy is used both as treatment for cancer cure and for symptomatic relief. This is a local treatment with photon beams that have high enough energy to reach tumors located deep inside the body. This procedure resembles the similar idea of surgery, sterilization and removal of the tumor with minimal damage to the healthy tissue located around a tumor. Modern radiation machines allow optimization of the radiation dose against the tumor and thus reduce the dose for the healthy tissue. Damage of the healthy tissue cannot, however, be completely avoided and is the “price” one must pay to stay healthy. My impression is that most patients understand and accept this if they are informed about it.

Radiation can cause damage

As more patients are cured and we gather observations over a long time period (more than 20 years), we see that patients can develop long-term side effects and damage due to the treatment they received a long time ago. This may often be as far back in time that one no longer sees the connection to previously given treatment. Such an example is patients who received radiation therapy for Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Some of these patients may among other things suffer of heart disease which results in significant distress and reduced quality of life. It is important to emphasize that this is not due to errors in medical treatment.

Proton treatment reduces side effects

Other types of radiation therapy that can reduce side effects do exist nowadays. The development of radiation devices that can provide particle irradiation with protons or ions has been tremendous in recent decades. It is like shooting at the tumor with small bullets. The particles can be more precisely directed at the tumor, and the biggest benefit of this is that we can reduce the dose to the healthy tissue.

This reduces short-term and long-term side effects, which for some patients implies avoiding a new disease after being cured of cancer. However, it should be mentioned that not all cancer patients will benefit from this type of radiation therapy compared with current treatment.

Where radiation center be placed?

A national team of specialists have worked with the question of whether we should get proton therapy to Norway. The group agreed on the idea and has estimated that 8-10 percent of cancer patients who should have radiotherapy should get it as proton therapy.

This would be applicable for approximately 12-1500 of cancer patients each year. International estimates are somewhat higher. Benefits will probably be greatest for children and adolescents who have a long life expectancy.

Why not just do it? The health benefits seem obvious. The Ministry of Health and Care Services gave a remarkably quick positive signal to the establishment of costly buildings and equipment.

It is now being examined how construction should be carried out.  All regional health authorities are included in these plans. The South-Eastern Norway Regional Health Authority has a group working on plans to add such a facility to Oslo University Hospital.

The main question has been localization: Should the unit be established in hospitals that already offer radiotherapy (such as Radium Hospital or Ullevål Hospital), or should we adapt a new center with proton facility into the plans for the new OUS – Campus in Oslo? There are drafts for different exciting localization possibilities at Rikshospitalet. This is exciting plans.
It is clear that we must consider carefully the appropriate location for such a large investment (about two billion NOK). It is important that the plans for OUS-Campus, do not delay the establishment of a proton facility in Oslo University Hospital, which at the earliest could be completed in 2020.

This has great significance for the individual patient.

 

Winners of Immuno-Oncology Call are: BerGenBio, Targovax and Ultimovacs

By deadline November 15, Oslo Cancer Cluster had received 9 applications for collaborative innovation projects addressing our Immuno-Oncology call on MNOK 1, 2.  From these,  three winners have been chosen, and those are: BerGen Bio, Targovax and Ultimovacs. Each company will receive MNOK 0,4 from Innovation Norway.

 

BergenBio will use the funding to prove that Axl kinase inhibition may provoke anti-tumour immune response
BerGenBio receives funding for the project Enhanced tumor immune activation by clinical Axl‐targeting agents, with partners from the University of Bergen, Oslo University Hospital and University of Texas. The goal of this project is to demonstrate that Axl receptor inhibition potentiates anti-­‐tumor immune responses against poorly immunogenic cancers and to develop improved clinical immunotherapeutic strategies based on Axl targeting.

– BerGenBio are very pleased to be one of the three companies to win an I-O innovation project. The award will allow the company to demonstrate that Axl kinase inhibition can play a key role in provoking anti-tumour immune response, and thus may be a valuable immunotherapy target. BerGenBio is a leader in the field of Axl kinase biology and the Company’s clinical candidate, BGB324, is the first selective Axl kinase inhibitor to be tested in the clinic, says Richard Godfrey, CEO BerGen Bio.
Targovax awarded an immuno-oncology innovation prize
The Immuno-Oncology prize from Oslo Cancer Cluster will contribute to the funding of Targovax´s development of new cancer vaccines, with focus on the new peptide vaccine TG03 for treatment of RAS mutated malignant melanoma.

– Targovax is proud to receive this prize and wants to thank Oslo Cancer Cluster for the grant.  This is a great acknowledgement and support of Targovax’s work to develop the new cancer vaccines in pipeline towards clinical testing, says Hanne Mette Kristensen, CEO Targovax.

 

Ultimovacs will use the funding to develop novel cancer therapy
Ultimovacs receives funding for the prjoect Re-targeting T-cells against cancer – development of T-cell receptors directed against telomerase, with partner Oslo University Hospital. The overall goal of the project is to develop novel cancer therapy by reprogramming immune cells to target the universal tumour antigen telomerase.

– Ultimovacs are very happy and proud to be one of the winners of this funding granted by Oslo Cancer Cluster and Innovation Norway. The funding gives us the opportunity to expand our technological platform. This project has the potential to combine vaccine technology and cell therapy in the treatment of patients with advanced cancer. The research is an example of the strength of collaboration between industry and academia, says Øyvind Arnesen, CEO Ultimovacs.

 

Strength within Immuno-Oncology in Norway proven
Jutta Heix, International Advisor in Oslo Cancer Cluster and project coordinator of the Norwegian Immuno-Oncology Consortium, is very pleased with this years call.

– We are very pleased about the significant interest and very positive feedback from our members for this funding opportunity. The number and quality of the applications and the breadth of the topics confirms the particular strength in the cancer immunotherapy area in Norway. Based on the feedback from last year’s winners we know that the funding despite the relatively small amount, truly makes a difference and helps to advance the immuno-oncology portfolio within the cluster. Therefore we continuously work to increase the funding available for our members, says Jutta Heix, International Advisor in Oslo Cancer Cluster.

 

 

Nordic Nanovector And Affibody Collaborate On Radio-Immunotherapies Program For Multiple Myeloma

Nordic Nanovector ASA and Affibody AB today announced that the companies have entered into a three-year collaborative research agreement to discover and develop new advanced radio-immunotherapies (RIT) for multiple myeloma.

Backed by a Eurostars grant, the project will combine Affibody’s proprietary platforms with Nordic Nanovector’s radioimmunotherapy technology. The project aims to provide documentation necessary to start GMP manufacturing of the Affibody®-based RIT and subsequently start clinical trials. The companies have also been awarded approximately €1m in total by Vinnova in Sweden and The Norwegian Research Council in Norway.

Upon a successful conclusion of the collaboration Nordic Nanovector will have the opportunity to license the global rights to the Affibody®-based RIT. The development of an Affibody®-based RIT treatment represents a distinct work stream to be carried out in parallel with Nordic Nanvector’s lead product candidate Betalutin™ for non-Hodgkin Lymphoma treatment.

Luigi Costa, Nordic Nanovector CEO commented, “The collaboration with Affibody will allow Nordic Nanovector to expand its product pipeline, while at the same time retaining full focus on the clinical development and commercialization of our lead product candidate, Betalutin™. This collaboration serves as an example of how the company intends to leverage its proprietary targeting technology to treat other hematological cancers in need of novel therapeutic approaches. “

David Bejker, Affibody CEO commented, ”We are delighted to enter into this agreement with Nordic Nanovector and see RIT’s as an area with great potential and a logical continuation of some of our research. The Eurostars platform offers an excellent way for two companies with complementary technologies to collaborate and bring novel therapeutics to market and for Affibody, this comes on top of a year of increased uptake for our platform.”

 

More information:

Affibody
Affibody is a Swedish biotech company focused on developing next generation biopharmaceuticals based on its unique proprietary technology platforms: Affibody® molecules and Albumod™. Affibody is developing a portfolio of innovative drug projects and, in addition, offers the half-life extension technology, Albumod™, for outlicensing.

Affibody has ongoing commercial relationships with several companies including Algeta, Amylin, Sobi, Daiichi-Sankyo, Daewoong, GE, and Thermo Fisher.

Affibody was founded in 1998 by researchers from the Royal Institute of Technology and the Karolinska Institute and is based in Stockholm, Sweden. Major shareholders in the Company include HealthCap and Investor AB. Further information can be found at: www.affibody.com.

 

Nordic Nanovector

Nordic Nanovector ASA is a privately held company established in 2009. The company is developing innovative radioimmunotherapeutics to treat non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (NHL) and other difficult to treat cancers. Nordic Nanovector intends to commercialise its product candidates through strategic alliances and partnerships with experienced oncology businesses and by establishing its own sales and marketing capabilities in selected markets. The company is based and has offices and laboratories in Oslo, Norway.

The company’s lead product candidate, Betalutin™, is a radioimmunotherapeutic that aims to prolong and improve the quality of life of people who suffer from NHL. Further information can be found at: www.nordicnanovector.com.

Oslo Cancer Cluster members will be featured in Nordic Life Science Database

Biotechgate welcomes the three Norwegian partners Innovation Norway, Oslo Cancer Cluster and Nansen Neuroscience Network. This partnership further completes the Nordic Life Sciences Database which allows users to search for companies in the Biotech, Pharma and Medtech area.

More than 170 Norwegian companies can currently be found in the Nordic Life Sciences Database (www.nordic-lifesciences.com). All profiles are updated continuously and the database will be further completed with new profiles over the next months. Due to the partnerships with Innovation Norway, Oslo Cancer Cluster and Nansen Neuroscience Network, the database can be used free of charge. It is also possible for companies to publish their profile at no cost.

Thanks to additional partners from Sweden and Denmark, also Swedish and Danish profiles can be found and viewed for free on the Nordic Life Sciences Database. The portal is part of Biotechgate, a global life science directory which provides information such as product pipelines, management contact details, financing information and much more of more than 30,000 companies in the Biotech, Pharma and Medtech space. Thanks to various search features the information is easily accessible.

“Being the primary government agency for industry development, it is a priority for Innovation Norway to promote our prosperous life science community. Norway has close to 200 companies depending on biotechnology in their daily business and a total of more than 400 companies when looking at life sciences at large. We are very pleased to enter into this collaboration with Biotechgate together with our most prominent biomedical clusters in oncology and neuroscience, respectively.”
Ole Jørgen Marvik, Sector Head, Health and Life Sciences, Innovation Norway

“Oslo Cancer Cluster is very pleased to have teamed up with Venture Valuation to profile our members through Biotechgate. We are reassured that this gives our SME-members a great exposure to the international VC and pharma milieu, which is important in our work to build a Norwegian Healthcare Industry.”
Ketil Widerberg, General Manager, Oslo Cancer Cluster

“Our companies work to address important and complex challenges. Success will require collaborations and partnerships, and we believe that Biotechgate can be a powerful tool to help build those. We look forward to offering this to our members.”
Leif Rune Skymoen, CEO of Nansen Neuroscience Network

“We are more than happy to close this gap in the Nordic Life Science Database. We are sure that having the Norwegian company profiles available on the database, will be a great contribution to all kind of actors active in the life sciences field – inside and outside of Norway and Scandinavia.”
Jost Renggli, COO, Venture Valuation / Biotechgate

 

Registration for Cancer Crosslinks 2015 is open

Cancer Crosslinks 2015 will be held January 15th at The Institute for Cancer Research at the Norwegian Radium Hospital. The program features several renowned international speakers as well as Norwegian experts. Main theme is “Novel insights into tumor heterogeneity and clonal evolution: how to design treatment and follow-up strategies”.

 

  • Program and registration form (close to the bottom of the page)
    Since the auditorium is usually fully booked for this event we limit the number of participants per company  to 2 people in the main auditorium. However,additional participants may follow the program from the seminar rooms and participate at lunch and networking parts. The meeting will also be streamed.

 

Exciting program bridging latest research and clinican implementation
In the first part of the program, international and Norwegian clinicians and researchers will discuss the clinical impact of approaches as single cell sequencing and liquid biopsies across different tumor types. We look forward to welcoming our keynote speakers Professor Nicholas Navin from MD Anderson and Professor Klaus Pantel from the University Hospital Hamburg–Eppendorf working at the international forefront in their fields

The second part deals with emerging treatment strategies integrating novel insights into tumor heterogeneity and building on both, molelularly targeted therapies and emerging cancer immunotherapies. You have the opportunity to hear recent insights from various tumor types and to discuss novel opportunities but also the challenges faced during the clinical implementation with our international and Norwegian speakers.

The third part is dedicated the patients perspective, where Anniken Golf Rokseth will share her story reminding all of us why we are putting our efforts into this area every day.

 

Welcome for the 7th time
Cancer Crosslinks 2015 is the seventh edition of this national meeting. This year’s event is hosted and developed in collaboration with BMS, Roche and the Norwegian Cancer Society. We thank our Program Committee with Bjørn Tore Gjertsen, Hans Petter Eikesdal, Christian Kersten and Ragnhild Lothe for their important contributions to the program development.

Call in Immuno-Oncology: 9 applications received

By deadline November 15, Oslo Cancer Cluster received 9 applications for collaborative innovation projects addressing our Immuno-Oncology call on MNOK 1, 2. The applications are now being evaluated and the winners will be announced on Oslo Cancer Cluster`s Christmas Meeting, December 1st.

– We are very pleased about the significant interest and very positive feedback from our members for this funding opportunity. The number and quality of the applications and the breadth of the topics confirms the particular strength in the cancer immunotherapy area in Norway. Based on the feedback from last year’s winners we know that the funding despite the relatively small amount, truly makes a difference and helps to advance the immuno-oncology portfolio within the cluster. Therefore we continuously work to increase the funding available for our members, says Jutta Heix, International Advisor in Oslo Cancer Cluster.

Evaluation process

A selection committee with representatives from Oslo Cancer Cluster Incubator, Innovation Norway, with academic, clinical and financing experts as advisors will review the applications. Projects are selected based on their novelty, commercial potential and feasibility. It is important that the funding must make a significant difference for the applicant. This can be in the sense that the project will not be materialized without the funding or that the project will be better (e.g. broader in scope or deeper in its investigation. In addition all applications are reviewed by Innovation Norway to see if they qualify for other funding schemes

 

Questions?

Invitation: Career day at NTNU

Volvox&Alkymisten is the society for chemists, biologists and biotechnologists studying at NTNU in Trondheim. Januray 22, 2015 Volvox&Alkymisten host a career day named VIVO, and they invite members of the Oslo Cancer Cluster to attend and also to present themselves.

Please find more information here:

Questions regarding this event may be adressed to:

Sigrid Ruyter Smolan: +47 93292182 //srsmolan@gmail.com

Gunnar Gårdemyr appointed CEO in Targovax

The board of Targovax is pleased to announce Mr. Gunnar Gårdemyr as the new CEO from January 12th, 2015.

Mr Gårdemyr has more than 30 years of international experience from the pharmaceutical and biotech industry. His experience includes management, business development, mergers & acquisitions, global marketing and commercial strategy. He holds the position as Corporate Advisor for Acino Pharma in Basel, Switzerland today. Prior to this position, he was Senior Vice President, Corporate Development/M&A, Global Business Development, Nycomed and Senior Vice President, Global Marketing, Takeda in Zurich, Switzerland, where he was in charge of the commercial assessment of external business development licensing opportunities.

Mr Gårdemyr started his career in Astra, followed by Ferring, Tigran Technologies and Retinalyze.

He has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Economics from the University of Lund, Sweden.

Jónas Einarsson, Chairman of Targovax, says, “We are delighted to welcome Gunnar Gårdemyr to Targovax. Our ability to attract an experienced industry executive with Gunnar’s track record and knowledge reflects Targovax` potential. His leadership will accelerate the company’s further development”.

“We are very grateful to Hanne Mette D. Kristensen for her contribution by leading Targovax from establishment to a phase II company”, says Jónas Einarsson.

 

Facts:

Targovax
Targovax was established in October in 2010 to develop immunotherapy in the form of therapeutic cancer vaccines based on pioneering research at the Norwegian Radium Hospital and Norsk Hydro. Mutation of RAS is an early mutation in the transformation of a normal cell into a cancer cell. Lead candidate TG01 educates the body’s immune system to recognize and kill cancer cells with RAS mutations. TG01 has Orphan Drug status for pancreatic cancer in the EU and US and is currently in Phase II trials in operated pancreatic cancer, patients start treatment up to 12 weeks after surgery. The company is located in Lysaker, close to Oslo, Norway.
www.targovax.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BerGenBio Announces First Patient Dosed in BGB324 AML Trial

Oslo Cancer Cluster member BerGenBio AS announces first patient dosed in its multi-centre Phase 1b trial (BGBC003) of BGB324, a selective inhibitor of Axl, in patients with acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) at Haukeland University Hospital in Bergen, Norway.

The two part Phase 1b trial will primarily investigate the safety and tolerability of BGB324 when administered as a single agent and in combination with standard of care drug (cytarabine) in patients with AML; secondary endpoints will also explore evidence of clinical response and assess novel biomarkers. The study will be conducted at six sites in Norway, Germany and the United States. The Company expects data to be available from this trial in 2015.

Professor Bjørn Tore Gjertsen, Principal Investigator at Haukeland University Hospital, said:

“BGB324 is a potential breakthrough treatment for patients with aggressive AML, and it is particularly encouraging that a forward-thinking biotech company like BerGenBio prioritised a trial for patients with this aggressive blood cancer. I am delighted that I am able to offer this experimental drug to my patients and to allow us to test a novel therapeutic concept in patients that have limited treatment options.”

Richard Godfrey, Chief Executive Officer of BerGenBio, commented:

“We continue to progress BGB324, our first-in-class selective Axl inhibitor, through early clinical development; recently we also received FDA clearance and this trial will open imminently in the United States and at sites in Germany. The novel mechanism of action of this class of drugs holds great potential as a treatment for many aggressive drug resistant cancers; we will also investigate BGB324 in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Therefore we see successful completion of this study as a key value inflection point for the Company. We expect preliminary data from these studies in 2015.”

About the BGBC003 trial
BGBC003 is a multi-centre Phase 1b trial of BGB324, a selective inhibitor of Axl, in patients with acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) The two part Phase 1b trial will investigate dose escalation and expansion of BGB324 in patients with refractory/relapsed AML an aggressive form of cancer in which certain types of white blood cells (granulocytes or monocytes) become cancerous, at six sites in three countries.

The primary objective of the first part of the trial is to identify the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) of BGB324 and the secondary objectives are to identify the dose limiting toxicity (DLT), safety and tolerability and confirm the pharmacokinetics of the drug candidate. The primary objective of the second part of the trial is to identify the safety, and tolerability of BGB324, as a single agent and in combination with low dose cytarabine, with a secondary objective of determining the efficacy of BGB324 as a single agent and in combination with low dose cytarabine.

 

About BGB324
BGB324 is a first-in-class, highly selective small molecule inhibitor of the Axl receptor tyrosine kinase. It blocks the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), which is a key driver in drug-resistance and metastasis.

 

About Acute myeloid leukaemia
Acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) is an aggressive cancer of the blood and bone marrow. It is characterised by the rapid growth of abnormal white blood cells that accumulate in the bone marrow and prevent the production of other normal blood cells. It is estimated that 1 in 243 people will be diagnosed with AML during their lifetime. In the United States, the five-year overall survival is 24%. It is estimated that 40-45% of patients younger than 65 years can be cured with current therapies, however only 10% of older patients achieve long-term survival. BerGenBio has shown that more than 50% of AML patients have elevated levels of Axl and by inhibiting Axl with BGB324 in preclinical studies a substantial and potentially therapeutic reduction in leukaemic burden can be achieved.

 

About BerGenBio AS
BerGenBio AS is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company. The company is committed to developing innovative therapeutics that inhibit EMT, prevent the formation of cancer stem cells and disrupt the cellular mechanisms that drive acquired cancer drug resistance. The company is founded on proprietary platform technology, CellSelect™, which uses information from RNAi screening studies to identify and validate novel drug targets and biomarkers. BGB324 is the first compound in BerGenBio’s pipeline to enter clinical trials in AML and NSCLC, with additional compounds and drug targets at different stages of preclinical development.

www.bergenbio.com

 

4 new members in Oslo Cancer Cluster

Oslo Cancer Cluster would like to welcome our four new members on board: DNB Bank, Oslo and Akershus University College: Faculty of Health Sciences, Scandinavian Development Services and Prostataklinikken.

Read more about them here:

 

DNB Bank ASA

“DNB is a leading international bank within certain industries playing a significant role in financing and facilitating the Nordic and international health care sector. DNB Healthcare’s focus in the Nordic region includes companies in the range from small biotech companies to large pharmaceutical companies.  We serve these relationships with a broad range of products, including M&A advisory, equity issues, financing and cash management solutions. Internationally we have more than 50 relationships, including some of the largest healthcare companies in the world. DNB Healthcare mainly focus on pharma, medtech and diagnostic companies, and we work closely with our customers to find the best solutions based on their specific needs. Our teams are recognized as highly skilled and dedicated with extensive industrial, financing and M&A competence. This enable DNB Healthcare to be a valuable partner in strategic and financial discussions.”

Contact person: Benedicte Bakke, Senior Advisor
+47 934 44 029 // benedicte.bakke@dnb.no

 

Oslo and Akershus University College, Faculty of Health Sciences

Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences (HiOA) is Norway’s largest state university college, with a student body of 16 000 students and 1 850 employees. The Faculty of Health Sciences consists of seven departments and offers study programmes on all levels, including two PhD programmes. The faculty has about 5300 students and nearly 530 members of staff.

Contact person: Trine B. Haugen, Vice-Dean R&D, Professor
+47 672 36 104 // trine.b.haugen@hioa.no

 

Scandinavian Development Services

At Scandinavian Development Services we specialize in all regulatory and scientific aspects in the drug development process, from the initial project idea through to the completely developed product. We have expertise in formulation development, non-clinical program planning, design of clinical studies/programs and regulatory affairs during drug development. Depending on the need of the client, we develop strategies for a European or a more global development programs. As a Nordic consultancy company in drug development, we are aiming at building networks within the life-science environment in Norway. We are currently involved in and have extensive experience from oncology-related drug development projects; hence we can offer value to members of Oslo Cancer Cluster.

Contact person: Anna Törner, Managing Director
+46 734331709 // anna.torner@scanddev.se

 

Prostataklinikken AS

Prostataklinikken AS is a private clinic in Oslo that uses innovative technology to provide more accurate diagnosis and early detection of prostate cancer. Prostate Clinic AS uses innovative technology with targeted tissue samples. The method we use is called ANNA C-TRUS (Artificial Neuaral Network Analysis Computerassisted TransrRectal Ultra Sound). The method was developed during the last 20 years, mainly in Germany and partly in the United States, Prof. Dr. Tillmann Loch. The method’s efficiency is well documented by several studies over the past 10 years, Prof. Tillmann Loch has received several awards for his scientific work. ANNA C-TRUS is a method for targeted tissue samples. ANNA C – TRUS (Artificial Neuaral Network Analysis Computerassisted transrectal Ultrasound) can increase the accuracy of tissue samples significantly.

(Prostataklinikken AS changed its name to Colosseum Mann in 2017. The new webpage is colosseummann.no)

Contact person: Ole Mjåtvedt, CEO

+47 93006671 // mjaole@anna-ctrus.com

 

 

 

Flocking to Norway

Oslo’s cancer research community attracts international attention. Foreign companies engaged in the cancer field are flocking to Norway and Oslo to benefit from the city’s cancer research community. ‘This is a stamp of quality,’ says Ketil Widerberg, General Manager of Oslo Cancer Cluster.


This article is written by journalist Ina Vedde Fjærestad, and was published in KAPITAL 14/2014.
Oslo Cancer Cluster have kindly been allowed to translate it to English and publish it on our site.


 Several foreign companies are now showing an interest in establishing themselves in the capital to become part of Oslo Cancer Cluster. They are attracted by the close-knit environment for cancer research and development of drugs, treatment and diagnostic methods for cancer.

Major interest from abroad.
‘The fact that foreign companies are coming to Oslo is a stamp of quality for the Norwegian community and what we are developing here. It is also important in relation to developing an industry based on cancer research,’ says Widerberg of Oslo Cancer Cluster to Kapital business magazine. He does not want to reveal any names, but confirms that several foreign companies have shown an interest.

‘These are companies in the cancer field from countries such as the UK and Denmark – companies at the clinical stage,’ says Widerberg. He recently attended the world’s biggest biotechnological convention in San Diego, and says that he was surprised by the amount of interest several major companies showed in Norwegian research.

‘Several people contacted me and wanted to arrange a meeting to hear more about our work here.’
Kapital has information that the Danish company Rhovac is among the companies considering setting up in Norway. The company is at the final pre-clinical stage in the development of potential vaccines for cancer treatment.

Funding as a pull factor
Oslo Cancer Cluster was established in 2006 and currently has almost 70 members – enterprises, organisations, hospitals and universities that engage in cancer diagnostics and treatment. The cluster brings together the whole value chain in cancer treatment – everything from research institutions to hospitals, financial institutions and the big pharmaceutical companies.

The cluster is partly publically funded as a Norwegian Centre of Expertise (NCE). The overriding objective is to improve the lives of cancer patients by stimulating the development of new cancer drugs and diagnostics. The research community in Oslo has become especially well known for its expertise in immuno-oncology, a field that involves triggering the body’s own immune system in the battle against the cancer cells. This field attracts particular attention from foreign companies.

‘We are experiencing increasing interest from abroad, which is fun and a sign of recognition of our community,’ says Jónas Einarsson, CEO of the Norwegian Radium Hospital Research Foundation. He confirms that they are now working with four companies from Sweden, Denmark, the UK and Germany, respectively, some of which are considering moving their whole company to Norway.
Competitors and collaborators
The companies that choose to become Norwegian also gain access to good schemes for companies that engage in what is known as early-phase research. For example, they can apply for funding from the SkatteFunn tax relief scheme. All Norwegian companies that run research projects can apply for tax relief under this scheme.

‘Of course, the more companies that establish themselves and develop projects in this field, the better. We achieve good cluster dynamics. The companies compete for the same funding and investors, and will be competing in the same market later. At the same time, they can benefit in many ways from synergies and collaboration in the development phase,’ says Einarsson. He is often part of the delegations that present Oslo Cancer Cluster around the world.
‘Many Norwegian companies are going to the Nordic Life Science conference in Stockholm this September. We also attended the biotechnology convention in San Diego in June. We went there to look for partners in the bio-pharmaceutical field, to attract investors, and to help to market Norway as an exciting location for such companies.’

The Swedish company Pharmalink has decided to establish a subsidiary in Norway called Pharmalink Oncology. Pharmalink is engaged in speciality pharma, focusing on rare diagnoses for which they develop what is known as ‘orphan drugs’. The company currently has two products at the clinical stage, Nefecon and Busulipo, and is owned by the government investment company Investinor, Industrifonden and two of the entrepreneurs.

‘Our goal here in Oslo is to buy oncology projects where the research has come a long way and to expand our portfolio,’ said Johan Häggblad in a network meeting organised by Oslo Cancer Cluster on 20 August.

Important to the network
OncoImmunity is a company established by Richard Stratford from Britain, Trevor Clancy from Ireland and Norwegian professor Eivind Hovig. The company develops software intended to be able to assess tumour mutation and identify specific antigens in order to make it possible to use the body’s immune system to fight cancer.

‘The information obtained will help to pick the patients who will respond best to immunotherapy-based treatment. This will lead to a higher success rate at the clinical stage of the development and may spare patients unnecessary treatment.’ says Stratford.

Today, less than seven per cent of cancer drugs enter the clinical stage for the treatment that was the initial intention behind their development. ‘There is a great need for a review of and new methods in this field.’

OncoImmunity became a member of Oslo Cancer Cluster (OCC) in June this year. ‘We see OCC as a good forum for networking – for finding partners and potential investors.’ Stratford has lived in Norway for seven years, and has worked in the biotechnology field for most of that time. He was familiar with OCC before the company became a member. ‘The biggest advantage is the network and support OCC provides. They have a great team that has worked very actively to connect OncoImmunity to valuable contacts in research and development.’

 

DNB invites to informal Healthcare gathering

You are invited to our informal gathering and DNB event for key personell in the Norwegian health care industry, 12th of November 2014.


Please sign up by November 5th to https://www.deltager.no/DNBHealthcare_2014.

Welcome to the DNB Healthcare event 12th of November in DNB’s Headquarter in Bjørvika, Dronning Eufemiasgt 30.

Agenda
16:30-17:00 Registration and light food

17:00-17:10 Welcome and introduction
Terje Straume, Head of International Healthcare DNB

17:10-17:20 Oslo Cancer Cluster – a dedicated oncology cluster
Ketil Widerberg, CEO Oslo Cancer Cluster

17:20-17:40 Healthcare – a prioritized industry sector for DNB
Anders Grevstad, Head of Division International Corporates DNB

17:45-18:45 Business development from an industry perspective – triggers and opportunities
Gaël L’Hévéder, Chief Business Development Officer, PCI Biotech

18:50-19:20 Panel debate

  • Veronika Barrabes, Country Manager Novartis Norge
  • Anders Tuv, Investeringsdirektør Radiumhospitalets forskningsstiftelse
  • Unni Hjelmaas, CEO Lytix Biopharma
  • Karita Bekkemellem, CEO Legemiddelindustriforeningen
  • Benedicte Bakke, Senior Advisor, International Healthcare DNB

19:30 Dinner and networking in restaurant 16th floor