News on access to capital

Dr. Richard Stratford and Trevor Clancy in OncoImmunity are happy about getting prestigious financing through EUs SME Instrument in December 2018. Photo: Oslo Cancer Cluster

Machine-learning for immunotherapy

A prestigious EU-grant will advance OncoImmunity’s machine-learning approach to develop personalized cancer immunotherapy.

The bioinformatics company OncoImmunity AS is empowering cancer immunotherapy with artificial intelligence. They use innovative software solutions to guide the discovery of neoantigen-based personalized immunotherapies and biomarkers. What does this really mean?

It means that the software they have developed helps to identify neoantigens, also known as immunogenic mutations, in a patient’s cancer cells. Cancer cells deceive the immune system by looking like healthy cells. But they still express cancer-specific markers, known as neoantigens. (See facts box for explanation.)

Enables personalized medicine
The interesting part about neoanitgens, is that every patient’s tumor expresses a unique combination. This enables truly personalized medicine to be applied, if the correct neoantigens are selected from the thousands of possible candidates in the genome of a tumor. Researchers using this technology can now solve this “needle in the haystack” challenge by analyzing a tumor genome to figure out the right cocktail of neoantigens, for each individual patient, and design a specific vaccine or cell therapy uniquely designed just for them.

Such personalzed immunotherapy can for instance boost the immune system’s response by making the immune system better able to recognize and target the patient’s unique cancer cells.

Faster bespoke treatment
OncoImmunity’s flagship software, the ImmuneProfiler™,is a unique machine learning solution that makes it easier to instantaneously see and accurately select which neoantigens will be responsive in each patient.

It thereby helps biotech companies design neoantigen-based personalized cancer vaccines and cell therapies and enables bespoke treatments to be developed faster. Additionally, the technology allows clinical researchers to select which patients will likely respond to the wide range of cancer immunotherapies currently under development in the field.

In that sense, the OncoImmunity-approach to cancer treatment is exactly in line with Oslo Cancer Cluster’s main goal: to speed up the development of new cancer treatments for the benefit of cancer patients.

Prestigious EU-grant
Horizon 2020’s SME Instrument is a grant that is tailored for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). It targets innovative businesses with international ambitions — such as OncoImmunity.

The SME Instrument has two application phases. Phase one awards the winning company 50 000 Euros based on an innovative project idea. Phase two is the actual implementation of the main project. In this phase, the applicant may receive between 1 and 2,5 million Euros.

Oncoimmunity won the phase one project last year. Then, the founders of the bioinformatics company were happy about the opportunity to refine and optimize their machine-learning framework. Their goal has always been to facilitate personalized cancer vaccine design.

Fantastic funding
Now, they have won a considerably larger grant of 2,2 Million Euros that they are going to use to fund a project titled Machine-learning Engine for the Design of personalized Vaccines in Cancer (MEDIVAC).

The SME Instrument grant provides OncoImmunity the opportunity to further customise their machine-learning framework, called the ImmuneProfiler™,for specific vaccine platforms, facilitating the design of safer and more efficacious personalised cancer vaccines.

— We applied for the SME instrument grant as it represents a fantastic funding vehicle for cutting edge, innovative projects with huge commercial potential. The call matched our ambition to position OncoImmunity as the leading supplier of neoantigen identification software in the personalised cancer vaccine market, says Dr. Richard Stratford, Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder of OncoImmunity.

— This opportunity will also help us establish the requisite quality assurance systems, certifications, and clinical validation with our partners, to get our software approved as a medical device in both the EU and US, says Dr. Trevor Clancy, Chief Scientific Officer and Co-founder of OncoImmunity.

SMEs can apply
The SME Instrument is looking for high growth- and highly innovative SMEs with global ambitions. They are developing innovative technologies that have the potential to disrupt the established value networks and existing markets.

Companies applying for the SME Instrument must meet the requirements set by the programme. Please see the SME Instrument website for more information in English or the SME Instrument webpage of Innovation Norway for more information in Norwegian.

Curious about which companies have received the SME Instrument so far? Have look at this database with an overview of all the grant receiving companies in Europe.

Want to know which Norwegian companies received grants from The European Unions research programme Horizon2020 in 2018? Read this article from Innovation Norway (in Norwegian).

Oslo Cancer Cluster  supports members via the EU Advisor Program in collaboration with Innovayt, making them aware of relevant EU- and H2020 funding opportunities and helping them to identify the right calls for their development phase and goals. Oslo Cancer Cluster also assists with partner searches using national and international networks and provides direct support during the grant writing and submission process.


 — We want to use Norwegian spearhead technology to combat cancer, Per Håvard Kleven said during his pitch at the DNB Nordic Healthcare Conference 12 December 2018. 

Industrial precision against cancer 

Kongsberg Beam Technology wants to direct the precision technology from advanced industrial control systems to hit tumors in the human body. 

— We want to use Norwegian spearhead technology to combat cancer, Per Håvard Kleven said from the stage as he pitched the idea of his start-up at the DNB Nordic Healthcare Conference 2018.

He is the founder of the start-up company Kongsberg Beam Technology AS. As he wrote the patent application for the technology behind this start-up, he was far from the only one to explore this field. Nevertheless, the patent was granted earlier this year (2018). He was ahead of companies like Siemens and other giants.

— There is a lot of research going into radiation and all of it is focusing on increased precision, but no one is attacking the problem as fundamentally as we are.

Precision proton radiation
The method in question is proton radiation. This kind of radiation is directed towards a tumour and radiates far more precisely than x-ray radiation, the standard radiotherapy that hospitals currently use to treat cancer.

Proton radiation requires special machines. There are currently only 85 of these machines, known as proton  therapy synchrocyclotrones, in the world. Norway awaits its first proton synchrocyclotron in a couple of years. The existence of such a machine in Norway is a precondition for the business plan of Kongsberg Beam Technology.

This is one of the few proton therapy machines in use in the world today. It is the proton therapy synchrocyclotron in the Jacobson Building at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, USA. Photo: Jonathunder/ Wikimedia Commons

The ambition of Kleven and his new board of directors is to let proton radiation follow the movements of the tumour, meaning the smallest movements of the patient as she breathes. This does not seem like much, but there is actually a lot of movement in for instance the lungs. And with vital organs closely linked to the lungs, such as the heart and the spine, it is extremely important to have a precise beam.

There is in deed a need for more precision in radiation therapy.

— The radiation that the hospitals use to treat cancer today is not precise. Healthy tissue is always damaged with radiation and this is a problem which we are attacking.

Norwegian spearhead technology
The system in question is to figure out exactly where the tumour is situated in the body, how it moves and how much radioactive energy it takes to radiate it properly.

He wants to take the principals and methods currently used in precision industries such as defence, space and oil- and gas, and apply these to radiation in cancer treatments. The aim is to obtain industrial precision to avoid damaging any healthy tissue.

Aims to develop a solution
The mechanical part of the system makes it possible to do online tracking of the cancer and synchronise the beam so that it always hits exactly on the cancer. This might not sound like it should be too difficult, but indeed it is.

— We cannot control a beam of particles with the agility and precision that is required today, but these functions will develop. We aim to develop them!

– In five years, when our project makes proton radiation reach its potential for industrial precision, my assumption is that proton radiation will take a much higher share of radio therapy in cancer treatment and that the number of proton centres will increase steeply.

According to Kleven, the testing will start soon, followed by prototyping and further testing and qualification. The goal is to have a working system by mid 2024. Kleven assumes that the future product can be installed as an add-on to exciting proton therapy synchrocyclotrones.

— Testing and remaining R&D will start as soon as the needed capital is in place, he said.

Needs more funding
The financing for the start-up so far is covered by Buskerud county, Innovation Norway, Oslofjordfondet and the Research Council of Norway. Kongsberg Beam Technology needs 93 million NOK initially, to test, develop and qualify the technology. 60 million of this sum should come from investors.

Kleven shows an estimate of a one billion NOK turn-over after a few years, in a profitable company with growth possibilities.

The new business is going to be established in Kongsberg in Norway, a town that is already well established as a hub for spin offs of the Norwegian defence industry. Kleven himself has a lifetime of experience from this sector, since he started to work in Kongsberg Weapons Factory (Kongsberg Våpenfabrikk) in 1975.

Meet Thomas Andersson, the new Senior Advisor Business Development in Oslo Cancer Cluster and Oslo Cancer Cluster Incubator. Photo: Oslo Cancer Cluster

– An idea needs to attract investors

Meet Thomas Andersson, our new Senior Advisor Business Development. How could he be of help to your startup company? 

— The most important thing I do is to get the startup companies rolling.

Thomas Andersson, the new Senior Advisor for Business Development at Oslo Cancer Cluster and Oslo Cancer Cluster Incubator, looks dead serious as he makes this statement, but immediately after he lets out a smile and elaborates:

— A company needs to be investible. An idea needs to attract investors.

A lifetime of experience
Thomas holds a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from Lund University in Sweden and has more than 30 years of experience from establishing, operating and funding start-ups in the life science field. He has a long background in business development in health tech startups, all the way back to the early 1980s.

— I’m that old! I went straight from my Ph.D. in biophysics into the problem-solving of business development.

In his career he has also taken on issues with patents and sales and he even bought a company that produced monoclonal antibodies with some friends and remodelled and sold it. 

— What did you learn from this journey? 

— I learned quite a lot, including the production business and the cell cultivation biotech business from the floor. I also learned how to lay out the production manufacturing facility.

See it like an investor
Thomas Andersson knows the biotech startup-scene from the investors’ point of view. He started to work at the tech transfer office of Karolinska Institutet in Sweden. It was called Karolinska Innovations back then, now it is known as KI Innovations.

— We raised a lot of money there, formed 45 companies as a group and we had a fantastic time! 

After 8 years he was recruited to Lund and worked in Lund University Bio Science and tried to vacuum clean the whole university for life science innovation.

— And we did find a lot! In the end there were about 20 investment proposals and those ended up in 9 investments, of which we turned down 5 or 6. Two of them are now at the stock market. 

In total, Thomas Andersson has been involved in starting about 20 companies, of which 5 survived and are now on the stock market.

Normally, it is said that only 1 in 30 biotech startups make it. 


Thomas Andersson, Senior Advisor Business Development. Photo: Oslo Cancer Cluster

Here for you
— How did you end up here at Oslo Cancer Cluster?  

— I have had my eyes on Oslo Cancer Cluster for a while. I have liked the ideas that the cluster stands for. And I wanted to do something new in the end of my career. That is why I am here as a senior advisor now. I like it here! I am working on very interesting projects and ideas.

Our new Senior Advisor Business Development is present in Oslo Cancer Cluster Incubator nearly every week although he still lives in Lund, Sweden, on a farm in the woods where he can be practical and hands-on with hardwood and fly fishing.

— My door is open to people in the cluster and incubator with projects and ideas. I have a network that can help them and I have the experience of how investors, scientists and other actors can value a company. And being a Swede in the Norwegian system; I am basically here also to encourage you to think differently.


Interested in more funding opportunities for your company?

Check out our Access to Capital-page. 


Innovasjonsrammen funds early stage cluster projects. Apply before the deadline! Image: Shutterstock.

In need of start-up funding?

Are you and your cluster company in need of early stage funding? Apply for Innovasjonsrammen by the 10th of September and compete for important start-up money.

Early financing for establishing companies is often limited, but can be absolutely crucial to get important projects off the ground. Therefore, Innovation Norway has created the special funding program Innovasjonsrammen (English: Innovation Frame) to support cluster start-ups at an early stage.

All our start-up members are invited to apply for money and note that you have the possibility to collaborate with partners outside the cluster.

NOK 10 million in funds are available for the calender year 2018. Two of our cluster members – Seald and NorGenoTech  – received funding earlier this year through the program, NOK 300 000 each.

Interested? SEE HERE!

For the online application system.

For more information contact Bjørn Klem, General manager Oslo Cancer Cluster Incubator HERE.

The following criteria follow the application:

  1. The project must be a collaboration consisting of at least two companies and were one needs to be a member of the cluster.
  2. Innovation Norway offer a maximum of 50 percent funding for each project
  3. The project must comply with the guidelines set for research and development projects by the EEC regulations.
  4. The financing must have a substantial impact on the project.
  5. The project must comply with Innovation Norway’s demands for sustainability. All applicants must explain how they take care of their social responsibility through responsible business ethics, and describe possible positive environmental and social effects of the project. Read more on Innovation Norway’s guidelines here.
  6. The use of the funds must be reported by January 2020, possibly based on a milestone plan.

Cancer Innovation Pitched to Investors

A full house presented itself when Inven2 pitched 8 of their most promising cancer research projects at Oslo Cancer Cluster Incubator June 12th.

In total approximately 60 people gathered inside Oslo Cancer Cluster Innovation Park, and among the participants several experienced investors from other cancer projects.

— I’m positively surprised that so many potential and experienced investors found their way here today, commented Ole Kristian Hjelstuen, CEO at Inven2.

The event was the second in line of Inven2’s new pitching strategy, were they open up their projects at an early stage for potential investors and entrepreneurs with the will to transform the research into working companies.

— This shows that pitching is a good way to spread the word on the potential of our portfolio. The event today strengthens my belief that financing for our projects will be easier in the future, said Hjelstuen.

Eight Potential Treatments and Companies
Norway is among the very best when it comes to cancer research. Norwegian research has created top notch companies like Algeta, Nordic Nanovector, Ultimovacs and Zelluna Immunotherapy. Tuesdays  pitch proves that many more are on the horizon.

The eight-project presented at OCC Incubator are all exciting innovations that need financial backing and entrepreneurship to commercialize. The common denominator is a focus on modern treatments like immunology or precision medicine that are emerging as a result of what has been labelled “a breakthrough in cancer treatment” in later years.

Presentations of all eight projects available here.

The projects presented:

  • Tankyrase inhibition in cancer therapy
  • A new drug against Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML)
  • Autologous anti-CD20 TCR-engineered T-cell therapy for recurrent Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
  • Lymphocyte Booster – Lymphocyte boosting growth medium for Adoptive Cell Therapy
  • CD37 CAR for cancer immunotherapy
  • IL-15 Immunotherapy – Fusion protein for immunotherapy of solid tumors
  • Backscatter: A communication technology enabling colon-cancer screening
The people behind Immunitrack: CEO Stephan Thorgrimsen and Head of Research Sune Justesen. Photo: Immunitrack.

AI Speeds Up Pharmaceutical Testing

Oslo Cancer Cluster member Immunitrack has landed investments worth millions. The money will be used to develop a computer program that can predict how the immune system will react to different substances.

Already Immunitrack, co-founded by Stephan Thorgrimsen and Sune Justesen, is offering contracted research to the pharmaceutical industry predicting how the immune system react to different pharmaceuticals, by producing reagents that can be used to examine the immune systems reaction.

New AI in The Making
When scientists discover promising substances they think can be developed into medicine for future treatments, only a small percentage will prove to have an effect after testing. The testing process is important, but at the same time expensive, time and resource consuming. What if a lot of this testing could be done virtually by a computer program? This is what Immunitrack want to offer with their new AI- technology.

The new investment will take this further and enable the company to boost its production and analytical capabilities. The investment will enable increased efforts in the development of a new best in class Prediction Software using artificial intelligence (AI). The software is seen as a vital cornerstone for applying the technology from Immunitrack in large scale projects within cancer treatment and precision medicine.

The applications of the new AI platform are multiple: The technology increases vaccine potency, speeds up the development of personalized cancer vaccines and remove negative immunological effects. Additionally, it enhances precision medicine efforts by improving patient profiling and treatment selection.

And everything is really moving fast for Immunitrack.

— Until September last year it was only the two of us that stood for everything. Production, marketing, you name it. Then things started happening for real and now we have employed 4 new colleagues, says Stephan Thorgrimsen.

The Investor
The new investment is from Blenheim Capital Limited. They are a diversified investment company focusing on geographically, commercially and technologically frontier companies and projects.

The investment in Immunitrack ApS with its emphasis on transforming market proven immunology-based skill set into a commercially viable AI solution matches Blenheim’s investment profile.

About Immunitrack
Immunitrack aims at becoming a world leader within prediction and assessment of biotherapeutic impact on patient immune response. The company has until now provided services and reagents to more than 70 biotech companies worldwide, including 6 of the top 10 Pharma companies.

Immunitrack was founded in 2013 by Sune Justesen and Stephan Thorgrimsen. Sune Justesen brings in experience from more than a decade of working in one of the world leading research groups at the University of Copenhagen. The company started commercialization of its products in 2016, and has grown its staff from 2 to 6 within the last 8 months.

Inven2-Pitch: Morgendagens kreftselskaper

Er du investor eller gründerspire? Vi trenger deg!

Norge har en sterk tradisjon innen kreftforskning i verdensklasse. Basert på denne fremragende forskningen har selskaper som Algeta, Nordic Nanovector, Ultimovacs og Zelluna Immunotherapy blitt spunnet ut. Og det kommer mer.

Inven2 inviterer investorer, gründerspirer og andre interesserte til en presentasjon av de mest lovende nye prosjektene innen kreft i Oslo Cancer Cluster Innovasjonspark den 12. juni kl. 14.

Dette er alle spennende innovasjonsprosjekter som når de går over i kommersiell fase om kort tid vil trenge finansiering og gründere. Er du gründer, investor eller helseinteressert, er dette en unik sjanse.

Bli med å skape morgendagens helsenæring!

12. juni kl. 14-16 | Oslo Cancer Cluster Incubator (OCCI)

Meld deg på her!

Prosjektene som skal pitches:
  1. Tankyrase inhibition in cancer therapy
  2. A new drug against Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML)
  3. Autologous anti-CD20 TCR-engineered T-cell therapy for recurrent Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
  4. Lymphocyte Booster – Lymphocyte boosting growth medium for Adoptive Cell Therapy
  5. CD37 CAR for cancer immunotherapy
  6. IL-15 Immunotherapy – Fusion protein for immunotherapy of solid tumors
  7. Backscatter: A communication technology enabling colon-cancer screening.

Need Money For Your Life Science Start-up?

Inven2 are distributing start-up funds in Life Science! Very good news for Biotechs and cancer research companies in their early stages of development.


Attention all Oslo Cancer Cluster and Incubator members.  Inven2 received in late December 5 million NOK from Innovation Norway. They are now, subsequently, handing them out to Life science start-ups. Inven2 call them “presåkornkapital” meaning that the money is to serve as capital that stimulates the first stage of establishing a life science company. However, some criteria’s must be met to be eligible to apply. The application deadline is the 20th of February 2018.

Follow these criteria:

  • Investment can constitute 3 million NOK per company
  • Private investors must contribute with capital that at a minimum is equivalent with the Inven2-money “pre-såkornmidlene”.
  • At least 50 percent of private capital must be from independent investors, investors that are not a founder or an employee of the company.
  • The investment with “pre-såkorn” capital must be on equal terms with the private investments.
  • Companies receiving the investment must at the time of investment be Norwegian and younger than five years counted from the registry date at The Brønnøysund Register Center
  • Companies invested in must not be stock marked listed or large companies as defined in the EØS agreement state subsidy rules.
  • Companies invested in must be innovative as defined by the EØS Agreement state subsidy rules.
  • Investments can amount to 3 million NOK.

Be sure that your application contains the following:

  • A short introduction of your company
  • Business plan
  • How the money will be used
  • Explain how the matching money will be gathered
  • A plan for the execution of the new equity

Application deadline: 20th of February.

Send the application to:

Jutta Heix, international advisor at Oslo Cancer Cluster, works on bringing SPARK to Norway.

Creating a SPARK in Innovation and Industry

Stanford programme SPARK provides a shimmer of hope for startup companies. Now, SPARK sets sights on Norway. What exactly is SPARK?

We live in a world where technological and innovative solutions in medicine and healthcare are steadily pouring in. Not to mention, these solutions have the power to completely transform the health-sector in pinpointing and curing diseases before they even take hold.

Why, then, is it that we have the power to revolutionize healthcare, but don’t see it happen?

Unfortunate answer
The unfortunate answer lies in the explanation that most of these technological and innovative solutions have a tough time reaching the bedside from the bench. Reason being lack of funding, marketing or other important factors that help an industry flourish. How can we resolve this?

A solution
Enter SPARK: the Stanford programme that provides a unique partnership between the industry and university.

SPARK provides the necessary factors that help start-up and small companies to advance research breakthroughs. This is done by providing the education and mentorship needed to move the project along further.

SPARK scholars
More specifically, it works by providing graduate level courses about drug-development processes as well as “SPARK Scholars”—funding for project development and mentoring. This mentoring is provided by advisors who have expertise in product development, business, clinical care and generally preparing participants for generating research into therapies.

Coming to Norway
The University of Oslo : Life Sciences is planning to bring Stanford’s programme to Norway where two other European SPARK-programmes have visited Oslo in the summer to share their experiences. One of the univesity’s candidates has tested the programme at summer-school in Japan, as well.


Innovative solutions
Oslo Cancer Cluster has been an advocate for SPARK’s involvement in Norway, along along with the Norwegian Inflammation Network (NORIN), The Life Science Cluster and Norway Health Tech (previously Oslo Medtech).

Jutta Heix, the international advisor at Oslo Cancer Cluster, comments on SPARK’s involvement:

–The SPARK programme really fills a gap in the lively and growing biopharma innovation system here in Norway and will help to advance more projects and ideas from academia into innovative solutions for patients. In collaboration with SPARK Berlin and SPARK Finland, SPARK Norway will also contribute to building a European SPARK Network providing even broader support, exposure and collaboration opportunities for the academic innovators involved.  


Join NOME – Nordic mentoring programme for life sciences companies

NOME is the first Nordic mentor network connecting prospective life science entrepreneurs with handpicked international mentors.

The goal is simple: to help the very best biotech and medtech startups in the Nordics to become the next growth successes. Oslo Cancer Cluster Incubator coordinates the NOME-programme in Norway and collaborates with Oslo Medtech and the incubator Aleap to find the best match of mentors and entrepreneurs.


Watch the NOME information video here

Contact Bjørn Klem, General Manager of Oslo Cancer Cluster Incubator, if you would like to join NOME or if you want more information about the programme in Norway.

Take a look at the NOME website and the information flyer for more information about the programme. 


Podcast on cancer research and development

Oslo Cancer Cluster member Radium Hospital Research Foundation, Radforsk, has launched their own podcast. The podcast is named Radium, and is about cancer research and development of new cancer treatments, as well as updates on Radforsk´s portfolio companies.

Radium has so far made nine episodes, and the ambition of Jónas Einarsson, CEO Radforsk and Elisabeth Kirkeng Andersen, communication manager in Radforsk, is to make one new episode a week. The podcasts are in Norwegian, if they do not interview people from abroad, as they did in the Cancer Crosslinks special.

Einarsson and Andersen is usually joined by guests in the studio, and so far they have had guests from Oslo Cancer Cluster members; PCI Biotech, Ultimovacs, Targovax, Vaccibody, Oncoinvent, as well as Roy Larsen and Øyvind Bruland, talking about Algeta, Nordic Nanovector and Oncoinvent.

Upcoming epiosodes will include guests such as Professor Håvard Danielsen from Institute for Cancer Genetics and Informatics, Anne Lise Ryel, General Secretary in the Norwegian Cancer Society and CEO, Kjetil Hestdal in Photocure.

Here you may find all podcast episodes launched so far.

Oncoinvent closes $ 25 Million Private Placement

Our portfolio company Oncoinvent announced today the closing of a 210 MNOK (approx. 25 MUSD) private placement of ordinary shares. Financing will support development of Radspherin™, a novel radiotherapeutic treatment for peritoneal carcinomatosis.

Large privately owned investment companies joining the Company as new investors include Geveran Trading Co. Ltd., Canica AS, CGS Holding AS, Helene Sundt AS and Must Invest AS. Oncoinvent AS is developing therapeutics to combat various cancers based on delivery of tumour-cell killing doses of radiation and/or immunotargeting of tumor cells.

“We are pleased at the response that we have received from the investment community regarding our private placement. The round was heavily oversubscribed. With this financing round we now have, in addition to the new funding, a shareholder base in the company that will enable Oncoinvent to bring Radspherin™ to a clinical proof of concept.” said Jan A. Alfheim, Oncoinvent’s CEO.

About Radspherin™
Radspherin™ is a novel alpha-emitting radioactive microsphere designed for treatment of metastatic cancers in body cavities. The radium based therapeutic, Radspherin™ has shown strong and consistent anticancer activity without any visible signs of product related toxicity in preclinical studies. It is anticipated that the product can potentially treat several forms of metastatic cancer.

The first clinical indication for Radspherin™ will be treatment of peritoneal carcinomatosis originating from ovarian cancer. Peritoneal carcinomatosis is one of the most serious complications of gastrointestinal and gynecological malignancies.

About Oncoinvent
Oncoinvent AS is a privately held Norwegian company based in Oslo, Norway. The company is committed to developing new innovative products in order to provide better treatment options to cancer patients.

The company’s founders started Oncoinvent in 2010 with a view to designing better cancer treatments by applying known physical and chemical principles of selected novel materials in new ways in order to maximize their medical benefit while minimizing potential safety concerns. This approach has allowed the company to develop a rich development pipeline and to explore multiple technological avenues before selecting a lead product candidate for preclinical testing.


Lytix Biopharma granted 15.9 MNOK from The Research Council of Norway

Lytix Biopharma, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing novel cancer immune therapies, has been awarded a NOK 15.9 million grant from The Norwegian Research Council (User-driven Research-based Innovation) to support the investigation of LTX-315’s ability to make ’’cold tumors hot’’ and Phase II trial in Triple Negative Breast cancer (TNBC).

Recent developments in immunotherapy have demonstrated a significant clinical impact in the field of cancer treatment. However, it is well known that immune therapy works better when there are immune effector cells present in the tumour microenvironment compared to if they are absent. When the tumour lacks immune effector cells, they are called “cold” and when immune effector cells are present they are named “hot”. Preclinical studies have shown that the Lytix compound LTX-315 has the potential  to make cold tumours hot and thus increase the overall patient response of combinations with other cancer treatments, for example immune checkpoint inhibitors.

Forty-two patients have so far been treated with LTX-315 alone, in two Phase I trials, and positive signals from these patients form the basis for this project. The primary objective for this project is to document in both preclinical and clinical studies that LTX-315 increase the infiltration of immune effector cells in the tumour and make the “cold” tumour “hot” in combination with immunotherapy. The clinical study will be performed in patients with Triple Negative Breast Cancer, a subtype of breast cancer. These patients have today limited treatment possibilities and the medical need for better treatments is high.

Håkan Wickholm, CEO of Lytix Biopharma says, -We are very pleased that the Research Council shares our view of the potential of LTX-315 and supports our work to give cancer patients a better treatment response.

The PCI Biotech and Ultimovacs collaboration awarded NOK 500,000 from Innovation Norway

The PCI Biotech and Ultimovacs collaboration awarded NOK 500,000 from Innovation Norway

Oslo (Norway), 6 January 2017 – PCI Biotech (OSE: PCIB), a cancer focused biopharmaceutical company, and Ultimovacs, a pharmaceutical company developing novel immunotherapy against cancer, today announced that they are awarded NOK 500,000 for further development of the existing preclinical research collaboration. The purpose of the collaboration is to utilise the companies’ complementary scientific platforms to explore potential synergies and the grant will support these activities. The Innovation Norway grant of NOK 500,000 is awarded for 2017 and the grant is made available through Oslo Cancer Cluster a Norwegian Centre of Expertise.

Please see attached press release for further details.

Contact information:
PCI Biotech Holding ASA, Ullernchausséen 64, N-0379 Oslo, Norway.
Per Walday, CEO,, Mobile: +47 917 93 429.

This information is subject to the disclosure requirements pursuant to section 5-12 of the Norwegian Securities Trading Act.


Targeted drug delivery platform company Phoenix Solutions AS completes its Series A financing

The Board of Directors of Phoenix Solutions is pleased to announce that the company has completed a series A financing led by a small group of healthcare angel investors. CEO Per Sontum, -We are very pleased to announce this first round of financing. This funding will give us the ability to reach a key developmental milestone for our preclinical work in pancreatic cancer.

Phoenix Solutions is a Norwegian bio-tech company sprung out from GE Healthcare in 2013, currently developing a technology platform for targeted drug delivery – Acoustic Cluster Therapy (ACT®). ACT® is a unique approach to ultrasound mediated, targeted drug delivery – capable of enhancing significantly the clinical utility of a wide range of therapeutic molecules and nano-drugs for a wide range of clinical indications. Its primary mode of action is in defeating the vascular barrier, enhancing extravasation, distribution and uptake of drug in the targeted tissue, thereby increasing efficacy and/or reducing toxicity. ACT® is generally indicated towards diseases where current clinical practice treats known, localized pathologies (e.g. solid tumours) with medicinal therapy, and where Standard of Care is being limited from an inability to deliver sufficiently high concentrations of drug to the tumour without excessive systemic toxicity. Phoenix is currently targeting the oncology segment, looking in particular at pancreatic, liver, triple negative breast and prostate cancers, and have had extremely promising preclinical results so far.


For further information, please contact: Per Christian Sontum, CEO of Phoenix Solutions AS


Mobile: +47 47261042

Vaccibody raised MNOK 220

Oslo Cancer Cluster member Vaccibody succesfully raised NOK 220 million (€ 24 million). The Private Placement was significantly oversubscribed by both existing shareholders and new investors.

The net proceeds from the Private Placement will be used to conduct Vaccibody’s early stage clinical development plan for personalized cancer neoantigen vaccines (two phase I/Ib trials) and for general corporate purposes.

Martin Bonde, CEO of Vaccibody, said: “We are grateful for the confidence in, and commitment to, the Company from our new investors as well as our existing investors. With the investment we will be able to pursue our ambition of making an entirely novel therapy available. In collaboration with expert clinicians we will work to initiate clinical trials with our to cancer neoantigen vaccines to show benefit in patients suffering from advanced and severe cancer”.

Nordic Nanovector raised 500 MNOK

Nordic Nanovector  has raised MNOK 500 in gross proceeds through a private placement of 4,374,244 new shares. 


Nordic Nanovector intends to use the net proceeds to:

– To fund a Phase 2 combination study of Betalutin® and Rituximab CD20
– To fund a Phase 1 study and GMP manufacturing for 177Lu-conjugated chimeric antibody (anti-CD37 ARC)
– Develop new proprietary antibody production technology
–  Accelerate pipeline of pre-clinical assets to clinical trials
–  Prepare for commercial launch of Betalutin®
–  General corporate purposes
The Private Placement and the issuance of the new shares was resolved by the Company’s Board of Directors (the “Board”) at a board meeting held on 6 December 2016, based on the authorisation granted to the Board at the Company’s annual general meeting on 19 May 2016. Notification of allotment in the Private Placement and payment instructions will be sent to the applicants today through a notification from the Joint Bookrunners. The new shares will be settled delivery versus payment on 9 December 2016 (regular T+2 settlement), by delivery of existing and unencumbered shares in the Company that are already listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange pursuant to a share lending agreement between DNB Markets (on behalf of the Joint Bookrunners) and HealthCap VI L.P. The new shares delivered to the subscribers will thus be tradable from allocation.

Following registration of the new share capital pertaining to the Private Placement in the Norwegian Register of Business Enterprises, expected to take place on or about 13 December 2016, the Company will have an issued share capital of NOK 9,794,924, divided into 48,974,618 shares, each with a par value of NOK 0.20.

The Board has assessed the Private Placement in light of the equal treatment requirement, balanced the considerations that speak for and against carrying out the Private Placement and concluded that the waiver of the preferential rights inherent in a private placement was considered necessary in the interest of time and successful completion in the common interest of the Company and its shareholders.

The Company’s latest investor presentation is available here.



About Nordic Nanovector:

Nordic Nanovector is a biotech company focusing on the development and commercialisation of novel targeted therapeutics in haematology and oncology. The Company’s lead clinical-stage product opportunity is Betalutin®, the first in a new class of Antibody-Radionuclide-Conjugates (ARC) designed to improve upon and complement current options for the treatment of non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (NHL). NHL is an indication with substantial unmet medical need and orphan drug opportunities, representing a growing market worth over $12 billion by 2018.

Betalutin® comprises a tumour-seeking anti-CD37 antibody, lilotomab, conjugated to a low intensity radionuclide (lutetium-177). The preliminary data has shown promising efficacy and safety profile in an ongoing Phase 1/2 study in a difficult-to-treat NHL patient population. The Company is aiming at developing Betalutin® for the treatment of major types of NHL with first regulatory submission anticipated in 1H 2019.

Nordic Nanovector intends to retain marketing rights and to actively participate in the commercialisation of Betalutin® in core markets, while exploring potential distribution agreements in selected geographies. The Company is committed to developing its pipeline of innovative targeted immunoconjugate therapies for multiple selected cancer indications.

Further information about the Company can be found at

This information is subject to the disclose requirements pursuant to section 5-12 of the Norwegian Securities Trading Act.


New NRC grant: 45 MNOK to value creation in health care industry

The Research Council is planning to announce up to NOK 45 million in funding for projects that promote value creation in the healthcare industry. The call for proposals targets consortia comprised of companies and cooperating R&D groups and concerns new production technology within diverse areas such as pharmaceutical industry, diagnostics or medical technology.

Read the news story here (in Norwegian only).

The call is organised in two phases, where applicants first apply for funds to support mandatory feasibility studies. These are amongst other things intended to stimulate cooperation between parties with common needs.  The application deadline for feasibility studies is 23. November 2016. Find the call “NOK 5 million for feasibility studies of projects targeting production technology for the healthcare industry” here.

The Research Council is organising an applicant’s workshop on 24. October from 10:00-13:00, register here.

Innovasjonsrammen 2016

Det overordnede målet med Innovasjonsrammen 2016 er å stimulere til økt innovasjon gjennom flere felles innovasjons- og forskningsprosjekter mellom bedrifter.

Midlene skal brukes til mobilisering av utviklingsprosjekter og til idé- og prosjektutvikling (konseptualisering). Innovasjonsrammen 2016 skal bidra til at samarbeidsprosjektene kommer i posisjon til å få finansiering gjennom Forskningsrådets og Innovasjon Norges ordinære ordninger eller fra private investorer.

Oslo Cancer Cluster har fått tildelt en rammebevilgning på en million kroner, som kan trekkes på etter saksbehandling og innvilgning fra Innovasjon Norge. Klyngen forestår selv prioriteringer av egne prosjekter innenfor rammen ved at daglig leder eller en med mandat fra daglig leder anbefaler søknaden på vegne av klyngen. Prioriteringene skal være gjort i samråd med klyngens styre.

Prosjektene må innfri kravene for støtte til eksperimentell utvikling (FoUI) i statsstøtteregelverket. Et av kravene er at støtten kun kan gis til èn bedrift eller ett kompetansesenter. Søker kan imidlertid få dekket kostnader ved kjøp av tjenester fra partnere i samarbeidsprosjektet.

Innovasjonsrammen stiller krav til at midlene kun benyttes til samarbeidsprosjekter der minimum to virksomheter inngår (merk; minst en av bedriftene må være partner eller medlem i klyngen).

Tilskudd fra Innovasjonsrammen 2016 gis i tråd med regelverket for støtte til eksperimentell utvikling (FoUI-støtte) i statsstøtteregelverket. Støtten skal gis på områdene mobilisering og konseptualisering. Regelverket åpner for 25-45% støtte avhengig av bedriftenes størrelse samt 15% i samarbeidsbonus.

Interesserte bedrifter i Oslo Cancer Cluster bes ta kontakt med for mer informasjon og søknadsskjema. Søknadene vil vurderes av et ekspertpanel, og innleveringsfristen for søknaden er 7.september.

På vegne av Oslo Cancer Cluster

Bjørn Klem

Nye midler til stimulering av helseforskning i EU

Helseforskere kan få støtte til deltagelse i Horisont 2020 søknader fra to nye utlysninger:


Den ene ordningen gir støtte til nasjonalt samarbeid  innenfor særlig strategisk viktige områder. Samarbeidet skal være mellom aktører på tvers av institusjoner, miljøer, disipliner, fagområder og/eller sektorer, og skal munne ut i en eller flere søknader til Horisont 2020.


Den andre ordningen skal støtte deltagere i EU-søknader med helsetema, som havnet på kommisjonens reserveliste i å søke på nytt.


Les mer om HELSE-EU ordningene her


Inven2 tildelt 6 millioner i presåkornmidler

I sterk konkurranse fra 45 søkere har Inven2 fått tildelt NOK 6 mill av presåkornpotten for 2016 fra Innovasjon Norge.

− Presåkornmidlene betyr at vi får mobilisert privat kapital til selskaper som har lovende teknologi men hvor det er tidlig i utviklingen av teknologien, og risikoen er høy, sier daglig leder i Inven2 Ole Kristian Hjelstuen.

− Disse midlene skal ikke bare selskaper som springer ut fra Inven2 ha mulighet til å få tilgang til, men også selskaper som tilhører de nettverkene som støttet opp om søknaden vår. Medio august vil vi gå ut med en utlysning der selskaper kan søke om å få investering fra presåkornmidlene Inven2 har fått tildelt. Det vil bli 4-6 ukers søknadsfrist fra utlysning.

Inven2 fikk også tildelt presåkornmidler fra pilottildelingen i  2015. NOK 3 mill er allerede investert i selskapene Prediagnostics AS, Idia AS og Epiguard AS. Presåkornmidlene bidrar til risikoavlastning slik at nystartede selskaper lettere vil kunne tiltrekke seg kapital fra andre investorer.


Les mer om årets tildeling:

– Innovasjon Norge: Deler ut 100 millioner gründerkroner

– Shifter: Slik skal de bruke pengene som strøs over norske gründere



Forskningsrådet utlyser postdoktormidler innen kreft

Forskningsrådet har publisert utlysning av midler til postdoktor på kreftområdet med søknadsfrist 7. september 2016. Postdoktorperioden er totalt 3 år, hvorav de to første årene ved IARC i Lyon, Frankrike, og det siste året ved den norske søkerinstitusjonen. Prosjektet skal være tematisk innenfor IARCs strategi, og søknaden skrives i dialog med en forskningsgruppe ved IARC.


Les hele utlysningsteksten her


Du kan fylle ut søknadsskjemaet fra 6 uker før søknadsfristen. Innen den tid oppfordrer Forskningsrådet potensielle søkere til å ta kontakt med forskere ved IARC og forberede søknaden.

Søknadsskrivekurs SMB-instrument

EUs SMB-instrument i Horisont 2020 støtter testing og verifisering av disruptive innovasjoner. Meld deg på kurs hos Innovasjon Norge 16. juni i Oslo for å lære om hva du skal tenke på for å best beskrive din prosjektide og markedsplan i en søknad.

Kurset er praktisk rettet og legger vekt på innhold og kriterier for å skrive en god søknad til EU-finansieringsordningen “SMB-instrumentet” under Horisont 2020.
For å kunne søke instrumentet i Horisont 2020 må du være en SMB og din løsning må bidra til å løse en av de store samfunnsutfordringene verden står overfor.

Første delen av kurset er generell informasjon om ordningen, mens den andre delen av kurset er mer praktisk rettet for de som har bestemt seg for å søke SMB-instrumentet i 2016 eller 2017.

Deltakelse er gratis, men påmelding er nødvendig. Det er begrenset antall plasser. Melde deg på HER

Kursholdere er Innovasjon Norges EU-rådgivere.

SMB instrumentet er en ny finansieringsordning for små- og mellomstore bedrifter (SMB) under EUs program for forskning og innovasjon, Horisont 2020.
Finansieringsinstrumentet, som er skreddersydd små- og mellomstore bedrifter, skal bidra til at innovative forretningskonsepter når markedet. SMB-instrumentet er selve virkeliggjøringen av EUs løfte om at det nå er bedriftene som skal sitte i førersetet i EU-prosjekter. SMB-instrumentet skal ta innovasjoner gjennom dødens dal fram til markedet.

600MNOK in seed capital funds

Oslo Cancer Cluster member Sarsia Seed and Tromsø-based Norinnova have been given the managment of two new national seed capital funds on MNOK 300 in total by the Norwegian government. The money will be matched by privat capital. Sarsia Seed invests in life science/biotech and energy companies, whilst Norinnova invests in research based industrial biotech companies, oil and gass, marine and aquaculture.

SarsiaSeed has invested in Oslo Cancer Cluster members Vaccibody, BerGen Bio, Apim Therapeutics and 19 other companies within biotech/energy. Watch a short presentation on SarsiaSeed here.

– We are pleased that Sarsia Seed is the manager of one of the two new seed funds. The biotech sector needs competent investors as Sarsia Seed, says Jónas Einarsson, CEO of Radium Hospital Research Foundation.

The new funds will probably make their first investements in Q2 2016.


In Norwegian – from Innovation Norway´s home page:

Nye forvaltere av landsdekkende såkornfond
Styret i Innovasjon Norge har i dag besluttet å gi Sarsia Seed Management i Bergen og Norinnova Forvaltning i Tromsø ansvaret for forvaltningen av to nye landsdekkende såkornfond. Fondene skal nå sørge for at frisk såkornkapital på til sammen 600 millioner kroner blir brukt til å skape utvikling i norske vekstbedrifter.

– Norsk næringsliv er i omstilling. For å utvikle ny virksomhet trengs det egenkapital i såkornfasen. De nye såkornfondene skal bidra til det. Her samarbeider offentlig og privat kapital om å styrke satsingsvillige og innovative bedrifter over hele landet. Dette er viktig for utviklingen av et fremtidsrettet norsk næringsliv, sier administrerende direktør Anita Krohn Traaseth i Innovasjon Norge.

Fremtidens næringsliv
Regjeringen besluttet i vår opprettelsen av to nye landsdekkende såkornfond.
Fondene skal investere i unge, innovative bedrifter med internasjonalt vekstpotensial. Innovasjon Norge har nå valgt forvaltere til de nye fondene. Fondet i Bergen skal forvaltes av Sarsia Seed Management og vil særlig rette seg mot bransjer knyttet til life-science og energi. Fondet i Nord-Norge skal ledes av Norinnova Forvaltning i Tromsø, og som vil være spesielt rettet mot forskningsbaserte bedrifter innenfor industriell bioteknologi, olje og gass, marin sektor og akvakultur.
Hvert fond vil investere i 15 til 20 bedrifter, og skal drives p markedsmessige vilkår.

– Unge, innovative bedrifter skaper nye arbeidsplasser. Såkornfond bidrar med penger og kompetanse, slik at vi kan få enda flere vekstselskaper i Norge. Jeg håper og tror at investorer i hele landet vil være med på å bygge opp fremtidens næringsliv, sier næringsminister Monica Mæland.

Kompetanse og nettverk
De nye såkornfondene skal hovedsakelig konsentrere seg om prosjekter Norge, men de kan også investere i internasjonalt. Denne fleksibiliteten skal gi fondene bedre mulighet til å hente inn penger, kompetanse og nettverk fra miljøer utenfor Norge.

Gjennom såkornfondene avlaster staten private investorer for risiko. Målet er at investorene kan bruke mer tid og kompetanse på å utvikle nye bedrifter. De to nye såkornfondene vil være på minimum 300 millioner kroner. Staten deltar med 150 millioner kroner i hvert fond. Investorene må stille med minst samme beløp.

Forvalterne skal hente inn privat kapital i månedene fremover. De nye fondene vil trolig gjøre sine første investeringer sommeren 2016.


Lytix Biopharma, Vaccibody and Regencis selected for the venture session at DNB Healthcare Conference

The venture session at the DNB Healthcare Conference features three Oslo Cancer Cluster member companies: Lytix Biopharma, Vaccibody and Regencis. They will all present in session five: Therapeutics, that starts at 15:00. See below for the full program. 

The venture session is part of the DNB Healthcare Conference on December 2015. In paralell to the venture seesion, there will be presentations of listed companies that features several Oslo Cancer Cluster members as well. See information on this here.


Session one: Medical Devices

Session two: Ultrasound and imaging based medtech companies
IC Target



Session three: M-Health
Pattern Solutions
X Center

Lunch and DNB Health Care Prize

Session four: Diagnostics
Genetic Analysis
Spiro Medical

Session five: Therapeutics
Lytix Biopharma
Pharmasum Therapeutics

Vaccibody and Ultimovacs nominated to DNB HealthCare Prize on 1 MNOK

DNB wants to contribute to a growth industry in Norway and has established a healthcare prize for early stage healthcare companies within pharmaceuticals, biotech, medtech and diagnostics. Of the six nominated for the DNB HealthCare Prize on 1 MNOK, two of them are members of the Oslo Cancer Cluster: Vaccibody and Ultimovacs. The other nominees are: Spiro Medical, Glucoset, Picterus and Labrida.

The winner will be announced and given the prize money by Rune Bjerke, CEO of DNB at the DNB Healthcare Conference on December 15. Companies will be evaluated on their business potential, innovation capacity and ability to execute. The prize is NOK1m and the six finalists will each hold a six-minute pitch for the jury and the audience. You are invited to vote for your favourite candidate.




Targovax in agreement with Ludwig Cancer Research and the Cancer Research Institute (CRI)

Ludwig Cancer Research and the Cancer Research Institute (CRI) announced today an agreement with Oslo Cancer Cluster member Targovax to evaluate its experimental virotherapy, ONCOS-102, in early phase clinical trials testing the virotherapy in combination with other, potentially synergistic immunotherapies such as checkpoint inhibitors.

“We believe oncolytic virotherapy-in which engineered viruses are deployed against cancer cells-holds considerable promise, especially for boosting the efficacy and expanding the applicability of compatible immunotherapies,” said Jonathan Skipper, executive director of technology development at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research. “This kind of clinical research is precisely what our collaboration with CRI is all about, and certainly a key component of our mission to apply our life-changing science as quickly as possible to cancer patients everywhere.”

ONCOS-102 is an engineered human serotype 5 adenovirus optimized to induce systemic anti-tumor T cell response in cancer patients. A gene encoding granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF), which was originally discovered by Ludwig researchers in Melbourne, is inserted into the virus genome and expressed as the virus replicates in tumor cells.

“Our partnership with Targovax and Ludwig is an important step forward in efforts to discover and develop optimally effective immunotherapy treatment regimens,” said Adam Kolom, managing director of CRI’s Clinical Accelerator and venture fund that will support this trial. “This strategic partnership is the latest in a series of CRI-Ludwig collaborations with pharmaceutical companies to test novel combination treatments, and will enable us to explore an innovative new way to create a more favorable tumor microenvironment for an immune attack on cancer.”

“We are delighted about this partnership and what may come out of it. Targovax R&D will have access to the well-known expertise and network of CRI and Ludwig Cancer Research, which provides us with new opportunities for combinatorial research. The focus will be on mechanistic synergies with clinical impact combining ONCOS-102 with other immune therapies to the potential benefit of patient care in the future,” says Magnus Jaderberg, chief medical officer at Targovax.


About Ludwig Cancer Research

Ludwig Cancer Research is an international collaborative network of acclaimed scientists that has pioneered cancer research and landmark discovery for more than 40 years. Ludwig combines basic science with the ability to translate its discoveries and conduct clinical trials to accelerate the development of new cancer diagnostics and therapies. Since 1971, Ludwig has invested nearly $2.7 billion in life-changing science through the not-for-profit Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research and the six U.S.-based Ludwig Centers. To learn more, visit

About the Cancer Research Institute

The Cancer Research Institute (CRI), established in 1953, is the world’s only non-profit organization dedicated exclusively to transforming cancer patient care by advancing scientific efforts to develop new and effective immune system-based strategies to prevent, diagnose, treat, and cure cancer. Guided by a world-renowned Scientific Advisory Council that includes three Nobel laureates and 27 members of the National Academy of Sciences, CRI has invested $311 million in support of research conducted by immunologists and tumor immunologists at the world’s leading medical centers and universities, and has contributed to many of the key scientific advances that demonstrate the potential for immunotherapy to change the face of cancer treatment. Learn more at


About Targovax

Targovax is a clinical stage immuno-oncology company developing targeted immunotherapy treatments for cancer patients. Targovax has a broad and diversified immune therapy portfolio and aim to become a leader in its area. The company is currently developing two complementary and highly targeted approaches in immuno-oncology:

Oncos 102 is a virus-based immunotherapy platform based on engineered oncolytic viruses armed with potent immune-stimulating transgenes targeting solid tumors. This treatment may reinstate the immune system’s capacity to recognize and attack cancer cells.

TG01 is a peptide-based immunotherapy platform targeting the difficult to treat RAS mutations found in more than 85% of pancreatic cancers and 20-30% of all cancers. Targovax works towards demonstrating that TG01 will prolong time to cancer progression, increase survival and improve safety and tolerability.

The product candidates will be developed in combination with multiple treatments in several cancer indications, including checkpoint inhibitors. Targovax also has a number of other cancer immune therapy candidates in the early stage of development. For more information visit our website at


For further information, please contact:

Rachel Steinhardt

Vice President of Communications, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research or +1-212-450-1582


Brian Brewer

Director of Marketing and Communications, Cancer Research Institute or +1-212-688-7515 x242


Gunnar Gårdemyr

Chief Executive Officer, Targovax or +41 798 340 585

HealthCap opens office in Oslo Cancer Cluster Incubator

HealthCap, a leading life science venture capital firm, has opened office in the newly established incubator in the Oslo Cancer Cluster Innovation Park. HealthCap also becomes a member of the Oslo Cancer Cluster.


HealthCap recognizes the emerging life sciences industry in Norway. “The strong environment created in the dedicated oncology cluster, bringing together all parts of the oncology value chain at the world renowned Radiumhospitalet, holds promise to play an important role in the development of the next generations of oncology treatments. We look forward to take part in and contribute to this important endeavor”, says Björn Odlander, managing partner of HealthCap.

HealthCap has retained Ludvik Sandnes to supervise the Norwegian operations. Ludvik Sandnes is a special advisor to HealthCap and has more than 40 years of experience from international corporate finance and asset management. He is currently the chairman of the listed Norwegian oncology company Nordic Nanovector AS.


HealthCap will host a seminar at the Oslo Cancer Cluster Innovation Park on December 9th at 12.30.
Please sign up here, the program will be published shortly.

The CEO of Oslo Cancer Cluster and Chairman of the Board of Oslo Cancer Cluster Incubator, Ketil Widerberg says “We are extremely happy to have HealthCap on board both in the Oslo Cancer Cluster and in the Incubator. HealthCap´s track record of investing in life science is impressing, and their competence and network will be valuable for further building a viable oncology industry based on excellent cancer research at Norwegian academic institutions.”

HealthCap invests in companies developing targeted therapies for rare diseases, cancer and genetic diseases, among others. HealthCap was the lead investor in the Norwegian oncology company Algeta, which was acquired by Bayer for USD 2.9 bn, and is the largest shareholder in the Norwegian oncology companies Nordic Nanovector AS and Targovax AS.

Purely focused on oncology, the Oslo Cancer Cluster Innovation Park and Incubator, will ensure that bright ideas in the lab benefit cancer patients faster than today.


For more information, please contact:

Björn Odlander, managing partner HealthCap,  email:, phone: +46 8 442 58 50

Johan Christenson, partner HealthCap, email:, phone: +46 8 442 58 50

Ketil Widerberg, CEO Oslo Cancer Cluster and Chairman of the Board Oslo Cancer Cluster Incubator, email:, phone: +47 915 77 990



HealthCap is a leading European venture capital firm investing exclusively and globally in life sciences. A cornerstone of the strategy is to invest in companies developing therapeutic interventions that have the potential to significantly improve patient outcomes. HealthCap backs companies developing targeted therapies for rare diseases, orphan drugs, cancer and genetic diseases, among others. The HealthCap team of ten partners, five of whom are MD PhDs, has established its reputation as one of Europe’s preeminent life science specialists amongst VCs and entrepreneurs. See more at:


Oslo Cancer Cluster
Oslo Cancer Cluster is a strong biotech cluster well positioned in the global oncology industry. The cluster is particularly strong in immuno-oncology and works to release the potential that lies within Norwegian oncology registries and bio banks. 70 members make up the cluster and represent the entire oncology value chain.


Oslo Cancer Cluster Incubator
Oslo Cancer Cluster Incubator offers lab and office space to researchers and biotechs developing cancer treatments, as well as companies offering competence, services and an international network crucial to succeed in this globally competitive area. The incubator´s over all aim is to develop more companies based on excellent cancer research as well as to contribute to their success. Today, more than X companies are part of the incubator.


Oslo Cancer Cluster Innovation Park AS

Total space: 36 000 m²

Vision: The vision of the Oslo Cancer Cluster Innovation Park is to create Europe’s leading environment for education, research and industry within oncology, while also shortening the time it takes to develop new cancer medication and diagnostics.

Tenants: Oslo University Hospital, The Institute for Cancer Genetics and Informatics, Norwegian Cancer Registry, Oslo Cancer Cluster SA, Oslo Cancer Cluster Incubator AS, The Norwegian Radium Hospital Research Foundation, The Oslo Hospital Pharmacy, Ullern High School and leading Norwegian biotech companies such as Ultimovacs and PCI Biotech.

Owners: OBOS, Industrifinans, Radium Hospital Foundation, Utstillingsplassen Eiendom, Oslo Cancer Cluster and Oslo Cancer Cluster Incubator.

Opened officially August 24 2015 by the Prime Minister of Norway, Erna Solberg.


DNB Health Care Conference

DNB Health Care Conference on December 15 features many of Oslo Cancer Cluster member companies. See more information on the program below and use this chance to build competence, broaden your professional network and gain insight into what lies ahead for the market in 2016. 

There will also be a parallel venture session, organised by DNB together with Oslo Medtech, Oslo Cancer Cluster and Nansen Neuro. The companies presenting here have not been selected yet.

DNB Health Care Conference: Invitation and agenda 2015

DNB Healthcare Prize 2015
DNB wants to contribute to a growth industry in Norway and has established a healthcare prize for early stage healthcare companies within pharmaceuticals, biotech, medtech and diagnostics. Companies will be evaluated on their business potential, innovation capacity and ability to execute.
The prize is NOK1m and the six finalists will each hold a six-minute pitch for the jury and the audience.
You are invited to vote for your favourite candidate.
Please join us and our CEO, Rune Bjerke, when we announce the winner of the DNB Healthcare Prize 2015.


The programme will feature company presentations and Q&A sessions, and institutional investors will have the opportunity to meet management in one-on-one or small group meetings.


08:30-09:00       Registration and Breakfast
09:00-09:30       BerGenBio, CEO Richard S. Godfrey
09:30-10:00       Targovax, CEO Gunnar Gårdemyr + CMO Magnus Jäderberg
10:00-10:30        Nordic Nanovector, CEO Luigi Costa
10:30-10:45        Coffee Break
10:45-11:15         Elekta, Director & Head of IR Johan Andersson
11:15-11:45          GenMab, SVP, IR & Communication Rachel Curtis Gravesen
11:45-12:15        Lunch
12:00-13:00       DNB Healthcare Prize 2015* (parallel session)
12:15-12:45        Medistim, CEO Kari Krogstad
12:45-13:15       Speed Presentations:
Serodus, CEO Eva Steiness
PCI Biotech, CEO Per Walday
Vistin Pharma, CEO Kjell-Erik Nordby
13:15-13:30       Coffee Break
13:30-13:55       Vitrolife, CEO Thomas Axelsson
13:55-14:20       Recipharm, TBA
14:20-14:45       Wilson, CEO Jonas Hansson
14:45-15:00       Coffee Break
15:00-15:25       Weifa, CEO Kathrine Gamborg Andreassen + CFO Simen Nyberg-Hansen
15:25-15:50       Bionor Pharma, CEO David Horn Solomon
15:50-16:15       Photocure, CEO Kjetil Hestdal
16:15                  Cocktail Reception

Only available for 1:1 meetings: Gentian, CEO Bård Sundrehagen
The agenda is subject to change

DNB with Healthcare Award

DNB Healtcare gives out an Healtcare Award on 1MNOK to Healtcare start-ups. 

The Prize will be awarded on December 15 at DNB Healthcare Conference.


Application deadline is October 15.

On November 12-13 there is semi-finals at Oslo Cancer Cluster Incubator where the companies must pitch for an investor jury.


EU Calls 2016-2017 just published

The draft SC1 Work Programme for 2016-17 has been pre-published at


Please note that this draft is published for transparency purposes and is not yet legally valid.

The adoption and the publication of the work programme by the Commission are expected in mid-October 2015. Only the adopted work programme will have legal value. This adoption will be announced on the Horizon 2020 website and on the Participant Portal.

Vaccibody with vaccination of first patient

Vaccibody AS announced today vaccination of the first patient in its multicentre trial VB C-01 – an exploratory, open-label, multicenter phase I/IIa study VB10.16 immunotherapy for the treatment of high grade Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia (CIN 2/3) caused by human papillomavirus 16 (HPV 16).


Patients will receive intramuscular vaccinations of VB10.16 at three different time points. Two different dosing schedules will be evaluated during the first phase of the study in patients diagnosed with CIN 2, the best vaccination schedule will then be evaluated in the second phase in both CIN 2 and CIN 3 patients.

The primary objective of the study is to evaluate the safety and tolerability of three doses of 3 mg VB10.16. The secondary objectives are to assess T cell mediated immune responses in the peripheral blood as well as in the pre-malignant tissue of the CIN 2/3 lesions and to evaluate early signs of efficacy by means of HPV clearance and CIN regression.

Martin Bonde, CEO of Vaccibody, commented: We are pleased to announce commencement of patient treatment in this first clinical trial with Vaccibody’s lead product VB10.16. Surgery is currently the only available therapy to remove abnormal cervical lesions caused by human papillomavirus and thereby stop the progression to cervical cancer. We are hopeful that VB10.16 immunotherapy can help change this treatment paradigm by offering a safe and efficacious alternative in the form of a therapeutic HPV vaccine.

Principal investigator,  Prof. Dr. med. Karl Ulrich Petry, Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology Klinikum Wolfsburg commented:  The scientific approach of this well designed clinical study offers the chance to get a thorough understanding on how patients respond to VB10.16 immunotherapy. The first dosing of a patient has just been performed successfully in our hospital . We are convinced that patients with CIN 2 and CIN 3 will be very motivated to participate in the study to test this therapeutic vaccination as it might offer a non-invasive treatment option avoiding the side effects associated with surgical excision of the affected tissue and potentially also cure the underlying HPV infection and prevent recurrence. Furthermore, VB10.16 could also protect from other HPV16 induced cancers.


About VB10.16

The company’s lead product, VB10.16, is a therapeutic DNA vaccine developed to treat human papillomavirus type 16 (HPV16) induced pre-malignancies and malignancies.

About Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia (CIN) and Cervical Cancer

Per year approximately 530,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer worldwide and over 275,000 women die of the disease annually. Invasive cervical cancer is preceded by a long phase of pre-invasive disease called Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia (CIN). Globally the number of high grade lesions (CIN 2/3) the immediate precursors to malignancy, is estimated to be in the range of 10 million.

Virtually all cervical cancers are caused by high risk HPV types. Among the different high risk HPV types known, HPV16 has been reported to be the most common genotype in high grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia. It can be detected in up to 60 % of all cervical cancers, especially in younger women and it has also been found to play an essential role in the development of several other cancer types (approximately 90% of anal cancers; 40% of penile, vaginal, and vulvar cancers; 25% of oral cavity cancers and 35% of oropharyngeal cancers).

Current standard therapy for CIN 2/3 varies between countries and regions and often involves surgical removal of the affected tissue. These invasive procedures are associated with bleeding, infection, cervical stenosis, scarring and most importantly pre-term deliveries in subsequent pregnancies. As a result, there is a significant need for an effective therapeutic vaccine to treat existing HPV infection and associated pre-malignancies and malignancies of the cervix and thereby prevent the development of cervical cancer caused by human papillomavirus.

About Vaccibody AS

Vaccibody is a biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the discovery and development of novel immunotherapies, prophylactic and therapeutic vaccines which target cancer and infectious diseases, for human and veterinary use. Vaccibody’s lead program is focused on VB10.16, a therapeutic DNA vaccine against HPV16 induced pre-malignancies and malignancies. The first-in-human study will evaluate the safety and immunogenicity of VB10.16 in women with high grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (HSIL; CIN 2/3).




PCI Biotech signs research collaboration with top-10 large pharma company

Oslo Cancer Cluster member PCI Biotech has signed an agreement with an undisclosed top-10 large pharma company, with the aim to evaluate synergistic effects of the PCI technology with their therapeutic nucleic acid technology. Initially, the purpose of the pre-clinical research program is to determine whether PCI has the potential to enhance the therapeutic effect of their nucleic acid technology platform.

The current pre-clinical research agreement covers evaluation of technology compatibility and synergy based on in vitro studies. The costs related to the research collaboration will be covered by the pharma company, which is one of the global leaders in nucleic acid therapeutics. The companies will evaluate the data generated in this research collaboration and based on this explore the potential for a further partnership. The original evaluation period spans over 9 months, but may be further extended.

“I’m delighted to announce this research agreement with one of the largest pharma companies in the world. We believe that the PCI technology has the potential to play a role in the realisation of several new therapeutic modalities, including cancer immunotherapy and mRNA therapeutics. This agreement shows that external players share this view”. Per Walday, CEO.


About PCI Biotech
PCI Biotech is a cancer focused biopharmaceutical company headquartered in Norway and listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange (Axess). The company is developing therapeutic products based on its proprietary photochemical internalization (PCI) technology. Originating from world leading research at the Norwegian Radium Hospital, the PCI technology works by inducing triggered endosomal release and may be used to unlock the true potential of a wide array of therapeutic modalities, such as small molecules, vaccines and nucleic acids.

The company currently has a bile duct cancer program in phase I/II clinical development. Bile duct cancer is an orphan indication without any approved medicinal products and a high medical need for better local treatments. It is an indication well suited for PCI treatment, with easy light access for intraluminal surface illumination through routine endoscopic methods and an active generic drug (gemcitabine) significantly enhanced by PCI.

The company is also developing PCI as a CTL (Cytotoxic T Lymphocyte) induction technology for therapeutic and prophylactic vaccination. It has been demonstrated both in vivo and ex vivo that PCI significantly increases the number of activated antigen-specific CTLs by enhancing the MHC I antigen presentation of antigen presenting cells. When applied in the emerging field of cancer immunotherapy, PCI can be used to enhance the important cytotoxic effect of therapeutic cancer vaccines.

PCI Biotech follows a strategy to create value by improving the effect both of existing cancer drugs and by realizing the large potential in new therapeutics, including therapeutic vaccines.

For more information visit:

NLSDays 2015: Meet international life science leaders and discuss the sector’s future at the Nordic region’s largest partnering meeting

NLSDays September 9-10 at Stockholm Waterfront is the Nordic region’s premier life science event. The global life science sector is undergoing major structural changes, and as part of a strong established hub, companies in Sweden and the Nordic countries are of great interest when international investors and corporations are looking for new partners.

The entire value chain from basic research to the introduction of new therapies is subject to transformation – not least due to rapid developments in digital health. Life science companies therefore need to find new ways to collaborate and fund their projects. Since the Nordic region offers a modern, competitive environment for academia and research companies alike, the region has become highly attractive for the global life science industry.

  • NLSDays has become the most important meeting place for global investors and corporations that are looking for new collaborations in the Nordic region. The event is on course for record numbers and deals such as the recent one between Alligator Bioscience and Janssen Biotech which illustrates that Swedish companies offer major value to partners, says Jonas Ekstrand, CEO SwedenBIO, the Swedish national life science industry organization which founded the event three years ago.

Overall, the life science sector is currently very active in the Nordic countries. For example, the Oslo Cancer Cluster Innovation Park, an investment of around 100 million Euros opens today (24 August). Furthermore, AstraZeneca recently announced a Euros 260 million investment in a new plant for bio-pharmaceutical production and from January 2014, 18 life science companies across all subsectors from medtech to biopharma have been listed on Nasdaq Nordic at a combined value of about Euros 250 million (Source Nasdaq). Furthermore, initiatives and companies in new areas such as personalized medicine, digital health and outcomes based provision are emerging at an accelerating pace.

During Nordic Life Science Days 2015 the main theme is “The New Value Chain”. The 2 day program covers several sessions in which international life science leaders will discuss strategies on how new partnerships can be established and how medical research and the life science industry in the Nordics can contribute.

Super Sessions from the program:

  • International Investors (9 September at 11.30 – 12.30)

International life science investors talk about their investment models and what they look for from entrepreneurs.

  • Personalized Healthcare – Matching Medicines to Patients (September 10 at 08:45 – 09-45)

How will big data and new diagnostic methods impact the future of medical research and treatment modalities? Listen to how the Digital Doctor Watson can revolutionize health care.

  • Oncology 2025 (10 September 11.30 – 12.30)

Immuno-oncology is hotter than ever and there is an ongoing competition between the big global companies to take on the most promising projects. Representatives from several of the major players talk about their strategies.

Currently, 800 delegates are registered for this year’s NLSDays, which is 33% more than at the corresponding time last year. This strongly indicate that the meeting will attract over 1,000 participants, outnumbering last year’s number of delegates.

The conference is organized September 9-10, 2015 at Stockholm Waterfront Congress Centre, Nils Ericssons Plan 4 in Stockholm. More info on


About NLSDays

Founded in 2012 the Nordic Life Science Days has grown rapidly to become the largest Nordic partnering conference for the global life science industry. In 2014, 890 delegates from 28 countries attended the meeting. The 580 companies attending offered 490 licensing opportunities in the partnering system and during the two days 1600 one-on-one meetings were scheduled. Among the investors and big pharma already registered for the meeting in September 2015 are AbbVie, Alexion, Almi Invest, Astellas, AstraZeneca, Bayer HealthCare, Boehringer Ingelheim, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Cadila Pharma, Johnson & Johnson, HealthCap, Industrifonden, Karolinska Development, Merck-MSD, Novartis, Pfizer, Pierre Fabre, P.U.LS. AB, Recipharm, Roche, Seventure Partners, SR-One.

In addition to partnering, NLSDays also offers an exhibition and a seminar program with 10 super session and four topic specific workshops. Speakers include senior representatives from the global life science companies, investors, and academic leaders who will all share their expertise and views for the future.

About SwedenBIO

SwedenBIO who is the founder and organizer of the Nordic Life Science Days is the Swedish life science industry organization. Our nearly 200 members operate across all sub-sectors from pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical technology to diagnostics. SwedenBIO serves to the benefit the entire life science industry in Sweden and is a member-driven, private, non-profit organization. The main objective is to improve the conditions for the life science industry for the benefit of industry growth and business development.


45 MNOK to innovative cancer treatments and diagnostics

The Norwegian Research Council and Norwegian Cancer Society are teaming up to make the results of medical and biotechnical research faster available for cancer patients.

The call on 45 MNOK will be administered through the Research Council’s program for biotechnology (BIOTEK21) and commercialization (FORNY2020).

– This is an exciting and unique collaboration between the Norwegian Cancer Society and the Norwegian Research Council. There is a long way from scientific idea to finished product. The process before the product is on the market and used by many patients are demanding and costly. These funds will provide important impetus to future-oriented Norwegian research. There is enormous potential in research and innovation in health, says the Norwegian Cancer Society General Anne Lise Ryel.

Arvid Hallén, CEO of the Norwegian Research Council agrees:

– I think it can mean much that the Norwegian Cancer Society and the Norwegian Research Council will work together on this. To be successful it is important that we also work closely with Norwegian companies that develop products and services for cancer diagnosis and cancer treatment. Fortunately, we have not only excellent researchers and clinics in health and biomedicine, we also have many companies that have shown that they can develop innovative products and services that can help cancer patients, says Hallén.

Applicants for this call will be commercial players who are affiliated research institutions. The announcement will be available on the Research Council’s website from the end of June and has a deadline of 9 September.

Find more information here:


Vaccibody aquaculture collaboration granted 10 MNOK

The research collaboration “New Targeting Vaccines for Sustainable Aquaculture” has received a grant of NOK 10 Million through the Norwegian Research Council’s program Biotek2021. Oslo Cancer Cluster member Vaccibody is a partner in the project together with The Norwegian Veterinary Institute, Pharmaq AS, Kjeller Innovasjon and Kongla AS. 


The purpose of the project is to develop customized targeted fish vaccines based on the Vaccibody principle.  The NOK 10 million will be awarded over 3 years.

Tom Pike, Chairman and Acting CEO of Vaccibody, commented: “We are very pleased to be a part of this collaboration and for the funding it will receive from the Norwegian Research Council .The fish farming industry are facing a number of challenges related to infections and the Vaccibody technology is well suited to attack these challenges in a sustainable manner, without the global issues associated with antibiotics. We are also proud to work with a consortium of well qualified partners.  The project fits well with Vaccibody’s strategy to develop its technology platform together with partners while focusing the main share of its internal resources on the development of VB10.16, a therapeutic DNA vaccine to treat precancerous lesions of the cervix currently entering Phase I/IIa.”


About Vaccibody AS

Vaccibody is a biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the discovery and development of novel immunotherapies, prophylactic and therapeutic vaccines which target cancer and infectious diseases, for human and veterinary use. Vaccibody’s lead drug candidate VB10.16 is a therapeutic DNA vaccine against HPV16 induced pre-malignancies and malignancies. The company is currently entering it’s first-in-man study that will evaluate the safety and immunogenicity of VB10.16 in women with high grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (HSIL; CIN 2/3).

Large Oslo Cancer Cluster delegation to BIO2015

More than 15 Oslo Cancer Cluster members will be present at BIO2015 in Philadelphia in June. BIO is the world´s largest biotech fair and a very important partnering event for the cluster.

The companies attending BIO from the cluster are: BerGenBio, Lifandis, Lytix Biopharma, Nextera, Nordic Nanovector, Normetrix, Pharmalink Oncology, Inven2, BTO, Targovax, Ultimovacs, Vaccibody, The Radium Hospital Research Foundation, Chiltern and DNB Healthcare.

International Advisor Jutta Heix will represent Oslo Cancer Cluster Managment Team.

International Cancer Cluster Showcase
Oslo Cancer Cluster will also this year arrange International Cancer Cluster Showcase at BIO, together with other world-leading cancer clusters.  New partners are OBN, UK with a strong international investor network and the Wistar Institute from Philadelphia as local partner.

Member companies pitching at the International Cancer Cluster Showcase are Inven2, Ultimovacs and Nordic Nanovector.

Inven2, Norway´s largest TTO, will pitch their portfolio of early projects which is really strong in immuno-oncology, Ultimovacs will present the clinical development of their universal cancer vaccine, whilst Nordic Nanovector will present the clinical development of their targeted radiopharmaceutical treatment of lymphoma. Nordic Nanovector went public this March with one of the biggest IPO´s in European biotech so far this year.

We are very proud to have two Oslo Cancer Cluster members sponsoring the International Cancer Cluster Showcase this year: Chiltern and DNB Healthcare.

DNB Healthcare is also hosting a special healthcare event in New York on June 12 prior to BIO.


PCI Biotech starts collaboration in siRNA therapeutics

PCI Biotech, a Norwegian cancer focused biopharmaceutical company, announced that it is initiating a pre-clinical research collaboration with RXi Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: RXII). RXi is an American biotechnology company focused on discovering and developing innovative therapeutics, that address high-unmet medical needs primarily in the area of dermatology and ophthalmology.

The partnership is governed by a pre-clinical research collaboration agreement. Initially, the purpose of the pre-clinical research collaboration is to utilize the companies’ complementary scientific platforms to explore potential synergies.

In brief the pre-clinical research collaboration will evaluate technology compatibility based on in vitro and in vivo studies. The costs related to the research collaboration will be covered by each company separately. The companies will evaluate results achieved from this research collaboration and then explore the potential for a closer collaboration.

Both companies will retain exclusive ownership rights to existing registered intellectual property. However, any inventions arising from the collaboration will be jointly owned by the companies.


About PCI Biotech
PCI Biotech is a cancer focused biopharmaceutical company headquartered in Norway and listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange (Axess). The company is developing therapeutic products based on its proprietary photochemical internalization (PCI) technology. Originating from world leading research at the Norwegian Radium Hospital, the PCI technology works by inducing triggered endosomal release and may be used to unlock the true therapeutic potential of a wide array of modalities, such as small molecules, ADCs and siRNA. Two programs are currently in clinical development in patient populations with a high unmet medical need; recurrent head and neck cancer (phase II) and bile duct cancer (phase I/II).

The company is also developing PCI as a CTL induction technology for therapeutic and prophylactic vaccination. It has been demonstrated both in vivo and ex vivo that PCI significantly increases the number of activated antigen-specific CTLs (Cytotoxic T Lymphocytes) by enhancing the MHC I antigen presentation of antigen presenting cells. When applied more specifically to the emerging field of cancer immunotherapy, PCI can be used to enhance the important cytotoxic effect of therapeutic cancer vaccines. PCI Biotech follows a strategy to create value by improving the effect both of existing cancer drugs and by realizing the large potential in new therapeutics, including therapeutic vaccines.


Nordic Nanovector raised MNOK 500

Oslo, 20 March 2015. Nordic Nanovector ASA (“Nordic Nanovector”, the “Company”, OSE ticker code: “NANO”) announces the successful completion of the bookbuilding period for its initial public offering (the “Offering”), which was multiple times oversubscribed for the full amount of the Offering (including over-allotment) throughout the narrowed indicative price range.

In summary:
• Nordic Nanovector will issue 15,625,000 new shares in connection with the Offering, raising gross proceeds of NOK 500 million. There will in total be 42,175,291 shares in issue following the issuance of the new shares.
• The Managers (as defined below) have over-allotted 2,343,750 shares, representing 15% of the number of shares issued and sold in the Offering before over-allotments, and exercised their option to borrow an equal number of shares from HealthCap VI L.P. for the purpose of covering such over-allotments.

• The shares are priced at NOK 32 per share. The price implies a market capitalisation of Nordic Nanovector of approximately NOK 1,350 million (excluding shares that may be issued in connection with the over-allotment).

• Trading of the shares in Nordic Nanovector on the Oslo Stock Exchange will commence on 23 March 2015.

Approximately 91% of the shares in the Offering have been allocated to investors in the institutional offering and approximately 9% of the shares have been allocated to investors in the retail offering. Following the Offering, Nordic Nanovector is expected to have approximately 1,200 shareholders.

Luigi Costa, CEO of Nordic Nanovector, said: “We are delighted with the positive support Nordic Nanovector and its team has received by domestic and international investors. This has enabled us to upsize our IPO and raise additional funds to advance the development of Betalutin™, our first-in-class Antibody-Radionuclide-Conjugate, beyond the first regulatory submission planned in 2017”.

Luigi Costa continued: “Betalutin™ is specifically designed to deliver better treatment outcomes for patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma by improving and complementing current therapy options. Betalutin™ targets CD37, a different antigen compared to standard CD20-targeted therapies with a short-range radiotherapy effecting tumour cell death while minimizing exposure to healthy cells. Based on this mechanism of action and promising clinical results to date, we have designed a robust development plan through to commercialisation.”

Notifications of allocated shares and the corresponding amount to be paid by investors are expected to be communicated to investors today (20 March 2015). Investors having access to investor services through their VPS account manager will be able to check the number of shares allocated to them from approximately 09:00 hours (CET) on 20 March 2015. The Managers may also be contacted for information regarding allocations.

The Company has granted the Managers an over-allotment option, exercisable by ABG Sundal Collier as stabilisation manager within 30 days from the first day of listing to cover over-allotments and short positions in connection with the Offering. A separate disclosure will be issued by the stabilisation manager regarding the over-allotment and stabilisation activities.
ABG Sundal Collier and DNB Markets, a part of DNB Bank ASA, are acting as Joint Global Coordinators for the Offering and ABG Sundal Collier, Carnegie and DNB Markets are acting as Joint Bookrunners for the Offering. The Joint Global Coordinators and Joint Bookrunners are herein referred to as the “Managers”.


About Nordic Nanovector

Nordic Nanovector is a biotech company focusing on the development and commercialization of novel targeted therapeutics in haematology and oncology. The Company’s lead clinical-stage product opportunity is Betalutin™, the first in a new class of Antibody-Radio-Conjugates (ARCs), designed to improve upon and complement current options for the treatment of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (NHL).

NHL is an indication with substantial unmet medical need and orphan drug opportunities, representing a growing market worth over $12 billion by 2018.
Betalutin™ comprises a tumor-seeking anti-CD37 antibody conjugated to low intensity radionuclide (Lutetium 177). It has shown promising efficacy in Phase 1 studies in a difficult-to-treat NHL patient population and as well as a very favourable tolerability. Betalutin™ is fast advancing through clinical development and with first approval anticipated in 2018.
Nordic Nanovector intends to retain marketing rights and to actively participate in the commercialization of Betalutin™ in core markets, while exploring potential distribution agreements in selected geographies. The Company is committed to developing its ARC pipeline to treat a number of select cancer indications.



NLSDays 2015 – Early Bird through March 31

Oslo Cancer Cluster is one of the supporting organizations for this years Nordic Life Science Days in Stockholm, as we were last year. This means that members of the cluster benefit from special rates on participation. Through March 31 you may also get early-bird discount.

In collaboration with other healthcare industry actors in Norway, Oslo Cancer Cluster will have a stand at NLSDays to promote Norwegian Healthcare Industry and the cluster members.

Questions regarding this conference may be directed to Jutta Heix, International advisor or Elisabeth Kirkeng Andersen, Head of Communicaton.

Read the latest newsletter from NLSDays 2015 below.


Why registering now?
Benefit from our Early Bird rates by registering before March 31st, 2015. Book and secure your company presentation slot when registering.

Benefit from an exclusive discount on all NLSDays’ registration rates. Please contact your organization to get your promotion code.


Why attending NLSDays 2015?

NLSDays annually attracts the best from pharma, biotech, medtech and finance the Nordic region has to offer for two days of intense networking. NLSDays’ Super Sessions, topical workshops and vibrant exhibition along with thousands of prescheduled face-to-face meetings make this event the place to be for companies across the Life Science value chain to meet and do business.

Attend NLSDays and take advantage of the opportunity for more partnering meetings in two days than in the rest of the year.

Based on attendance at previous events, NLSDays 2015 will bring together more than 1000 executives from biotechnology, medtech, pharmaceutical and finance companies from the Nordic region and from around the world, who will engage in some 2,000+ face-to-face meetings.


Why presenting at NLSDays 2015?

Presenting at NLSDays gives you a chance to increase your visibility and attract more potential partners. Pitch your company’s profile, pipeline and strategy to a selected audience representing over 30 countries. Be visible by business development executives, investors, media, and increase your activity in the partneringONE platform.

NB: Company presenters receive much more requests and schedule more meetings than non-presenting companies! Presenting companies are also spotlighted in NLSDays marketing material leading up to the event, as well as onsite.
Don’t miss the opportunity to book your presentation slot when registering.

Benefit from Early Bird rate on Company Presentation fees through March 31, 2015.


Why exhibiting at NLSDays?

The 2015 NLSDays Exhibition reflects our 2015 manifesto: “The Life Science Value Chain”.

Regional and country pavilions, from the Nordic Region and Europe, will showcase and host many companies from their regions or countries. Pharma, biotech, medtech and servives providers will join NLSDays exhibition as well.
About partneringONE™, the leading conference networking solution

partneringONE™ powered by EBD Group increase your ROI at the Nordic Life Science Days conference, reduce your overall business development costs and enhance your partnering effectiveness before, during and after the event. partneringONE allows you to:

• Search companies to source potential collaborations and funding opportunities

• Communicate directly with potential investors and/or partners

• Pre-schedule 30-minute face-to-face meetings to be organized onsite.




NICE, UK recommends photodynamic diagnosis of bladder cancer

Oslo Cancer Cluster member Photocure ASA, is pleased to announce that the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) in the UK has published its first guidelines on bladder cancer, recommending photodynamic diagnosis for improved detection of bladder cancer. NICE makes evidence-based recommendations for healthcare, with the aim of improving treatment and reducing variations in care.

The NICE guidelines recognize cystoscopy as the standard for diagnosis and follow up for patients with bladder cancer, and recommend that people with suspected bladder cancer should be offered surgical removal of the tumor using white-light guided cystoscopy supported by additional techniques to improve tumor detection, such as photodynamic diagnosis.

Kjetil Hestdal, President and CEO of Photocure, said: “We are pleased to have photodynamic diagnosis included in the NICE guideline for diagnosis and management of bladder cancer. This is another important milestone providing further evidence of the value of Hexvix/Cysview in the diagnosis and management of bladder cancer patients. NICE is internationally recognised and well respected for its evidence-based recommendations.”

Photodynamic diagnosis of bladder cancer involves the instillation of a photosensitive compound, such as Hexvix®/Cysview® (hexaminolevulinate), into the bladder. Hexvix/Cysview accumulates in tumor tissue and fluoresces pink under blue light, allowing cancerous areas on the lining of the bladder to be distinguished from healthy tissue.2 Using Hexvix/Cysview as an adjunct to standard white-light cystoscopy (WLC) enables the urologist to better detect and remove lesions compared with white-light cystoscopy alone. After applying stringent cost-effectiveness analyses, NICE concluded “Photodynamic diagnosis appears to be a cost-effective alternative to WLC as an initial diagnostic test.”

Bladder cancer is the fifth most common cancer in Europe, accounting for an estimated 124,000 newly diagnosed cases and more than 40,000 deaths in 2012. Bladder cancer has a high recurrence rate (up to 78% of patients experience recurrence within 5 years of their initial diagnosis), making the lifetime costs of managing bladder cancer one of the highest of all cancers. If bladder cancer is detected at an early stage, the risk of recurrence can be reduced, and management and long-term outcomes for patients improved.

Per-Uno Malmström, Professor of Urology at Uppsala University, Sweden, said: “NICE is a leading authority in healthcare management; this recognition by NICE of the benefits that can be achieved from photodynamic diagnosis will open the door to improved management of bladder cancer for many patients.”

Gregers Hermann, Chief Urologist at Frederiksberg Hospital, Copenhagen University, Denmark, stated: “Patients with bladder cancer deserve the best evidence-based diagnosis and management of their disease. NICE guidelines highlight the proven value of photodynamic diagnosis in terms of achieving cost-effective diagnosis as well as reducing the risk of recurrence for patients with bladder cancer.”

The full NICE bladder cancer guidelines can be found here:


About Photocure ASA
Photocure ASA, headquartered in Oslo, Norway, is a specialty pharmaceutical company and world leader in photodynamic technology. Based on our unique proprietary Photocure Technology® platform, Photocure develops and commercialises highly selective and effective solutions in disease areas with high unmet medical need, such as bladder cancer, HPV and precancerous cervical lesions, colorectal cancer and skin conditions. Our aim is to provide solutions that can improve health outcomes for patients worldwide. Photocure is listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange (OSE: PHO). Information about Photocure is available at

About Hexvix®/Cysview®
Hexvix®/Cysview® (hexaminolevulinate hydro-chloride) is an innovative breakthrough technology in the diagnosis and management of non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer. It is designed to selectively target malignant cells in the bladder and induce fluorescence during a cystoscopic procedure using a blue-light enabled cystoscope. Using Hexvix®/Cysview® as an adjunct to standard white-light cystoscopy enables the urologist to better detect and remove lesions, leading to a reduced risk of recurrence. Hexvix®/Cysview® is approved in Europe and the USA.

Targovax appoints former Algeta-CFO

Mr. Øystein Soug, has been the CFO of the late-stage oncology biotech company Algeta ASA since 2008, building up the functions of Finance, IR, Compliance, IT and HR. During Mr. Soug’s period at Algeta, the company raised USD 200m capital, launched Xofigo, established production and sales in the USA, partnered with and was acquired by Bayer AG. 

Gunnar Gårdemyr, CEO of Targovax, says “I am excited to welcome Øystein Soug to Targovax. With Øystein in place we are well positioned to move our products through the important Proof of Concept phase. Øystein’s recent experience from the successful financing and sub-sequent sale of Algeta to Bayer will be important to develop Targovax further.”

Before 2008, Mr. Soug was with the Norwegian Orkla group, holding two functions; first as project manager in Orkla’s Corporate Development M&A team and later as the CFO of SladCo, the Russian operations of Orkla. Prior to Orkla, Mr. Soug spent five years in banking. He has 17 years’ experience in international finance and corporate development. In addition, he has served as Deputy Chairman and Director of Bionor Pharma ASA since 2013.

Mr. Soug has an MSc in Economics and Finance and a Master of International Management (CEMS) both from the University of St Gallen in Switzerland.

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. The company is located in Lysaker, close to Oslo, Norway.


Immuno- oncology / Cancer vaccines
The Norwegian cancer research community has been in the forefront of understanding the mechanisms for immuno-oncology and cancer vaccines. A cancer vaccine educates the body’s immune system to recognize and kill the cancer cells. The TG01 vaccine is therapeutic and is given as treatment to patients after surgery of cancer patients, to prevent relapse.


Pancreas cancer and other RAS-mutated cancer forms
Pancreatic cancer is a disease affecting 116 000 patients each year in EU and USA, and approximately 690 persons each year in Norway. Approx 15-20% of these are discovered at an early stage and are operable. The mortality is high, and the prognosis for these patients has been more or less unchanged the last 30 years. Approximately 80-90% of patients with pancreatic cancer have RAS mutations in the cancer cells.

RAS mutations occur in approx. 20% of all cancer cases, and are also frequent in colorectal cancer, non-small cell lung cancer and other cancers. Patients with RAS mutations within these indications have proved to be difficult to treat with current treatments, and there is a significant unmet medical need.


Oslo, 26. februar 2015 Pressemelding no 3 -2015:

Targovax melder med stor tilfredshet at Øystein Soug er selskapets nye CFO fra 1. juni 2015.

Øystein Soug har vært Chief Financial Officer i kreft-biotekselskapet Algeta ASA siden 2008, der han bygde opp funksjonene for finans, IR, virksomhetsstyring, IT og HR. I løpet av Sougs periode i Algeta, hentet selskapet inn USD 200 millioner i kapital, lanserte Xofigo, etablerte produksjon og salg i USA og inngikk samarbeid og ble kjøpt opp av Bayer AG.

Soug hadde før 2008 to funksjoner i den norske Orkla-gruppen, først som prosjektleder i Orklas Corporate Development M&A team, og deretter som CFO i SladCo, den russiske delen av Orkla. Før Orkla var Øystein Soug fem år i bank. Han har 17 års erfaring fra internasjonal finans og selskapsutvikling. I tillegg har han vært nestleder i styret og styremedlem i Bionor Pharma ASA siden 2013.

Øystein Soug har en MSc i Økonomi og Finans og en Master i Internasjonal Ledelse (CEMS), begge fra Universitetet i St Gallen i Sveits.

Gunnar Gårdemyr, CEO i Targovax sier “Jeg er glad for å kunne ønske Øystein Soug velkommen til Targovax. Med Øystein på plass, er vi godt posisjonert for å utvikle produktene våre gjennom den viktige Proof of Concept-fasen. Øysteins nylige erfaring fra suksessfull finansiering og etterfølgende salg av Algeta til Bayer vil være viktig for å utvikle Targovax videre.»


Targovax Gunnar Gårdemyr, Chief Executive Officer, mob: E-mail:

Jonas Einarsson, Chairman of the Board, mob: (+47) 48 09 63 55 E-mail:

Fakta: Targovax

Targovax ble etablert i oktober 2010 for å utvikle immunterapi i form av terapeutiske kreftvaksiner, basert på pionérforskning ved OUS Radiumhospitalet og Norsk Hydro. Mutasjoner i RAS forstyrrer normal celledeling, og bidrar til utvikling av kreftceller og svulster. Første legemiddel under utvikling, TG01, lærer opp kroppens immunsystem til å gjenkjenne og drepe kreftceller med RAS-mutasjoner. TG01 har Orphan Drug Status for bukspyttkjertelkreft i EU og USA, og er nå i fase II klinisk utvikling innen operabel bukspyttkjertelkreft. Selskapet er lokalisert på Lysaker utenfor Oslo.

Immuno-onkologi / kreftvaksiner

Det norske kreftforskningsmiljøet har vært i forskningsfronten når det gjelder å forstå mekanismene for immuno-onkologi/immunterapi og kreftvaksiner. En kreftvaksine lærer opp kroppens immunsystem til å gjenkjenne og drepe kreftcellene. TG01 er terapeutisk, den gis som behandling til pasienter etter kirurgi, for å forhindre tilbakefall.

Bukspyttkjertelkreft og andre RAS-muterte kreftformer.

Bukspyttkjertelkreft er en sykdom som rammer 116 000 pasienter hvert år i EU og USA, og ca 690 pasienter årlig i Norge. Ca 15-20% av disse avdekkes på et tidlig stadium og kan opereres. Dødeligheten er høy, og prognosen for disse pasientene har vært mer eller mindre uendret de siste 30 år. Ca 80-90% av pasienter med bukspyttkjertelkreft har RAS-mutasjoner i kreftcellene.

RAS-mutasjoner forekommer i ca 20% av alle krefttilfeller, også ofte i tykktarmskreft, ikke-småcellet lungekreft og andre kreftformer. Pasienter med RAS – mutasjoner innen disse sykdommene har vist seg å være vanskelig å behandle med dagens tilgjengelige medisiner, og det er et stort udekket medisinsk behov.

– See more at:

Lifandis, Smartfish and BerGenBio got funding from BIA

The Norwegian Research Council granted BerGenBio, Lifandis and Smartfish –  all Oslo Cancer Cluster member companies – funding through the Programme for User-Driven Research Based Innovation (BIA).

In total, the Research Council will grant a record amount of over 600 MNOK to 65 Norwegian companies, of which 9 are biotech companies.

BerGenBio, Lifandis and Smartfish will receive around 10 million NOK each over 4 years, depending on the outcome of the contract negotiations between the council and the companies. Funding from the BIA programme is a quality stamp since the companies compete in “open class” where all sectors are represented. The funding may also trigger interest  from private investors. BerGenBio also received funding from BIA one year ago.

On the Research Council`s website you may more information and a list of all the companies that received funding now (in Norwegian).

October 14th 2015 is next application deadline  for funding from the BIA-programme.

Partnership4Life – oncology session and opportunity to do 1:1 meetings

February 12, LMI, DNB Healthcare, AbbVie, Novartis and Pfizer hosts a one day seminar called A partnership for life in 2015 – How to develop a strong Norwegian biotechnology and health industry sector?

Oslo Cancer Cluster is well represented this day; we will host an oncology session and Jónas Einarsson, CEO Radium Hospital Research Foundation, will give a spech on Norwegian biotech and health industry from words to action. There will also be opportunity to do 1: 1 meetings with potential partners.

Global biotech and pharmaceutical industry, academia, financial institutions, investors, hospitals and politicians are invited to participate.

The program is twofold. Before lunch there will be an overarching focus with introductions and a panel discussion on this subject. After lunch there will be shorter seminars where different actors will exchange information and experiences.

Finally, it is allocated time for the 1: 1 meetings between potential partners. The day ends with dinner at Cafe Christiania in Oslo.

  • Register her
  • Register for 1:1 meetings by sending e-mail to to be put in contact with the international companies

Forskningsparken, 12 February 2015

8:30 to 9:00 Registration and refreshments

9:00 to 9:15 Opening

9:15 to 9:30 Travelogue from Silicon Valley
Alexander Woxen, entrepreneur and investor

9:30 to 10:00 Introduction by Ministry of Economics
Dilek Ayhan, Secretary in the Ministry of Industry

10:00 to 10:15 Norwegian biotech and health industry from words to action
Jonas Einarsson, CEO Radium Hospital Research Foundation

10:15 to 11:30 Plenary Discussion: “How do we build a strong Norwegian biotech and health industry sector.”
Else-May Botten (AP)
Harald Tom Nesvik (FRP)
Trine Skei Grande (Left)
Karita Bekkemellem (LMI)
Benedicte Bakke (DNB)
Alexander Woxen (Investor)
Sander Tufte (Research)
Thomas Ramdahl (Bayer)

13.00 to 14.30 Parallel Sessions on 1 Public-private research collaborations and 2 Access to capital

14.30 to 15.00 Coffee and refreshments

15.00 to 16.30 Exchange of research ideas and focus. Introduction of national and international companies about their research focus. Parallel Sessions: Neuroscience and Oncology.

Session: Oncology

  • Elisabeth Kirkeng Andersen, Head of Communication in Oslo Cancer Cluster (chairperson)
  • Dr. Morten Sogaard, Vice President and Head Enterprise Scientific Technology Operations in Pfizer Worldwide R&D
  • Dr. Peter Schuld, Head of Medical Affairs Oncology Western European Cluster in Novartis
  • Dr. Anil Singahl, Vice President & Head, AbbVie biotherapeutics
  • Øyvind, Arnesen, CEO Ultimovacs
  • Konstantinos Alevizopoulos, CEO Apim Therapeutics

Session: Neuroscience

  • Leif Rune Skymoen, CEO Nansen Neuroscience Network
  • Dr Scott Brown, Vice President of Pharmaceutical Development in AbbVie
  • Dr. Morten Sogaard, Vice President and Head Enterprise Scientific Technology Operations in Pfizer Worldwide R & D

16.30 to 18.30 Possibility of 1-1 meetings between national and international companies
In agreement with the companies. Interested parties may send email to to be put in contact with the international companies.

19.00 to 22.30 Dinner at Cafe Christiania
Lower Vollgate 19, 0158 Oslo (Entrance from Stortingsgaten)

Ultimovacs carries out NOK 45 million share issue with Canica AS and Sundt AS as the main investors

Oslo Cancer Cluster member Ultimovacs AS has carried out a successful NOK 45 million share issue with DNB Markets and Arctic Securities as financial advisors. The issue was fully subscribed by new shareholders. The two biggest new shareholders are Canica AS and Sundt AS.


The funds raised through the share issue will be used to implement and further develop the company’s programme to document the effect of its first product; the therapeutic cancer vaccine UV1. During the next two years, the company will complete and finish two clinical trials to show how UV1 activates the immune system.

In addition, Ultimovacs began a third trial in January 2015 to explore efficacy and safety of UV1 is in combination with another drug that also manipulates the immune system into attacking cancer cells. The new funds will also cover the costs of this trial and allow the company to establish and document a commercial-scale production process for UV1.

CEO Øyvind Kongstun Arnesen comments: ‘This share issue enables the company to maintain its strong professional focus as it continues its work on documenting efficacy and safety of UV1 is in cancer treatment. We are very pleased to have some of the strongest investment communities in Norway on our team. The new owners recognise the company’s ambitions to improve the current cancer treatment while developing a business enterprise with great potential.’

Canica looks forward to further developing Ultimovacs in cooperation with an expert community and a sound investor base. ‘We believe that the company is well placed to succeed with its innovative immunotherapy,’ says Nils Selte, CEO of Canica.

Leiv Askvig, CEO of Sundt, comments: ‘With its universal cancer vaccine, Ultimovacs has great potential, both when it comes to developing new cancer treatments to benefit patients and creating good value for shareholders.’

Ultimovacs is a biotechnology company that develops a therapeutic universal cancer vaccine. Such cancer treatment is not linked to a specific type of cancer, but has the potential to trigger a general immunologic reaction against cancer cells, regardless of the type of cancer. Stimulating the immune system to attack cancer cells is a revolutionary form of cancer treatment and a treatment principle in rapid international development. Several new treatments based on this principle have already been introduced, and the technology has the potential to greatly improve the treatment options available for cancer. The Norwegian academic communities and companies that belong to Oslo Cancer Cluster are world-leading in this field. Ultimovacs is one such company.

About Ultimovacs:

Ultimovacs AS was established by Inven2 in 2011. The company’s goal is to develop technology from the Norwegian Radium Hospital for use in cancer treatment and to make the treatment available to patients. The technology is based on the possibility of controlling the immune system to make it recognise and kill cancer cells.

Ultimovacs is carrying out three clinical trials intended to document that the company’s main product, UV1, can produce a controlled immune response and is safe to use, either alone or in combination with other drugs that also activate the immune system to attack cancer cells.

The biggest shareholders in the company are Gjelsten Holding AS, Inven2, Langøya Invest AS, Canica AS, Sundt AS and the Norwegian Radium Hospital Research Foundation. From July 2015, the company will be located in Oslo Cancer Cluster Innovation Park at Montebello.


Oslo Cancer Cluster`s start-ups highlighted in investor report

A recent analysis from the audit and advisory company EY is cautiously optimistic on behalf of startup companies in the Nordic Life Science industry – and points to possibilities within Oslo Cancer Cluster.

The analysis, which was commissioned by Norwegian Investinor and Swedish Industrifonden, points to four segments in the Nordic life science market that has the most mature startup companies, and thus are believed to be most attractive for investments: oncology (cancer treatment), inflammation treatment, niche products and imaging. From these segments, several startup companies have already appeared. They have also raised substantial capital.

Some Norwegian examples are Nordic Nanovector, BerGenBio and Targovax, which has raised a total of NOK 485 million in 2014 .These companies are all members of Oslo Cancer Cluster, developing cancer treatments using different technologies.

Excellent quality of research
The strength of the Nordic life science industry is the quality of the research performed, especially in some selected clusters, such as the Oslo Cancer Cluster. Scientific development is a key driver for innovation in the highly regulated pharmaceutical industry.

The biggest concern among life science industry players interviewed in the survey is however, the attention from investors, especially from professional investors with industry insights, which can handle the risks of investing in the earliest stages of company development.

─ The early phase of life science involves great risk, but can also give great returns, so investors should pay close attention to what is now happening in Oslo Cancer Cluster and corresponding clusters, says Ann- Tove Kongsnes, Investment Director of Investinor.

Investinor actively works to attract more foreign investors to Norwegian life science industry, and has also made ​​two investments together with Swedish Industrifonden in Oslo Cancer Cluster members Smartfish and Pharmalink.





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.

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 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:


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:

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



A Budget for Innovation and Knowledge

The Government of Norway launched their State Budget on October 8th. Overall, we are very pleased with the Government’s will for innovation and knowledge.

“New knowledge and innovation is crucial in order to create the companies of tomorrow and to ensure secure jobs in Norway. We therefore invest in industry-driven research and innovation and give nearly MNOK 300 to strengthen the competitiveness of Norwegian industry”, says Minister of Trade and Industry Monica Mæland in realtion the the launch of the State Budget 2015.

Overall very satisfied
Oslo Cancer Cluster and Nansen Neuroscience Network have analyzed the budget together and are overall very satisfied with the proposals for 2015.

Ketil Widerberg, General Manager of Oslo Cancer Cluster says: “We are very satisfied that the Minister of Trade and Industry shows such a will to invest in industry-driven research. They have in total given more than MNOK 300 to industry-driven research – which is a substantial increase. However, we are dissatisfied that no new seed-funds were established. It is a fact that it is hard to get private investments in the biotech sector if the state is not willing to contribute.”

Leif Rune Skymoen, CEO of Nansen Neuroscience Network says: “The Nobel Prize to Edvard and May Britt Moser shows that it pays off to invest in excellent research. We are very happy to see that the Government agrees on this, and that they will give MNOK 100 to establish research environments of Nobel class. We hope these environments will provide the basis for new treatments for diseases of the brain, like Alzheimer’s and psychiatric disorders.”

Horizon 2020 – a grand possibility
All members of both clusters should be aware of the increased funding from the Norwegian Government’s side to take part in the Horizon2020 program.

“The Government gives 115 MNOK in order to stimulate higher participation in the Horizon2020 program. This is a great chance to receive substantial funding from the EU-program, and we should look at this together and see how we may do this successfully”, says Widerberg and Skymoen.

The most important points in the State Budget 2015

  •  120 MNOK more to Skattefunn: You may get up to 6.6 MNOK in tax relief.
    This is an increase from 4,4 MNOK in 2013.
  • Increase of MNOK 70 in the BIA program in the Norwegian Research Council.
    BIA stands for User-driven research-based Innovation and is an important funding scheme for biotech companies.
  •  Increase of 20 MNOK in the FORNY program in the Norwegian Research Council.
    This funding is for verification, and is important to commercialize research.
  • Increase of 110 MNOK in establishment support from Innovation Norway.
  • 115 MNOK to increased Norwegian participation in European research collaborations
  • 100 MNOK to Norwegian word-leading research environments
  • MNOK to free project support from the Research Council of Norway











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.

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

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


Win 100 000 NOK to further develop your research

Last year, a new vaccine technology aiming to manipulate our immune system and thereby combat cancer and HIV won Inven2’s idea competition. Do you have an idea that you want to further develop?

Inven2 is the largest contributor in Norway within the field of commercialization of research, owned by the University of Oslo (UiO) and the Southern and Eastern Norway Regional Health Authority (Helse Sør-Øst). The competition “Idéprisen” is open to all staff and students at UiO And HSØ and is aiming to discover new ideas for products, technologies and services within all disciplines.

Main prize: NOK 100 000
The main prize is 100 000 NOK to use for further developing and testing your idea. In addition, two other ideas will win 20 000 NOK and 10 000 NOK. All submitted ideas will receive written feedback. The deadline to submit is October 8th and the winners will be announced at the conference “Cutting Edge” in the Science Park (Forskningsparken) on October 16th.

Do you want more information or to submit an idea? Visit




16 MNOK to BerGenBio from the Wellcome Trust

Oslo Cancer Cluster member BerGenBio AS has been granted a 1.6 million (NOK 16 million) Seeding Drug Discovery Award from the UK’s Wellcome Trust to develop novel small molecule inhibitors against BGB002, its proprietary, novel cancer target.

The Wellcome Trust Seeding Drug Discovery Awards are to identify and fund especially promising, innovative new therapeutic concepts through to clinical implementation and applications are highly competitive.


We strongly encourage other members of the Oslo Cancer Cluster to apply for funding from the Wellcome Trust as well:


Novel cancer target
BGB002 is a novel cancer target identified by BerGenBio, which controls tumour cell malignant features. This gene is up-regulated in several cancer types incluApplication Not for Profit – the Wellcome Trustding the difficult to treat malignancies such as triple-negative-breast cancer. Using its CellSelect? technology, BerGenBio demonstrated that BGB002 strongly activates tumour cell Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition (EMT), a precursor to metastatic spread. Subsequent target validation studies demonstrated BGB002’s unique and pivotal role in mediating EMT, facilitating the escape of transformed cells and engendering resistance to standard of care anti-cancer regimens..

BerGenBio holds patent applications on BGB002 and is developing novel selective small molecule inhibitors to the target with Sygnature Discovery Ltd, the UK’s largest independent service provider of integrated drug discovery, with expertise in medicinal chemistry, in vitro bioscience, computational chemistry and informatics.

The Award, which is made in the form of a convertible loan, will fund the next phase of the Company’s BGB002 development project over the next 12 months.

Richard Godfrey, Chief Executive Officer of BerGenBio, commented:
“The receipt of this Wellcome Trust Seeding Drug Discovery Award is a tremendous achievement and a solid endorsement both for BerGenBio’s expertise in identifying key molecular drivers of aggressive drug resistant cancers and for our ability to translate these discoveries into viable drug candidates. I am particularly proud of the successful collaborative effort by our staff and the team at Sygnature. They work exceptionally well together and provide complementary skill sets. Scientists from BerGenBio and Sygnature worked co-operatively across their respective sites to assemble a highly compelling application and successfully co-presented the project at the final evaluation stage.

“The Wellcome Trust receives hundreds of applications for this type of funding and grants just a few awards each year to projects with outstanding science and innovation that are working to address a substantial unmet medical need.

“This funding will aid in our research and development effort to uncover novel small molecule therapeutics to treat aggressive, resistant cancers.”


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.


About the Wellcome Trust
The Wellcome Trust is the second-highest-spending global charitable foundation, dedicated to achieving extraordinary improvements in human and animal health. It supports bright minds in biomedical research and the medical humanities, including public engagement, education and the application of research to improve health. It is independent of both political and commercial interests.
For more information on the Seeding Drug Discovery Award, please visit the Wellcome Trust website:

About Sygnature Discovery Ltd.
Sygnature Discovery is the UK’s largest independent provider of integrated drug discovery with core capabilities including medicinal chemistry, in vitro bioscience, computational chemistry and informatics. We also provide ADME, in vitro toxicology, early safety pharmacology, in vivo efficacy models, ion channel expertise, protein production and X-ray crystallography according to our clients’ specific needs, via long-term strategic alliance partners.


Major Oslo Cancer Cluster delegation to Nordic Life Science Days/ECCP2014

The largest Nordic Life Science conference “Nordic Life Science Days” (NLSDays) will take place in Stockholm September 7-9. At present 652 delegates from 456 companies are registered – offering 339 licencing opportunities.

A large delegation from Oslo Cancer Cluster will join this years NLSDays that also features the European Cancer Cluster Partnering, which Oslo Cancer Cluster hosts together with French Cancer Bio-Santé.

17 members present
As of now, 17 Oslo Cancer Cluster member companies will be present at NLSDays/ECCP: APIM Therapeutics, Inven2, Nextera, Ultimovacs, Lifandis, Vaccibody, Norwegian Cancer Society, LINK Medical Research, Lytix Biopharma, Targovax, NTNU Technology Transfer, Oncoimmunity, Bergen Technology Transfer, Birk Venture, Oslo University Hospital, University of Oslo and PCI Biotech.

ECCP Oncology Track
The ECCP Oncology Track features a strong oncology program focusing on three major topics; early stage oncology possibilities, Immuno-Oncology and the coupling of biomarkers, bio banks and big data in cancer treatment. Major international speakers will join and the program covers the whole value chain from research to market.

Norwegian stand promoting Norwegian Healthcare Industry
Kindly sponsored by Innovation Norway, Oslo Cancer Cluster and Nansen Neuroscience Network organizes a joint conference booth promoting cluster members and the Norwegian Life Science sector. Please come and visit us to hear more about the strengths of Norwegian Healthcare Industry. The joint Norwegian Stand will be served by the Management Teams of both clusters.

More information


Vaccibody successfully completes a 35 million NOK financing

Vaccibody has in a new share issue completed a 35 MNOK (4.3 million €) financing from existing and new investors. The share issue was significantly oversubscribed.

The largest new investor is represented by Datum and partners, which will take a seat in the Board of Directors. Arctic Securities is the manager for the share issue. The finalization will take place in the extraordinary general meeting on July 9th.

“We are very pleased to see such a great interest in Vaccibody AS and I look forward to take the company into a new stage by initiating our first clinical study. I very much welcome our new strong investor group and look forward to a fruitful collaboration in the years to come..” CEO, Ole Henrik Brekke

For further information please contact:
CEO Ole Henrik Brekke,, +4792628434
Please visit

Nordic Nanovector: Successful closing of MNOK 250

Oslo Cancer Cluster member Nordic Nanovector announce that the company has closed its pre-IPO private placement of NOK 250 million – 100 million more than anticipated.

The private placement, which was directed towards existing shareholders as well as new institutional and professional investors, attracted strong investor interest and was increased from  NOK 150 million to NOK 250 million on the basis of strong demand from solid institutional investors.

Further developing Betalutin™
The private placement was managed by ABG Sundal Collier and DNB Markets and was significantly oversubscribed. Nordic Nanovectors largest shareholder, HealthCap V. L.P. participated in the placement and was allocated 1,800,000 shares. Nordic Nanovector intends to use the net proceeds of the private placement to fund further clinical development of Betalutin™ for treatment of non-Hodgkin Lymphoma.

Norwegian paper DN published this article on the news, siting Roy Larsen: “This may be the new Algeta”.

About Nordic Nanovector AS
Nordic Nanovector AS is a privately held company established in 2009. The company is based in Norway and has offices and laboratories in Oslo. The company is developing novel innovative anticancer radioimmunotherapeutics to treat non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (NHL) and other hematological malignancies.
Read more on Nordic Nanovector`s web page.

About Betalutin
Betalutin™, is a pharmaceutical product candidate consisting of a radionuclide conjugated to a tumor seeking carrier/antibody, which can be used for irradiation of malignant metastasized tumors with minimal damage to nearby healthy normal tissue. This technology aims to prolong and improve the quality of life of people who suffer from non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (NHL).

Targovax successfully completes a 70 MNOK financing

Immunotherapy specialist Targovax announces completion of a 70 MNOK financing, mainly from new investors. The share issue was significantly oversubscribed.

CEO Hanne M Kristensen states; “The capital increase of 70 MNOK will make us able to continue developing Targovax’s pipeline of immunotherapies targeting RAS mutated cancer forms, and also gives us a strong position to develop Targovax as a company”.

Chairman Jónas Einarsson comments; “This is an important step forward for Targovax, and clearly shows that the Norwegian investment community has opened its eyes to our sector.”

Datum and partners represent the largest new group of shareholders, and look forward to working together with the company management in the years to come, to develop the company’s potential.

Arctic Securities ASA is the manager for the share issue. The company will be OTC-listed shortly after completion of the financing round.

Read more about Targovax here.


In Norwegian:

Immunterapi-spesialisten Targovax annonserer i dag gjennomføringen av en suksessfull kapitalutvidelse på 70 MNOK (11.5 MUSD), hovedsakelig fra nye investorer. Kapitalutvidelsen var vesentlig overtegnet.

CEO Hanne M Kristensen sier: “Kapitalutvidelsen på 70 MNOK gjør oss i stand til å fortsette å utvikle Targovax’ pipeline av immunterapi rettet mot RAS-muterte kreftformer, og gir oss en solid posisjon for å utvikle Targovax som selskap.“

Styreleder Jónas Einarsson kommenterer; “Dette er et viktig skritt fremover for Targovax og viser med all tydelighet at investormiljøet for alvor har fått øynene opp for vår sektor.“

Datum og partnere representerer den største nye gruppen av aksjonærer, og ser frem til å arbeide med selskapets ledelse i årene fremover for å utvikle selskapets potensial.

Arctic Securities ASA har vært tilrettelegger for kapitalutvidelsen. Selskapet vil bli OTC-listet kort tid etter gjennomføring av kapitalutvidelsen.


The Norwegian Cancer Society invest in Vaccibody

The Norwegian Cancer Society (NCS) have established an investment fund for Norwegian oncology companies. With the promising development of VB10.16, Vaccibody’s therapeutic vaccine against HPV induced precancerous lesions, NCS has decided to place their first investment in Vaccibody.

NCS will invest 500,000 euros. For publication in Norwegian, see Dagens Næringsliv.

“We are very pleased to see that Vaccibody has fulfilled all investment criteria demanded by NCS and is very proud that we are the first company they are investing in. This investment is an important step toward the financing of our first-in-man study”, CEO Ole Henrik Brekke says in comment.

Read more on Vaccibody.
Read more on the NCS`s investment fund.

“Helsemyggordningen” proposed for the Norwegian Parliament

The liberal party Venstre have proposed the implementation of the “Helsemyggordningen,” a financial mechanism for stimulation of health innovation, for the Norwegian Parliament. The proposal have been designated to the The Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs in the Parliament.

“Helsemyggordningen” was raised for the Norwegian Parliament on March 19th as a so-called Document 8-proposal. The “Helsemyggordningen” is inspired by a similar and highly successful mechanism to stimulate innovation in the oil and gas sector, named “oljemyggordningen” – hence the name.

Joint cluster proposal
Oslo Cancer Cluster, Oslo Medtech and Nansen Neuroscience Network proposed the “Helsemyggordningen” jointly at a meeting in December 2013, were a report from Menon Buiness Economics analysing the effect of the instrument was made public. The report concludes that this is a scheme that may be implemented in a simple way, and may be very effective in stimulating health innovations.

The three clusters are all very pleased that the liberal party Venstre have lifted the initiative politically.

Read the Document 8-proposal from Venstre here.
Read the report of “Helsemyggordningen” from Menon Business Economics here.

Bergen Bio Raises MNOK 75

BerGenBio AS, an oncology biopharmaceutical company, announces that it has raised NOK75 million (c.$12.5 million) from a syndicate of new and existing investors through a private placement. This follows a $6.0 million round in May 2013.

Proceeds from the financing will be used to support the development of the Company’s innovative portfolio of innovative cancer therapeutics.This includes the on-going clinical development of its lead drug candidate, BGB324, a first-in-class selective AXL kinase inhibitor, which is currently in Phase Ib clinical studies to evaluate its safety and initial signs of efficacy to treat different cancers as a single agent and in combination with other drugs.

Fund pipeline advancement
The funds raised will be used to complete these studies, data from which is anticipated in 2015. BGB324 is the only selective Axl receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor in clinical development to target tumour epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and has a potential application as a novel treatment for drug-resistant solid and hematological cancers, including non-small cell lung cancer and acute myeloid leukemia.

Richard Godfrey, CEO of BerGenBio commented: “I would like to thank our new and existing investors for their support. This important funding will enable us to advance our pipeline to key value inflection points. We believe that targeting Axl is a promising new approach to treating drug resistant cancers. We look forward to using this investment to continue exploring the clinical opportunity for our lead Axl inhibitor, BGB324, and our other candidate compounds.”

Huge market potential
Sveinung Hole, Managing Partner Sarsia Seed commented “At the seed stage we recognised the huge addressable market potential for BerGenBio`s EMT inhibitors and have continued to support the Company throughout its development. I am delighted the Company continues to attract funding and is able to progress its promising pipeline of novel targeted cancer therapies through further clinical development and realising significant value gain.

Ann-Tove Kongsnes, Investment Director, Investinor AS added, `we are excited by the Company’s prospects and are confident in the management team’s ability to drive these programs forward.”

About the Axl kinase receptor

The Axl tyrosine kinase receptor is regarded as one of the most promising new therapeutic targets for cancer drug  development It is upregulated in tumours residing in a hostile micro-environment and plays a crucial role in the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), which in turn is a key driver of metastasis (cancer spread) and a mechanisms of acquired drug-resistance.

About BerGenBio AS
BerGenBio AS is a biopharmaceutical company located in Bergen, Norway. The company is committed to developing first in class therapeutics that inhibit tumor EMT, preventing the formation of cancer stem cells and disrupting the important mechanisms of acquired cancer drug resistance. The company is founded on proprietary platform technology called 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, with additional compounds and drug targets at different stages of preclinical development.



5 Oslo Cancer Cluster SMEs granted BIA-funding

The Norwegian Research Council recently granted BerGenBio, PCI Biotech, Lytix Biopharma, Oncoinvent and Ultimovacs –  all Oslo Cancer Cluster member companies – funding  through the Programme for User-Driven Research Based Innovation (BIA).

In total, the Research Council will grant a record amount of 444 million to 58 Norwegian companies over four years, of which 10 are biotech companies – which is also a new record.

BerGenBio, Lytix Biopharma, PCI Biotech, Oncoinvent and Ultimovacs will receive around 10 million NOK each over 4 years, depending on the outcome of the contract negotiations between the council and the company. Funding from the  BIA programme is a quality stamp since the companies compete in “open class” where all sectors are represented. The funding may also in turn trigger interest  from private investors.

On the Research Council`s website you may find the total list of all the 58 companies (in Norwegian) and read more about the funding from the BIA-programme.

Norwegian Cancer Society initiate investment fund

The newly employed Head of Biotech Investments in The Norwegian Cancer Society, Sigrid Fossheim, has already had several meetings with potential oncology companies to invest in. – We aim to make our first investment before the Summer of 2014, says Fossheim.

The Norwegian Cancer Society is the largest private contributor to cancer research in Norway. Annually the Society grants approximately MNOK 180 to cancer research.

Earlier this year the Norwegian Cancer Society announced they would start investing in early-stage companies and projects within oncology. Head of Biotech Investments Sigrid Fossheim, known from Oslo Cancer Cluster members as Epitarget and Clavis Pharma, has already had meetings with several companies and Tech Transfer Offices (TTO`s), hoping to tap into the available funding of MNOK 75 over five years.
Will make a difference
“We have some specific criterias for our investments of course, but for us the overall goal is to accelerate the development of new therapies and diagnostics for the benefit of the cancer patients. The rule of thumb when we invest is, that we will make a difference, meaning the funding should release the potential of a project and help the company through a critical phase where capital is scarce, says Fossheim

And adds: “A successful investment from our perspective implies that the company for instance has been able to undertake critical and risk reducing project activities rendering it more attractive to larger investors that can further finance the company to project commercialisation and patient benefit.”

As a general rule at least one co-investor should invest in the project or company in collaboration with the Norwegian Cancer Society.

“Having a co-investor is important for us in order to learn the do`s and don’ts of the trade. We have a tight dialogue with all actors in the field, both public and private, including the TTO`s,” says Ole Alexander Opdalshei, Deputy Secretary General.

Hope to inspire others to invest

The news that the Norwegian Cancer Society would start investing was very well received by the oncology community when the initiative was first announced in May this year. For the Society this is an entirely new role, and a very different role than funding cancer research, says Opdalshei.

“For us this is a political statement as well. We hope that through investing, the government and private investors understand that there is a huge need for capital to take oncology research from bench to bedside. We see too few promising projects reach the cancer patients, due to lack of funding in some critical phases. Hopefully our entry onto this scene will inspire others to take the leap – in collaboration with us,” says Opdalshei.

The Society will at the start of the 2014  have meetings with both Innovation Norway and the Norwegian Research Council, addressing the need for more early-stage funding in this area.

“We were very surprised and let down when we got the news that none of the governmental seed capital funds went to biomedicine. This is an area that deserves funding to transform the excellent research to actual patient care, says Opdalshei.

Contact us and set up a meeting
Fossheim encourages oncology start-ups and TTO`s that need funding, to contact her and set up a meeting for a first evaluation.

“If the company or TTO has a promising project that falls within the scope of the Society’s investment mandate, we will encourage the company/TTO to apply for investment funds, following some overall guidelines and providing the necessary documentation. If the evaluation of the company is positive with amongst other the fulfillment of the Society’s investment criterias – an investment proposal will be presented to the Investment Committee for recommendation. The board of the Norwegian Cancer Society will however have the final decision-making authority with regard to investments recommended by the Investment Committee, “says Fossheim.

Flowchart investment process Norwegian Cancer Society.

Facts – Norwegian Cancer Society`s Investments in Oncology:

  • MNOK 75 over a five-year period
  • Early-stage companies/projects
  • Investment criterias at an organizational level:
    1) Unlisted companies
    2) Main business area within oncology
    3) Well –organised and professionally run projects/companies
  • Investment criterias at a project level:
    1) Unique product with high potential for improved cancer care
    2) Unmet medical needs addressed
    3) Patent protection
    4) Competent and experienced team
    5) Proven capability in project execution
    6) Clear and achievable milestone plan
    7) Robust and suitable business model
    8) Low negative, reputation risk
    9) Conformity with the ethical guidelines of the Norwegian Cancer Society

Investment Committee members:

  • Terje Kalland, Chief Scientific Officer, Karolinska Development
  • Hans Peter Bøhn, physician and former healthcare analyst at Fondsfinans
  • Tom Pike, life science industry professional
  • Hilde Steineger, Head of Innovation Management, Pronova Biopharma
  • James Lorens, Professor at University of Bergen and co-founder of BerGenBio

For more information:

Contact Sigrid Fossheim, Head of Biotech Investments, The Norwegian Cancer Society: /+ 47 982 38 465

About the Norwegian Cancer Society

The Norwegian Cancer Society is a nationwide organization that addresses the challenges of cancer and funding research is its main priority. The Society provides approximately 25 per cent of all direct funding for cancer research in Norway, and is also actively involved in cancer prevention and international collaboration.
The Society’s main goals are s to reduce cancer incidence, increase cancer survival and achieve optimal life quality for cancer patients and their families.
Read more on the Norwegian Cancer Society’s website.


Helsemyggordning – financial instrument for health innovation

December 11th 2013, Oslo Cancer Cluster, Oslo Medtech and Nansen Neuroscience Network launched a proposal for a new financing mechanism to stimulate innovation from the health- and biotech industry.

The proposal was very well received among the politicians, industry, public organisations and investors at the debate meeting in conjunction to the launch. Conservative Member of Parliament Kristin Vinje viewed the scheme as an exciting proposition that it is worthwhile to investigate further.

The three health clusters have named the scheme “Helsemyggordning”, building on a similar financial instrument from the oil and gas industry that was established to encourage exploration and development activity among young and small petroleum companies.

To stimulate increased health innovation, the scheme “Helsemyggordning” would involve cash payments of tax deduction related to the cost of development and testing of health products and health technologies innovators who are not liable to tax. When the company gets profits and are liable to tax, they must repay the tax paid for the development and testing costs. The system thus acts as an interest-free capital loans from state to the health innovations.

Acting CEO in Oslo Cancer Cluster, Jónas Einarsson, says the scheme may  trigger the huge potential within Norwegian health R&D. “We are at a critical stage now, as the biotech projects coming out are more mature and in a need for early funding,” says Einarsson.

Menon Business Economics have analysed “Helsemyggordningen”. They conclude that it is easy to administrate, predictable, and targeted.

Please find more in debth information here:

Report on “Helsemyggordningen”

Presentation of Helsemyggordningen, by Erik Jacobsen, Menon Business Economics.

Norwegian Cancer Society grant MNOK 160

The 2013 year’s grant to cancer research in Norway, 160 million NOK (EUR 20 M) is the largest grant the Norwegian Cancer Society has ever given.

“It is fantastic that we are able to provide such a large amount to our top cancer researchers in Norway”, says Secretary-General Anne Lise Ryel, Norwegian Cancer Society. “This is made possible thanks to our big and small, but always generous donors and members”.

The money will be divided among 121 projects at 12 research institutions across the country. The three institutions that will receive the most are: Oslo University Hospital (MNOK 73), the University of Oslo (MNOK 35) and the University of Bergen (MNOK 24). Download a full overview over the projects here (in Norwegian).

Enables quality boost
For Oslo Cancer Cluster member NTNU, the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, the grants constitute a significant contribution to the university’s cancer research: “The money enables us to boost the quality of our research”, says Dean Stig Slørdahl from the Faculty of Medicine. “It was a great joy to receive this funding, especially when we know that only the best projects receives funding.”

One of the cancer researchers at NTNU that got funding for here project is Bodil Merete Kavli, whom you can read more about in the Cancer Society’s blog. She’s trying to find out which mechanisms inside the cells causes the development of lymphoma cancer. Thanks to the award from the Cancer Society, Kavli is now able to finance a four year research position.

About The Norwegian Cancer Society
The society is the largest non-government sponsor of independent cancer research in Norway. Over the last 10 years the Norwegian Cancer society  has granted 1.6 billion NOK (EUR 2bn) to cancer research. This represents over 25 prosent of total resources Norwegian researchers have at their disposal for their research. Read more here:

Pucture: Cancer researcher Bodil Merete Kavli at NTNU, surprised by the Cancer Society and Norwegian Television. Photo: Arild Domaas, NCS

Investinor and Industrifonden invest in Pharmalink

Oslo Cancer Cluster was the proud host of a press conference in early October, where two of the Nordic region’s largest governmental venture investors Investinor and Industrifonden announced their NOK million 90 investment in Swedish biotech Pharmalink. Pharmalink is a specialty pharma company focused on orphan and niche products within cancer and renal disease.

The press conference was hosted by Oslo Cancer Cluster due to Pharmalinks future plans of joining the cluster and becoming a part of the strong oncology environment in Oslo.

Jónas Einarsson, acting director of Oslo Cancer Cluster states “I am very glad to hear that Pharmalink would like to join Oslo Cancer Cluster and I welcome them to be a part of our strong member organization. I am also very happy for the collaboration between Investionor and Industrifonden within biotech, and hope for more co-investments in the close future.”

This is the second co-investment Investionor and Industrifonden have made in collaboration, the first one was also in biothech: Norwegian company Smartfish that produce nutraceuticals for cancer patients among others.

In the picture from the press conference you see from the left Investment director from Investinor og member of the board of Pharmalink Ann-Tove Kongsnes, CEO of Investinor Geir Ove Kjesbu, CEO of Industrifonden Claes De Neergaard and CEO of Pharmalink Johan Häggblad. Photo: Anne-Elisabeth Næss.

Below the facts you may read the press releases from both Investionor (In Norwegian) and Pharmalink (In English) on the investment:


About Pharmalink
Pharmalink is a Swedish specialty pharma company developing high value products for niche indications. Pharmalink draws on its extensive experience of pharmaceutical development and marketing to identify and progress products that address significant unmet medical needs. With a successful history in pharmaceutical sales and marketing, and highly experienced, dynamic management team, Pharmalink is focused on the development and commercialization of valuable, de-risked projects. It has two late-stage clinical phase products under development, Nefecon® and Busulipo™. Pharmalink is actively seeking opportunities to acquire or in-licence product opportunities in niche and hospital care indications. Visit for further information.

About Industrifonden
Industrifonden is one of Sweden’s largest and most experienced investors at early stage and in growth companies and manages an evergreen fund of approximately 3.5 billion (EUR420m). It has for the last 30 years had a leading role in the development of Swedish life science companies. Founded by the Swedish government in 1979, Industrifonden is an independent venture capital fund that operates on a strictly commercial basis and receives no further government funding. Revenues are returned to the business for new investments. See more info at:

About Investinor
Investinor is Norway’s largest investor in venture and expansion capital, and manages a NOK4.2 billion (EUR525m) evergreen fund. Investinor was founded in 2008 and is funded by the Norwegian government. It invests directly in promising unlisted companies and on the same terms and conditions as private investors, with a clear exit strategy for all investments.
Find more info on: