News regarding Oslo Cancer Cluster

PCI Biotech: Dose escalation in the bile duct cancer study completed with promising early signs of efficacy

Oslo Cancer Cluster member PCI Biotech reports that the treatment evaluation of the fourth dose cohort in the Phase I/II study of fimaporfin (Amphinex®) in patients with inoperable bile duct cancer has been completed. The Cohort Review Committee (CRC) of clinical experts and company representatives has recommended that the study progress into Phase II, based on promising early signs of efficacy in the last cohorts.

 

The CRC has reviewed data from twelve patients that have completed the safety evaluation window and no dose limiting toxicities or other safety concerns have been reported thus far in the study. CRC’s recommendation is based on early promising signs of tumour response in the last dose cohorts (both partial and complete responses), combined with experience from earlier clinical studies with fimaporfin.

Coordinating Investigator, Dr. Richard Sturgess at Aintree, said -Bile duct cancer has a remarkable resistance to chemotherapy and these patients are lacking good alternative treatment options. The combination of fimaporfin and gemcitabine represents a new and innovative treatment concept that could potentially produce significant clinical benefit. The results of the Phase I part of the study are encouraging and I look forward to working with my fellow investigators on the continuation of this study.

The Phase II part of the study will be slightly modified to draw on the experiences gained from Phase I, as well as recommendations from the investigators and PCI Biotech’s Scientific Advisory Committee. Phase II will commence when the amended protocol has been approved by regulatory authorities and ethics committees.

Per Walday, CEO of PCI Biotech, said -This is an important milestone for PCI Biotech. We are confident that fimaporfin (Amphinex®) has potential to provide clinical benefit in bile duct cancer, which is an orphan disease with high need of new local treatment options. Fimaporfin fits well with the treatment need of this disease, both with regard to the standard endoscopic procedures and our technology’s ability to enhance the recommended cancer therapy.

 

Facts:

About bile duct cancer
Bile duct cancer originates in the bile ducts, which drain bile from the liver into the small intestine. It is a rare cancer (an orphan disease) without approved chemotherapies and the development pipeline is limited. Annual incidence rates of 1-2 cases per 100,000 are seen in the Western world, but rates have been rising worldwide over the past several decades. The majority of cases present as inoperable and there is a high unmet need for improved treatment technologies.

 

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.

The PCI technology is also very well suited for intracellular delivery of nucleic acids, such as RNA therapeutics. By releasing nucleic acid compounds from endosomes where they are trapped following administration, PCI addresses one of the major bottlenecks facing this emerging and exciting field.

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 see. http://www.pcibiotech.com

 

Curida signs framework-agreement with Serviceproduksjon

Oslo Cancer Cluster member Curida has signed a framework-agreement with Serviceproduksjon, which is a subsidary to the Norwegian Pharmace Association. The agreement entails validation of a chemical analytical method for use in analysis of tablets. It also includes routine analysis of the particular drug.

 

“Serviceproduksjon received offers from three other contract laboratories and chose Curida based on competency, competitive pricing and short lead times. It was also a contributing fact that Curida has experience from a broad range of types of drugs and delivery forms. We are looking forward to working with a laboratory which has extensive experience on development and validation of analytical methods within Pharmaceuticals”, says Eli Bjørnson; Senior Advisor at Serviceproduksjon.

 

We are proud to have acquired this agreement with Serviceproduksjon, states Morten Steinvåg; Sales Director at Curida. Serviceproduksjon is a highly regarded organisation based on its services to the Norwegian Pharmacies, and their own manufacturing of Speciality Pharmaceuticals. The agreement is a proof of concept not only in regards to Curida’s know-how on Laboratory Services but also our position in a highly competitive environment. Siv Ekeberg Søbakken; Director of Quality adds; we are looking forward to work together with Serviceproduksjon, and to support them with our competence in development and validation of analytical methods.

 

Facts:

About the Norwegian Pharmacy Association:

The Norwegian Pharmacy Association (Apotekforeningen) is the trade organization for pharmacies in Norway and their owners. The association dates back to 1881, when it was founded to safeguard the interests of pharmacies, and to speak on behalf of members in their dealings with the authorities and other industries. The Norwegian Pharmacy Association is today focusing on the professional development of pharmacies, the legislative and economic framework set by the Government, and the development of technology and e-health services. The products of Serviceproduksjon are being produced at five different sites and there are about 150 different products, mainly drugs but also some OTC.

For more information. http://www.apotek.no

 

About Curida:

Curida is a Contract Development and Manufacturing Organization for Pharmaceuticals, based in Norway.  The factory has 40+ years of experience within manufacturing of Pharmaceuticals and export to over 30 countries globally. Curida has core competency within liquid Pharmaceuticals based on Blow Fill Seal, Nasal Spray and Bottles. We work with both national and international customers ranging from small biotech to Big Pharma.  We are part of an exciting and growing life science sector in Norway, and our vision is to be the National centre for industrialization of medical innovation.

For more information. http://www.curida.no

Presentation at one of the R&D Network meetings.

14 new members of Oslo Cancer Cluster in 2015

Oslo Cancer Cluster had a tremendous growth in the number of members in 2015: 14 new ones joined us. In total the cluster now comprise of 75 members. Please find a short description of our new members from 2015 below.

 

Medivir

Medivir is a Nordic research based pharmaceutical company with focus on infectious diseases and oncology. Medivir has a cutting-edge competence in the design of protease inhibitors and generation of analogues of nucleosides. With world-class in-house capabilities and a network of complementary external expertise, Medivir is a long-term partner to the health care sector and adds value through launching innovative medicines within specialty care areas such as infectious diseases and oncology.

http://www.medivir.se

 

Phoenix Solutions AS

is an innovative start-up Biotech company focused on development of a platform for ultrasound mediated targeted delivery of lipophilic drugs; Acoustic Cluster Therapy – ACT(tm). After intravenous injection ultrasound, imaging is used to image the drug formulation within the body and to trigger the release of the drug payload at the targeted pathology under ultrasound guided imaging control. The concept is based on the controlled manufacture of micron-sized clusters of microbubbles and oil droplets. Phoenix is focused on developing a drug delivery technology and not on drug product development. Phoenix will collaborate with drug companies to provide development of formulation and procedures as well as the rights to use our intellectual property.

http://www.phoenixsolutions.no

 

Regenics AS

Regenics AS is a private Norwegian biotechnology company based in Oslo. The business concept is to develop and patent technologies and products for cosmetic and therapeutic wound healing applications. Regenics’ innovations include products from bio-marine resources, such as salmon eggs. The product technology is a revolutionary approach to skin rejuvenation and repair, with power to improve skin appearance and wound healing by stimulating the skin’s own cells. The technologies utilize the nature’s own ingredients to induce natural processes of skin by improving cell function, activity, and growth. These are mechanisms highly beneficial for both cosmetic and wound healing applications.

http://www.regenics.no

 

Steenstrup Stordrange

The law firm Steenstrup Stordrange offers a full range of legal services to businesses of different sizes, from start-ups to mature corporations. They are in particular focused and aware of the challenges met by early-stage businesses, and intend to offer personalized attention with an overall focus on securing and adding value to the companies that they serve. As a full-service business law firm, our practice covers areas ranging from regulatory issues, IP, business formation and financing, mergers and acquisitions, taxation, to exit strategies and business succession planning. Steenstrup Stordrange offer cost-effective and creative legal solutions to business and commercial clients. Pharmaceutical and healthcare companies will potentially face a range of challenges, including possible disputes over intellectual property, adherence to evolving regulatory rules and regulations and parallel import challenges, to name just a few. At the same time, the industry offers great opportunities and growth potential. They aim at being your preferred legal partner whenever the need for legal assistance may arise.

http://www.steenstrup.no

 

Myhere AS

Myhere AS focuses on improving detection, prognosis and life quality for people affected by Prostate Cancer through developing an improved service for early detection and monitoring of Prostate Cancer and Prostate Cancer risk. Myhere combines existing and new diagnostics tools, data analytics and a structured processes across the treatment landscape, in order to provide users with the security of having their Prostate Cancer risk status and development followed and analyzed, as well as further medical follow up recommend or initiated if relevant. Ultimately, Myhere’s ambition is to help turn Prostate Cancer from a life quality reducing and/or potentially deadly disease, into a manageable chronic condition without dramatic side effects. Through Myhere, users will own and control their own health information. The users will also have the option to donate their information anonymously to research purposes. Myhere will seek partnerships with leading researchers in order to improve Prostate Cancer diagnostics and treatment to the benefit of everyone affected by the disease.

 

SAS Institute AS

SAS Institute AS – Being the leader in business analytics software and services worldwide, and the largest independent vendor in the business intelligence market, SAS has an enduring commitment to employees, environment and communities. Healthcare is an industry that use SAS software to both improve clinical performance, patient safety and secure a more efficient care delivery. In Norway, Northern and South-Eastern Norway Regional Health Authority and several of their hospitals uses SAS in their daily work. In addition, a high number of universities and research institutes uses our software for analysis and sharing results. SAS software is free of use for education and noncommercial research activities. Students writes bachelor and master thesis with support from SAS advisors as mentors together with our customers. One example is bachelor at The Cancer Registry of Norway May 2015. Becoming a member of Oslo Cancer Cluster, we will explore if Ullern vgs would like to be part of our global academic community and also if students from Universities and High Schools could be of use for the members at Oslo Cancer Cluster. Globally SAS are involved in several initiatives fighting cancer, like Project Data Sphere, an independent initiative of the CEO Roundtable on Cancer’s Life Sciences Consortium. The Consortium builds collaboration that expedites research and development into more effective cancer treatments. We hope a membership at Oslo Cancer Cluster could utilize SAS local and global software expertise and our extended network tied to Health Care and Cancer Research, and exploit the possibilities for innovation thru use of business analytics.

http://www.sas.com

 

Celgene AS

Celgene Corporation is a global integrated biopharmaceutical company primarily engaged in the discovery, development and commercialisation of innovative therapies designed to treat cancer, immune system disorders and inflammatory diseases where there are limited treatment options for patients. There are hundreds of clinical trials at major medical centres worldwide evaluating compounds from Celgene. Marketed therapies and investigational compounds include those for incurable haematological cancers and solid tumours as well as immune-inflammatory related diseases including; multiple myeloma (MM), myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL), chronic myelomonocytic leukaemia (CMML), mantle cell lymphoma (MCL), acute myeloid leukaemia (AML), non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL), pancreatic cancer, breast cancer, non-small lung cancer, melanoma, psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis and Crohn’s disease.

http://www.celgene.no

 

HealthCap

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.

http://www.healthcap.eu

 

Astellas Pharma AS

Astellas Pharma Inc. is a global pharmaceutical company with a simple vision – to produce exceptional medicines that change tomorrow for patients in need. Headquartered in Tokyo, Astellas was founded in 2005 through the merger of Yamanouchi and Fujisawa, marrying nearly two centuries of collective experience in producing pharmaceutical drugs. We combine the deep expertise brought by this long heritage with the forward-thinking outlook of a young company. At the heart of that outlook is the patient. Now, Astellas employs more than 17,500 people globally and is a world leader in the development of innovative new medicines. With our ethos of CHANGING TOMORROWTM, Astellas is committed to exploring therapeutic areas in which there is a vital need for treatments that improve and lengthen patients’ lives. We’re not in the business of making ‘me too’ medicines. We strive to develop therapies that are first-in-class and best-in-class. Treatments that offer patients and their doctors genuinely new options for improving care.

http://www.astellas.eu

 

Curida AS

Curida offer hiqh-quality manufacturing of pharmaceuticals, food supplements and related products. Their manufacturing site and our staff have a long and proud tradition to supply a wide range of products to our national and international customers. The site in Norway is specialized on liquid and semi-liquid formulations for many different applications. They are dedicated to create value for our customers by being a flexible, enthusiastic, credible and brave business partner.

http://www.curida.no

 

Crown Bioscience Inc. (UK)

Crown Bioscience is a global preclinical CRO providing cutting-edge translational platforms and drug discovery solutions for its academic, biotech and pharmaceutical partners in dedicated therapeutic areas: Oncology and Metabolic Disease. Our proprietary platforms enable unique lead optimisation and translational strategies, including patient stratification, to reduce attrition and deliver superior clinical candidates for pre-defined patient populations. Headquartered in Santa Clara California, Crown Bioscience has key research facilities in the UK, China (Beijing and Taicang) and the USA (San Diego and North Carolina).

With the world’s largest and most diverse portfolio of Cell-Derived Xenograft (CDX) and well-characterised Patient-Derived Xenograft models (PDX), from both naïve and pre-treated patients; comprehensive and fully client-searchable online databases of models fit for efficacy (XenoBase, HuBase and MuBase); and the capacity to perform 100s of in vivo studies in parallel (including HuTrials, human surrogate clinical trials), they can help our clients to discover biomarkers of efficacy, genetic signatures of response, and identify the characteristics of patient responders to improve patient selection and focus recruitment in the clinic –  in months rather than years, and at a fraction of the cost of a clinical trial. Crown also provides a high quality range of Immunotherapy Research Platforms to support the growing field of Immuno-Oncology drug discovery, including platforms of mouse immunity and human immunity.

Their unique collection of ready-to-run, well-validated in vitro and in vivo models, model development expertise, comprehensive drug discovery platforms and global capacity enable us to deliver the key results our clients rely upon to expedite their research.

http://www.crownbio.com

 

Questback AS

QuestBack was founded in Oslo in 2000 and currently has 300 employees in six different countries. We are a Norwegian company that delivers technology, along with the expertise to structure and safeguard communication between individuals, groups and organizations, so that one can make reporting and analysis of collected data. Over 5,000 customers are currently on our customer list, and they use our technology to develop their organizations and projects. QuestBack has customers in many different type of industries and health care, which includes Life Science is a sector that has a large focus and as we grow in.

QuestBack investment in Oncology: Research and health is an important area for us, and we’ve hired people who are dedicated to developing our technology and services in this field. Our focus in healthcare is patient dialogue / involvement, where we help organizations to structure and assist the patient to provide the correct information based on the situation and needs. QuestBack is currently in the process of getting our solution certified by ICHOM (www.ichom.org), a consortium between Karolinska Institute, BCG and Harvard University, which seeks to establish standardized PROM`s (Patient Reported Outcome Measures). Quality and health records, such as cancer registry, need more data on the patient and how they live with, after or during cancer treatment. These data are essential in the further research. Clinical trials are an area we have worked with previously and an area we would like to specialize in.

http://www.questback.com

 

Larix A/S

Larix A/S is a full service clinical research organization with headquarters in Herlev near Copenhagen, Denmark. Larix has offices in Oslo, Lund, Stockholm and Helsinki enabling us to support full Nordic clinical development programs.

Larix is a family founded, privately owned company that has been working in the clinical research environment for 14 years. They provide expertise and consulting to pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device companies requiring assistance with all aspects of clinical studies, including trial management and monitoring, biostatistics, data management, medical writing and pharmacovigilance. Larix has experience across all therapeutic areas and with clinical development of medicinal products, medical devices and diagnostics. Currently, Larix is responsible for or involved in more than 10 clinical studies including four oncology studies. In addition, their staff is contributing to a large number of clinical studies as insourced Clinical Trial Managers/Clinical Research Associates, Data Managers or Statisticians. Apart from being a full service CRO, Larix is now the largest Scandinavian CRO within biometrics. Larix employs 70 people, of which about half are statisticians, data managers and medical writers.

http://www.larix.dk

 

Oslo Life Science Advisors

Oslo Life Science Advisors focuses on providing its customers with quality insight, based on technology assessment and validation, competition and market positioning analysis, strategy evaluation and assessment and business plan creation based on a thorough, analytical approach and industrial experience. Oslo Life Science Advisors have a special focus in oncology, immunology and personalized medicine. The founding partner has experience from starting and leading several startups within diagnostics and therapeutics, and has a strong commitment to commercial development of innovative projects within biomedicine and health.

 

Cancer Crosslinks 2016 will be streamed

Cancer Crosslinks 2016 features a really interesting program. For those of you that may not take part of the actual conference in the Oslo Cancer Cluster Innovation Park, you may watch the whole program at your computer as we will live stream from 9:00 – 16:30.

Over 240 people from all over Norway have signed up for this years Cancer Crosslinks. The program focuses on immuno-oncology and features strong international thought leaders as presenters. Cancer Crosslinks is hosted by Oslo Cancer Cluster and sponsored by BMS and Janssen.

 

 

 

Smartfish juices show effects in a cancer cachexia animal model

Oslo Cancer Cluster member Smartfish recently presented that  juices containing omega-3, whey proteins and natural antioxidants have beneficial effects on body weight, muscle weight and tumour size in a mouse model for cancer cachexia with or without concomitant chemotherapy.

Smartfish AS is developing a Food for Special Medical Purpose (FSMP) product called Nutrifriend Cachexia (NFCax) aiming to reduce and counteract the damaging and the often deadly outcome of cachexia (a disease related wasting syndrome characterized by muscle loss, asthenia and fatigue). The Smartfish products contain omega-3 in a juice blend with vitamins and proteins. No nutrition product to date has succeeded in demonstrating improved outcomes in this disease.

 

In a Lewis lung model study conducted by Prof. J. Argiles, at the University of Barcelona, Spain, tumour bearing mice were treated for 18 days with either an isocaloric placebo, a Smartfish juice dose corresponding to a human dose of 4 grams of EPA/DHA (omega-3) per day (NFCax) or a Smartfish juice corresponding to a human dose of 3 grams EPA/DHA per day fortified with curcumin (NFCur) with or without chemotherapy (sorefanib).

 

The results show a clear statistically significant increase in tibialis muscle when the animals were treated with either NFCax or NFCur. In chemotherapy treated mice, juice treatment, both NFCax and NFCur, resulted in a marked tendency to increase in grip force, which is an important measure of function in patients.

 

Both juices, significantly reduced primary tumour growth. In spite of the tumour reduction, the chemotherapy treatment did not result in changes in body weight. In combination with sorafenib, NFCax had and important effect on reducing body weight loss. NFCur treatment also had an effect without chemotherapy

 

In conclusion, treatment with Smartfish juices seems to have beneficial effects on muscle wasting and could be part of a therapy for cancer cachexia

Cancer Crosslinks 2016 features thought leaders in immuno-oncology

Cancer Crosslinks 2016 on January 14 offers you an exciting program with international keynote speakers who made and make major contributions to advance immunotherapies against cancer. Already more than 120 delegates have signed up, but we have room for many more in the Kaare Norum Auditorium at Oslo Cancer Cluster Innovation Park. The conference is sponsored by BMS and Janssen.

 

 

The main theme for Cancer Crosslinks 2016 is: «The transversal impact of new treatments in Oncology and Hematology: tumor microenvironment, novel concepts, combinations and study design».

 

Some program highlights:

  • Professor Gordon Freeman, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School, is one of the key persons behind today’s PD-1/ PD-L1 inhibitors. He will share his perspectives on PD-1 cancer immunotherapy. His talk will be complemented by case studies from Norway illustrating the broad impact of immune checkpoint inhibitors for a variety of cancers
  • Professor  Renier Brentjens, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, will shift the focus to hematological cancers and discuss the advancement of recombinant T-cell technologies including CAR-T-cell approaches for different indications. Norwegian experts will complement his talk with updates on novel immuno-oncology approaches being developed at UiO and OUS
  • Stefani Spranger from Professor Tom Gajewski’s lab, University of Chicago will provide the latest insights into the role of T-cell inflammed versus non-inflammed tumor microenvironment for immunotherapy
  • Last, but not least: a Norwegian patient will share his perspectives on the importance of novel cancer therapies

 

Travel expences
Participants working at hospitals and/or academic reserach centres whom have no sources for funding the participation will get flight or train ticket covered. How ever we do not cover local transportation to / from the airport. Flight or train tickets may be ordered by connecting to travel agency Berg-Hansen on e-mail:  bestilling@berg-hansen.no or phone  08050 between 08.00-17.00. The reference code is «OCC».

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.

– 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.

Samarbeid
– 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.

Program:

Session one: Medical Devices
09:00-09:15
Hy5
09:15-09:30
Otivio
09:30-09:45
RemovAid
09:45-10:00
Biovotec

Session two: Ultrasound and imaging based medtech companies
10:00-10:15
IC Target
10:15-10:30
Respinor
10:30-10:45

Break

10:45-11:00
Sonitor

Session three: M-Health
11:00-11:15
Curaservice
11:15-11:30
Pattern Solutions
11:30-11:45
X Center
11:45-13:00

Lunch and DNB Health Care Prize

Session four: Diagnostics
13:00-13:15
CardiNor
13:15-13:30
Genetic Analysis
13:30-13:45
Lifecare
13:45-14:00
PreDiagnostics
14:00-14:15
Spinchip
14:15-14:30
Glucoset
14:30-14:45
Spiro Medical
14:45-15:00
Break

Session five: Therapeutics
15:00-15:15
Lytix Biopharma
15:15-15:30
Pharmasum Therapeutics
15:30-15:45
Regenics
15:45-16:00
Vaccibody

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 www.ludwigcancerresearch.org.

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 www.cancerresearch.org.

 

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 www.targovax.com.

 

For further information, please contact:

Rachel Steinhardt

Vice President of Communications, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research

rsteinhardt@licr.org or +1-212-450-1582

 

Brian Brewer

Director of Marketing and Communications, Cancer Research Institute

bbrewer@cancerresearch.org or +1-212-688-7515 x242

 

Gunnar Gårdemyr

Chief Executive Officer, Targovax

ggardemyr@targovax.com 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: bjorn.odlander@healthcap.eu, phone: +46 8 442 58 50

Johan Christenson, partner HealthCap, email: johan.christenson@healthcap.eu, phone: +46 8 442 58 50

Ketil Widerberg, CEO Oslo Cancer Cluster and Chairman of the Board Oslo Cancer Cluster Incubator, email: kw@oslocancercluster.no, phone: +47 915 77 990

 

Facts:

HealthCap:
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: www.healthcap.eu

 

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. www.oslocancercluster.no

 

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. www.occincubator.com

 

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.

www.occinnovationpark.com

 

Picture illustrating immuno-oncology on a molecular level.

Presentations from Immuno-Oncology Meeting in Bergen

On November 11 Oslo Cancer Cluster, BMS and MSD hosted the 2nd  Immuno-Oncology Educational Meeting in 2015. 60 clinicians, researchers and other interested actors from the vibrant oncology environment in Bergen joined the meeting, listened to the excellent presentations and discussed with our speakers from the Center for Cancer Immune Therapy in Herlev, Professor Inger Marie Svane and Professor Mads Hald Andersen.  BTO kindly supported the meeting as local partner.

For those of you whom missed out on the meeting, please download the presentations below.

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.

Agenda:

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

Career Day VIVo at NTNU

February 9th 2016 is the date for the annual Career Day VIVO at NTNU for biology-, chemistry- and biotech students at bachelor and masters. Please see more info below. If this sounds interesting, please contact Rebekka Wiik Eckhoff for more information, and/ or information in English.

Jeg tar kontakt på vegne av linjeforeningen Volvox & Alkymisten ved NTNU Gløshaugen. Vi er biologi-, kjemi- og bioteknologistudenter på både bachelor- og masternivå. Med karrieredagen VIVO ønsker vi skape kontakt mellom studentene og næringslivet. Vi ønsker å motivere og opplyse studentene om karrieremuligheter, og muligheter for å skrive masteroppgave; og inviterer herved dere til VIVO. Arrangementet vil finne sted på Gløshaugen, NTNU, 9. februar 2016 på dagtid.

Hensikten med dagen er å gi studentene et innblikk i fremtidens muligheter. Vi ønsker også at dagen skal inneholde informasjon om spennende masteroppgaver, foredrag og historier fra tidligere studenter.  VIVO (lat. jeg lever) vil ha aktører stående gratis på stands. VIVO arrangeres for tredje gang, og vi har også mye erfaring fra et avsluttet samarbeid (Realfagdagen). Vi håper at dette vil øke studentenes motivasjon og arbeidsvilje, som vil gi bedre kvalifiserte og mer engasjerte hoder for arbeidslivet, og i tillegg gi en bedre studietid for hver enkelt.

 

 

Newsletter from Centre for Cancer Biomarkers

Centre for Cancer Biomarkers (CCBIO) is a Centre of Excellence at the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Bergen. 

The center is working on new cancer biomarkers and targeted therapy, and has particular focus on mechanisms that show how cancer cells are affected by the microenvironment in the tumors, and what significance this has for cancer proliferation and poor prognosis.

CCBIO issue a news letter on a regular basis:

Picture of CCBIO`s principal investigators. From the left: Bjørn Tore Gjertsen, James B. Lorens, Karl H. Kalland, Anne Chr. Johannessen, Lars A. Akslen, Rolf K. Reed, Helga B. Salvesen, Oddbjørn Straume, Donald Gullberg. Photo: Tove Lise Mossestad Copyright: UiB

RealKarriere2016

February 18 2016 is the date for the annual Career Day at the University of Oslo for students at the Natural Sciences Faculties. Please see more info below. If this sounds interesting, please contact Amalie Sofie Liane for more information, and/ or information in English.

RealKarriere ble for første gang arrangert i februar 2015, med gode tilbakemeldinger fra både studenter og deltakende bedrifter. Målet med dagen er å øke kontakten mellom framtidens talenter innen teknologi-og realfag og arbeidslivet. Bak denne dagen sitter en arbeidsgruppe bestående av studenter innen ulike fagområder og ansatte ved Universitetet. Målgruppa er hele det Matematisk-Naturvitskaplige fakultet som består av studieprogram​ som dekker det meste av teknologi-og realfag. Dette er altså en flott mulighet for profilering av bedrifter, og for å plukke opp de dyktigeste studentene!

I 2016 vil vi arrangere dagen samme uke som, og i samarbeid med Bjørnegildet, en av de største studentfestivalene ved Universitetet i Oslo. Dette gjør vi fordi vi ser på det som en flott mulighet til å skape enda mer blest rundt dagen, og det gir dere som bedrift mulighet til ekstra profilering da Bjørnegildet tilbyr egne sponsorpakker.

Bjørnegildet vil også stå for kveldsarrangementet vårt denne dagen.   ​

 

 

Career Day eûreka 2016 at NTNU

January 26.2016 is the date for the annual Career Day at NTNU. Please see more info below. If this sounds interesting, please contact Erik Arne Huso on email eahuso@gmail.com for more information, and/ or information in English.

 

26. januar 2016 arrangeres karrieredagen eûreka på NTNU Gløshaugen. eûreka er et arrangement i regi av Bedriftskontakten Nabla, en studentorganisasjon som bygger og opprettholder relasjoner mellom bedrifter og studenter ved sivilingeniørstudiet Fysikk og matematikk på NTNU. eûreka er et arrangement der både bedrifter og institusjoner, nasjonale og internasjonale, har muligheten til å presentere seg selv for sivilingeniørstudenter ved NTNU. Nedenfor følger tilbuds- og prisliste.

Stands
Standområdet er i Realfagbygget på NTNU. I tillegg til at dette er et sted der svært mange studenter ferdes, vil promotering, populærforedrag og konkurranser på eûreka sørge for at studenter fra de fleste sivilingeniørlinjene tar turen innom standområdet. Vi skiller mellom to typer stands på eûreka:

Type 1-stand

  • God plassering på standområdet
  • Fremhevet promotering på vår nettside: www.eureka-ntnu.no
  • Annonse i Bedriftskontakten Nablas sommerjobbkatalog
  • Mulighet til kort introduksjon av bedriften tidlig på dagen
  • Middag for fire bedriftsrepresentanter på kvelden sammen med studentene

Type 2-stand

  • Plass på standområdet
  • Promotering på vår nettside: www.eureka-ntnu.no
  • Annonse i Bedriftskontakten Nablas sommerjobbkatalog

Begge typer stands kan også benytte seg av følgende tilbud:

Intervju
Bedrifter som ønsker å holde intervjurunder med studenter i løpet av dagen har mulighet til dette uten ekstra kostnader. Fristen for å melde fra om intervju vil være 08.01.2016. Vi kan tilby å åpne for påmelding og promotering til intervju god tid i forveien, på hjemmesiden til linjeforeningen www.nabla.no.

Bedriftspresentasjoner
Bedriftspresentasjonene er et av eûrekas mest populære tilbud. Vi har en begrensing på sju presentasjoner, og påmeldingen skjer fortløpende. Presentasjonene må begrenses til 15 minutter.

Case
Dette er en unik mulighet for bedriften til å se hvordan studenter arbeider med deres problemstillinger. Case kan for eksempel inngå som en del av eventuelle intervjurunder.

Hovedsamarbeidspartner
Som hovedsamarbeidspartner promoterer eûreka bedriften på stands dager i forveien og bedriften vil være den mest promoterte, både før og på dagen. Logoen deres vil bli hengt opp sammen med våre bannere. I tillegg vil bedriften stå som hovedsamarbeidspartner på vår nettside og våre plakater. Bannerne vil henge rundt om på NTNU Gløshaugen fra et par uker i forveien.

Foredrag
Nytt av året vil det bli mulig for bedriften å avholde et populærvitenskapelig foredrag om tekniske prosedyrer og teoretisk kunnskap bak det bedriften holder på med. Dette skal ikke være en bedpres, men på denne måten vil studentene få en større innsikt i hva bedriften faktisk holder på med. Foredraget skal være underholdende, studiemotiverende, pirre studentenes nysgjerrighet, og dermed rette søkelyset mot deres bedrift. Det bør vare i ca en time, og kan gjerne bestå av flere deler. Fristen for å benytte seg av dette tilbudet er 11.10.15.

Program

Endelig program for dagen vil bli lagt ut på www.eureka-ntnu.no. I grove trekk vil dagen bestå av et åpent standområde i tidsrommet 10.00 til 15.00 tirsdag 26. januar. Der vil det bli servert vafler og arrangert konkurranser. Det anbefales å gjøre bedriftens stand mer spennende ved å holde konkurranser med premier. Deretter blir det bedriftspresentasjoner før vi avslutter dagen med en middag. Dette er en utmerket anledning for bedriftsrepresentanter til å komme i kontakt med studentene i et mindre formelt miljø.

Sommerjobber
Studenter fra 1-4-trinn er mest interesserte i sommerjobber. Ved å gi studentene muligheten til å søke på sommerjobber, vil bedriften bli mer aktuell i studentenes øyne, og dere vil få et større utbytte av dagen. Dersom dere har sommerjobber med søknadsfrister før januar, kan disse bli publisert på www.nabla.no høsten 2015. Dette vil skape interesse for bedriften, og vil gi god reklame opp mot eûreka.

Dersom dere har spørsmål om eûreka 2016 eller Bedriftskontakten Nabla, bes dere ta kontakt med undertegnede. Vi vil at deres bedrift skal få størst mulig utbytte av dagen, og er villige til å imøtekomme deres ønsker og behov for å få dette til. Vi håper dere finner denne muligheten interessant, og at vi ser dere på eûreka 26. januar 2016!

Kontakt
Erik Arne Huso

+47 90 53 44 24 // eahuso@gmail.com

 

Prisliste

Type 1-stand 21 250,-
Type 2-stand 13 750,-
Bedriftspresentasjon 10 000,-
Case 7 500,-
Hovedsamarbeidspartner 18 750,-
Foredrag 12 500,-

 

 

 

 

Oslo Cancer Cluster companies pitching at Norwegian Investment Forum

4 Oslo Cancer Cluster member companies will pitch at Norwegian Investment Forum during Oslo Innovation Week Thursday October 15th: Vaccibody/picture above/, Nordic Nanovector, Regenics and Phoenix Soloutions

Our companies will pitch during the Health & Life Science sessions at the forum, chaired by Kathrine Myhre, CEO Oslo Medtech. Norwegian Investments Forum is a full day event – but you may join the the Health & Life Science sessions FOR FREE – they are at 10:30 am, second at 2:10 pm. The event is at Forskningsparken in Oslo.

Read more and register to participate on www.norwegianinvestmentforum.no.  
If you enter code word #occ you’ll get 25% off the registration fee – this is for participating the whole day.

State Budget of 2016

The Government of Norway launched their State Budget on October 7th. The Government launch several acitivities to dem up for the current down-scaling in the oil-sector and to stimulate new industry.

Oslo Cancer Cluster has analyzed the budget in relation to sectors that concern our members.


The most important points in the State Budget 2016

  • An increase of 2,1 BNOK to research and development in general, here under:
    – 135 MNOK to stimulate Norwegian participation in Horizon 2020
    – 25 MNOK to research infrastructure
  • 200 MNOK more to industry driven research programs thorugh the Norwegian Research Council, here under;
    – Increase of 100 MNOK  to 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  90 MNOK to the FORNY program in the Norwegian Research Council. This funding is for verification, and is important to commercialize research
  • 150  MNOK to establishment support from Innovation Norway
  • 100 MNOK to pre- seed funding: 50 MNOK ear-marked companies situated in a TTO-office or an incubator
  • Clinical treatment research and clinical trials: 130MNOK in total – 110MNOK for establishing a new joint program for clinical treatment research, plus 20MNOK from the program for publicly initiated clinical studies on cancer
  • Access to new drugs: 10 MNOK to the national system for introducing new methods (HTA system) for strengthening the capacity
  • Norwegian Proton Center: Further planning of a proton center in Norway is suggested granted 16.3MNOK
  • PET center in Tromsø: Loans to UNN Tromsø to establish of a PET center – with this all the regions will have a PET center

The Government’s objective is to create a national health care with equal access to public financed health services of good quality. Furthermore, the government’s goal is for cancer patients to experience a health care sector of good quality, prompt follow-up and safe treatment. Oslo Cancer Cluster believe that this is partly reflected in the state budget 2016.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Helseinnovatørene kommer

Åpen innovasjon brer om seg. Hva har det å si for helsevesenet og for de klynger og bedrifter som skaper morgendagens legemidler, helseteknologi og tjenester? Få med deg Open Health Innovation Arena 12. oktober.

Statsminister Erna Solberg åpnet Oslo Cancer Cluster Innovasjonspark 24. august. Bygningen er et perfekt utgangspunkt for åpen innovasjon og på Open Innovation Health Arena møtes helseinnovatører fra en rekke forskjellige selskaper, klynger og offentlige aktører for å få belyst best practice og lære av hverandres erfaringer.

– Åpen innovasjon som metode er spesielt velegnet innen helsesektoren, hvor pasienter, offentlige aktører, forskningsmiljøer og næringslivet må samhandle for å utvikle bedre tjenester og produkter, sier Daniel Ras-Vidal, innovasjonspolitisk seniorrådgiver i Abelia.

Kom og hør hvordan Oslo Cancer Cluster, Astra Zeneca BioVenture Hub i Sverige, AbbVie, Q Meieriene og Oslo kommune jobber med åpen innovasjon!

I tillegg skal fem utvalgte selskaper fra innovasjonskonkurransen MinHelseIde.no pitche sine ideer. Vinneren får 150.000 kr i tilskudd fra Innovasjon Norge og 200.000 kr til utvikling av forretningsideen sammen med et team av forretningsutviklere i regi av Driv Inkubator sponset av AbbVie. De beste prosjektene kobles med private investorer og konkurransen er en del av Oslo Innovation Week’s 100 pitches.

I juryen sitter Abelias Håkon Haugli, Kristin Ørmen Johnsen fra Høyre og Stortingets helse- og omsorgskomité, Tiago Rodrigues, direktør i legemiddelselskapet AbbVie, og Ola Johan Borge, avdelingsleder IKT og Helse, Innovasjon Norge.

 

Photocure: First patient enrolled in Hexvix®/Cysview® Phase 3 study on bladder cancer

Oslo Cancer Cluster member Photocure announces that the first patient has been enrolled in the Hexvix/Cysview Market Expansion Phase 3 study on bladder cancer. The study will investigate the use of Hexvix/Cysview in the outpatient / surveillance setting and is designed to fulfill the FDA post marketing commitments. Results from the Phase 3 study are expected to be available in 2017.

The study is a prospective, multicenter Phase 3 study comparing the detection and potential positive impact on patient management of bladder cancer in the outpatient setting with Hexvix/Cysview using Blue Light enabled flexible cystoscopy versus white light flexible cystoscopy. Eighteen top rated cancer hospitals in the USA will participate in the study, which is planned to enroll approximately 360 patients with non-muscle invasive bladder cancer.

There are approximately 1.2 million flexible cystoscopy procedures conducted on a yearly basis in the United States. The use of Blue Light Flexible Cystoscopy with Hexvix/Cysview in the outpatient / surveillance setting could allow Urologists to detect recurrences at an earlier stage, which is of great clinical benefit. Furthermore, as has been demonstrated with the current use of Hexvix/Cysview during bladder cancer resection with blue light rigid cystoscopes, the addition of Hexvix/Cysview in the surveillance of bladder cancer patients may lead to better and earlier patient management decisions resulting in improved clinical outcomes and health economic savings.

Dr. Raj Pruthi, Professor and Chair, Department of Urology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill said: “The positive benefits of Hexvix/Cysview are well documented in numerous trials for patients undergoing bladder cancer resections during cystoscopy examination in the operating room. We are looking forward to conducting the study with Blue Light Flexible Cystoscopy with Hexvix/Cysview to confirm the benefits of this technology also in the outpatient setting. Early detection of more lesions is expected to result in better treatment decisions as well as more appropriate referrals and follow-up regimens, which in turn will reduce the burden on patients and the health care system.”

Kjetil Hestdal, President & CEO said: “This is an important milestone for Photocure as we seek to expand the use of Hexvix/Cysview into the bladder cancer surveillance market. Enabling Blue Light flexible cystoscopy with Hexvix/Cysview in the surveillance setting will allow patients with non-muscle invasive bladder cancer access to optimal treatment earlier, resulting in improved long-term benefits for these patients. While this trial is ongoing in the USA, we will be obtaining additional clinical and health economic data in EU from the use of Hexvix/Cysview in the same setting in order to optimize best clinical practices and patient outcomes.”

For more information about the clinical trial: https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02560584

 

 

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 commercializes 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 www.photocure.com.

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, Canada and the USA.

This information is subject of the disclosure requirements acc. to §5-12 vphl (Norwegian Securities Trading Act)

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.

image

Nextera AS announces research collaboration with Johnson & Johnson Innovation

Nextera, a Norwegian biotechnology company focused on developing novel and highly disease-specific immunotherapies for autoimmune diseases, cancer and chronic infections announces today that it has entered into a research agreement with Janssen Biotech, Inc., one of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson.  The Johnson & Johnson Innovation Centre in London facilitated the research agreement.

 

Under terms of the agreement, Nextera will, with use of its unique technology platform, undertake certain verification studies to determine the applicability of Nexteras technology platform within rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Janssen will fund the research program, and will have an option for an exclusive worldwide license to the Nextera technology platform within RA.

“This research agreement represents Nextera´s first collaboration with a global biopharmaceutical company. We believe that our unique technology platform can offer great benefits in the development of new and improved treatment modalities for patients with autoimmune diseases, cancer and chronic infections. Thus, we are very enthusiastic for the collaboration with Janssen, a world leader in innovative drug development, and the opportunity we now have within rheumatoid arthritis,” said Thomas Andersen, CEO of Nextera.

 

About Nextera 

Nextera is a privately owned Norwegian biotech company. Our approach is to manipulate the disease at the initiation of the escalating immune cascade by identifying and subsequently targeting the principal causative agent.  The core technology of the company is our phage display engine, which we apply in protein engineering and evolution of T cell receptors and MHC class II molecules. The technology is developed by Nexteras CSO, Dr. Geir Åge Løset who co-founded the company as a spin out from his work at the group of Professor Inger Sandlie and the Centre for Immune Regulation, University of Oslo. The main shareholders of Nextera are The Norwegian Radium Hospital Research Foundation and Birk Venture AS.

www.nextera.no

 

 

EU Calls 2016-2017 just published

The draft SC1 Work Programme for 2016-17 has been pre-published at https://ec.europa.eu/programmes/horizon2020/en/draft-work-programmes-2016-17.

 

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).

 

 

 

Inven2 with broad immuno-oncology portfolio

Oslo Cancer Cluster member Inven2 is the largest technology transfer company in the Nordic region and a leading actor within Life Science. Oslo University Hospital and the University of Oslo are pioneers in several areas of immunology and cell based cancer therapies. Due to this, Inven2 has a broad portfolio within immuno-oncology to offer.

Immuno-oncology is one of the hottest topics globally at the time. Cancer immunotherapy, as this field is also called, was voted the “Science breakthrough of the year for 2013″ and qualified as “one of the world’s top disrupters” by Goldman Sachs in 2013. Cancer immunotherapy was also the “hot-topic” at the 2014 American Association for Cancer (AACR) meeting where the various current approaches and strategies being advanced today were well represented.


Portfolio of both immuno-oncology therapies and methods

Ongoing innovation projects within immuno-oncology at Oslo University Hopsital and the University of Oslo counts 6 therapies and 8 different technologies/methods being explored. Please see a full list below:

Immune-Oncology-2015_01-print

 

If you want to know more about these projects, please contact Jonny Østensen, Vice President Technology: jonny.ostensen@inven2.com / +47 911 922 36

BerGen Bio, Nexstim and AMRA receive Nordic Stars 2015 Awards

BerGen Bio, AMRA and Nexstim have been announced as the recipients of the Nordic Stars 2015 Awards. The awards were presented at the conclusion of the Nordic Life Science Days in Stockholm, which again set a new record for attendance, with over 1000 delegates from 31 countries, establishing itself as the premier Nordic life sciences event.

Nordic Stars Awards were introduced in 2013 in special recognition of life science companies in the Nordic region demonstrating outstanding innovation and entrepreneurial skills.

“This year’s winner of the Nordic Stars Awards are clearly future-­‐oriented and committed to working in new ways to bring medical innovations to patients. They are both role models for others and an example of the innovation capacity in the life sciences in the Nordic countries “, says Jonas Ekstrand, Director General SwedenBIO.

This year’s winners are:

BerGen Bio
Norwegian BerGenBio’s commitment to develop companion diagnostics and first-­‐in-­‐ class drugs targeting the cellular processes that make cancer cells immune-­‐evasive, drug resistant and metastatic is a great example of what the future might hold. With focus on ground-­‐breaking therapies and precision medicine BerGenBio is a leading example and   a Nordic Star. www.bergenbio.com

Nexstim
Norwegian NexStim’s development and commercialization of a non-­‐invasive technology to monitor and modulate brain function provides a good example of how an innovative combination of new and established treatment modalities could add significant value to patients. NextStims strategic management shows how to step by step bring an innovation to the market. www.nexstim.com

Amra
Swedish AMRA’s exciting technology that transforms MRI images into body composition measurements provides a solid basis for precision medicine approaches in the area of metabolic diseases. With innovative collaborations, AMRA shows how the combination of technology and cutting edge management brings new knowledge to the world. www.amra.se

 

Ekstrand also reflected on a highly successful two days: “NLSDays has continued to grow and established a strong reputation. We are particularly pleased to see the high level of international interest, which is a recognition of the thriving entrepreneurial life sciences environment here and we look forward to continuing to develop and expand NLSDays over the coming years. ”

The theme of the conference “The New Value Chain and the Future” was also well received, as was the focus on three trends -­‐ Digitalization, Precision and Preventive Medicine and Breakthrough Therapies. These are described in a brief report co-­‐written by SwedenBIO and Arthur D. Little that also outlines key factors for success for companies in these areas in the future.

 

Nordic Life Science Days 2016 will be held September 13-­‐15 in Stockholm.

Nordic Life Science Days 2015 in brief:

  • Registered Delegates: 1026
  • Registered Companies: 680
  • Countries Represented: 31 Partnering Meeting Requests: 9514 Partnering Meetings Scheduled: 1957 Licensing Opportunities: 541

NLSDays was founded in 2012 and has grown rapidly to become the largest Nordic partnering conference for the global life science industry. Among the investors and big pharma attending NLSDays 2015 were 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  and SR-­‐One.

In addition to partnering, NLSDays also offers an exhibition and a seminar program. 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.

 

 

 

 

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: www.pcibiotech.com

PCI Biotech announces activation of Oslo University Hospital as a new clinical site

PCI Biotech has activated Oslo University Hospital as a new clinical site in the phase I/II study of Amphinex in patients with inoperable bile duct cancer, cholangiocarcinoma.

Principal Investigator at Oslo University Hospital, Dr. Svein Dueland, said: “Bile duct cancer is a devastating disease lacking good treatment options for a majority of the patients. PCI of gemcitabine with Amphinex is an innovative treatment concept that could potentially give significant local tumour response in these patients. I look forward to working on this study, which is well designed to demonstrate a potential clinical benefit of Amphinex induced PCI of gemcitabine in bile duct cancer patients.”

Per Walday, CEO of PCI Biotech, said: “I’m delighted with the activation of Oslo University Hospital as a contributing site for this study.  The PCI technology originates from this hospital and it will be a pleasure to work closely with these highly competent investigators to progress the study as quickly as possible. Bile duct cancer has a high need of new local treatment options and the specific attributes of the PCI technology fits well with this disease and its unmet medical need.”

 

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: www.pcibiotech.com

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 www.nlsdays.com.

 

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.

 

Oncology Super Session in Stockholm

Oslo Cancer Cluster is hosting a Super Session at the Nordic Life Science Days in Stockholm. International thought leaders will discuss current game changing innovations and their impact on the industry in the years ahead.

Oncology is at the forefront of realizing the promises of precision medicine. Huge and complex datasets are exploited for novel drug development as well as for informed and real-time care decisions. Emerging Cancer immunotherapies represent a paradigm shift for cancer treatment triggering a global R&D race and novel partnerships. Furthermore, the convergence of the genetics and digital revolution creates novel types of products, companies and growth opportunities transforming the sector.

 

Moderator: Mr. Richard Godfrey, CEO, BergenBio, Norway

Session Outline:

 

Min Topic Speaker
5 Introduction by moderator ·        Dr. Richard Godfrey, CEO BerGenBio

 

10 Topic 1 –global company – perspectives from industry leader – Precision Medicine ·        Dr. Vaios Karanikas, Senior Biomarker and Experimental Medicine Leader, Tumor Immunology, Roche Pharmaceutical Research and Early Development, Innovation Center Zurich
10 Topic 2 – Digital Health company – Big Data / artificial intelligence -> impact on cancer R&D and care ·        Dr. Anthony Bak, Principal Data Scientist, Ayasdi
10 Topic 3 – global company – perspectives from industry leader – Immuno-Oncology ·        Dr. Tim Fisher, Global Lead, Immuno-Oncology / Oncology, Search & Evaluation, Bristol-Myers Squibb
25 Panel Discussion ·        All speakers, joined by Dr. Erik Lund, Director, Worldwide Licensing at MSD (Merck & Co., Inc.)

 

Target Audience: Start-ups, Biotechs, Pharma, investors, academic innovators, TTOs

 

Great media interest in immunotherapy against cancer

On June 11 Oslo Cancer Cluster and  Norwegian Cancer Society arranged a breakfast meeting on immunotherapy against cancer. Norwegian media showed huge interest in the topic. Below we have collected some of the coverage – and we know more is coming.

Targovax and Oncos Therapeutics join forces to create a Nordic leader within immuno-oncology

Targovax and Oncos Therapeutics join forces to create a Nordic leader within immuno-oncology and contemplate a private placement of NOK 125–150 million to fund the combined business

Tagovax has entered into an agreement with the shareholders of Oncos Therapeutics to acquire the shares of Oncos with settlement in Targovax shares. The combined company with multiple assets in research and development will be a Nordic leader within immuno-oncology. The new company will have a strong senior management team and be financially backed by reputable institutional investors with sector specialist HealthCap as the largest shareholder.

To fund the combined company, Targovax contemplates to raise NOK 125-150 million through a private placement directed towards Norwegian and international investors, and has already received indications from leading institutional investors for a substantial amount, including but not limited to a NOK 26 million commitment from HealthCap, NOK 25 million from Datum Invest AS and NOK 5 million from the Norwegian Radium Hospital Research Foundation. In addition, the Private Placement is directed towards the 24 employees of Targovax and Oncos and their respective subsidiaries, and companies controlled by any such employees.

 

Rationale for the Transaction

Targovax and Oncos—based in Oslo and Helsinki, respectively—are both clinical-stage biotechnology companies with broad pipelines addressing the immuno-oncology market, which currently is quite modest, but is expected to grow to USD 30-35 billion over the next decade.

By combining Targovax and Oncos, a larger and more visible Nordic immuno-oncology player with a more extensive portfolio will be created. Furthermore, the combination of two highly competent and complementary organizations will promote more efficient execution and accelerate the development of ongoing and future programs.

Clinical results to date confirm the safety and the mechanisms of action for both technology platforms. Safety data from Targovax and Oncos programs have been collected on approximately 250 and 290 patients, respectively. Both companies have completed Phase I and are now in Phase II development, or about to enter Phase II development, with broad pipelines, and both utilize an immuno-oncology approach that is highly suitable for combination therapies. Clinical programs in several indications will provide increased opportunities for newsflow over the next 18 months.

“The combination of Targovax and Oncos creates a major Nordic player within immuno-oncology. We will have a wide array of programs in the pipeline and multiple shots at goal. The companies’ complementary technologies will provide a unique platform for the development of cutting-edge immunotherapies, and we will have a higher chance of success, thus offering investors an even more compelling opportunity. I am excited to lead an organization of highly skilled professionals with deep industry experience”, said Gunnar Gårdemyr, Chief Executive Officer of Targovax.

 

Senior Executives and Board of Directors

After the Transaction, the highly experienced senior management team will consist of the following members:

  • Gunnar Gårdemyr (Chief Executive Officer) has more than 30 years of international experience in the pharmaceutical and biotech industry from companies such as Nycomed and Takeda
  • Magnus Jäderberg (Chief Medical Officer) has more than 25 years of experience from R&D functions and was previously CMO at Bristol-Myers Squibb (Europe)
  • Øystein Soug (Chief Financial Officer) has prior experience as the Chief Financial Officer of Algeta and in positions with the Orkla Group
  • Jon Amund Eriksen (Chief Operating Officer) was the co-founder of Targovax and has 35 years of R&D experience in the pharmaceutical and biotech industry, of which 25 years were within immuno-oncology

After the Transaction, the proposed Board of Directors will consist of the following members:

  • Jónas Einarsson (Chairman of the Board of Directors), Chief Executive Officer of the Norwegian Radium Hospital Research Foundation
  • Johan Christenson (Board Member), Partner at HealthCap
  • Per Samuelsson (Board Member), Partner at HealthCap
  • Lars Lund-Roland (Board Member), CEO of Bringwell, with more than 25 years of experience from various executive positions within Merck
  • Bente-Lill Romøren (Board Member), Board Member of the Norwegian Radium Hospital Research Foundation and Chairman of Farmastat and Photocure
  • Robert Burns (Board Member), Chairman of Haemostatix, previously CEO of 4-Antibody, Affitech, and Celldex Therapeutics, all three being early companies in the immuno-oncology space

 

The Transaction and the Private Placement

Targovax has entered into an agreement with the shareholders of Oncos to acquire the shares of Oncos with settlement in Targovax shares. After completion of the Transaction, the shareholders of Oncos will own 50 per cent of the combined company. The shareholders of Oncos will in aggregate receive 9,429,404 new Targovax shares that are to be issued at NOK 25.00 per share.

Targovax further contemplates to raise NOK 125-150 million in equity through the Private Placement to fund the combined business. The subscription price in the Private Placement is set to NOK 25.00 per share. The application period commences today on 11 June 2015 at 09:00 (CET) and will close on 19 June 2014 at 16:00 hours (CET). The Company, together with the Joint Global Coordinators (as defined below), reserve the right to close the application period at any time at their sole discretion, at short notice. The minimum order size and allocation in the Private Placement has been set to offer shares worth the NOK or share equivalent of EUR 100,000. The minimum order size and allocation amount does not apply to Eligible Employees. The allocation of shares will be determined at the end of the application period. The final allocation will be made at the Board’s sole discretion.

ABG Sundal Collier, Arctic Securities and DNB Markets are acting as Joint Global Coordinators and Bookrunners for the Private Placement (the “Joint Global Coordinators”). DNB Markets has acted as financial adviser to Targovax in relation to the Transaction. Guggenheim Securities, LLC has acted as financial adviser to Oncos in relation to the Transaction.

 

About Targovax
Targovax is an Oslo-area based global biotechnology company, dedicated to the design and development of immunotherapy vaccines for patients with RAS-mutated cancers. Established in 2010 by the inventors of this RAS-targeted technology and the Norwegian Radium Hospital Research Foundation in Oslo, Targovax has over 25 years of direct experience and has seen more than 250 patients treated with this promising technology.

 

About Oncos
Oncos is a privately funded clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on the development and commercialization of targeted cancer immunotherapy. Oncos’ product candidates induce a tailored response by the immune system directed at each patient’s unique cancer cells. Oncos’ lead product candidate, ONCOS-102, has successfully completed Phase I clinical studies. Additionally, a promising pipeline has been developed using Oncos’ patented adenovirus-based cancer immunotherapy platform, for the treatment of several cancer types, including soft tissue sarcoma, ovarian cancer and mesothelioma. The novel immunotherapy platform is based on engineered oncolytic viruses armed with potent immune-stimulating transgenes.

 

 

Centre for Cancer Biomedicine in Nature – again

In a recent article in Nature, published on-line 3rd June, PhD student Marina Vietri and her co-workers in Harald Stenmark’s group at Centre for Cancer Biomedicine and Institute for Cancer Research have uncovered a new cellular mechanism that contributes to keep our genome intact.

The authors of the Nature paper. Front row, from left: Kay O. Schink, Harald Stenmark, Marina Vietri (first author), Coen Campsteijn (co-corresponding author). Middle row, from left: Camilla Raiborg, Liliane Christ, Sebastian W. Schultz. Back row, from left: Andreas Brech, Catherine Sem Wegner, Sigrid B. Thoresen. Photo: Tore Skotland.

This is the second article in Nature the group has published the last two months – you may read the other article here.
NRK Viten has published this article about the research: Norske forskarar har avdekka mysterium bak celledeling

The research by Vietri and her colleagues explains how the cell protects the DNA from damage during cell division: During cell division, the nuclear envelope breaks down so that duplicated chromosomes can be separated by the microtubule-containing spindle apparatus.  Upon completion of this process, in anaphase, new nuclear envelopes are formed around the two daughter nuclei, and the mitotic spindle is disassembled by a mechanism that has not been known.

Vietri and her co-workers noticed that certain subunits of a protein complex known as endosomal sorting complex required for transport (ESCRT) accumulate around the reforming daughter nuclei in anaphase. This observation made them uncover a mechanism whereby ESCRT proteins coordinate nuclear envelope sealing and mitotic spindle disassembly. The ESCRT proteins are recruited to points in the reforming nuclear envelope that are intersected by microtubules. Here, they recruit an enzyme, Spastin, that severs microtubules. The remaining holes in the nuclear envelope are then sealed by the membrane-healing activity of the ESCRT proteins.

Vietri and co-workers also addressed what happens if this process goes wrong. By interfering with normal ESCRT functions during anaphase, the researchers observed that DNA becomes damaged, so evidently the novel mechanism of spindle disassembly and nuclear envelope sealing is important for keeping our genome safe.

Because genome instability is strongly connected to cancer development, it will now be interesting to examine which roles the ESCRT machinery play in preventing cancer.

 

Links:
Spastin and ESCRT-III coordinate mitotic spindle disassembly and nuclear envelope sealing
Marina Vietri, Kay O. Schink, Coen Campsteijn, Catherine Sem Wegner, Sebastian W. Schultz, Liliane Christ, Sigrid B. Thoresen, Andreas Brech, Camilla Raiborg & Harald Stenmark
Nature (2015) doi:10.1038/nature14408
Published online 03 June 2015

Nature | News & Views:
Cell biology: Nuclear dilemma resolved
Brian Burke
Nature (2015) doi:10.1038/nature14527
Published online 03 June 2015

www.nrk.no/viten:
Norske forskarar har avdekka mysterium bak celledeling

Vaccibody part of project that has successfully landed EU Horizon 2020 funding

Oslo Cancer Cluster member Vaccibody AS wil take part in SAPHIR, a 4 year collaborative research project that has succesfully raised 78 million NOK from the EU Horizon 2020 program. SAPHIR brings together interdisciplinary expertise from 14 academic institutions, 5 small and medium-sized enterprises  and 2 pharmaceutical companies. The project aims to improve animal production and health through development of improved vaccination strategies. 

Vaccibody is dedicated to the development of novel immunotherapies and vaccines for prevention and treatment of cancer and infectious diseases for human and veterinary purposes. For SAPHIR, Vaccibody will provide vaccines against Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome Virus for evaluation in pigs. Upon successful completion of the SAPHIR project, Vaccibody will have increased expertise and network within the veterinary vaccine and administration field.

Tom Pike, Chairman and Acting CEO of Vaccibody, commented: “This is another example of how Vaccibody intends to broaden the use of our platform technology in collaboration with acknowledged partners. We recently attended the kick-off meeting in Paris and we are proud to be a part of this international consortium with expertise within veterinary vaccine development. The support from EU for collaborative initiatives like SAPHIR will allow Vaccibody to expand its experience of the technology within the veterinary field while the company remains fully focused on the clinical development of it’s lead drug candidate, VB10.16 for treatment of HPV16 induced precancer and cancer.”

 

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).

 

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).

NLS Days – time to sign up

Oslo Cancer Cluster is one of the supporting organizations for this years Nordic Life Science Days in Stockholm. Members of the cluster benefit from special rates on participation plus we host an Oncology 2025 Super Session.

In collaboration with LMI, Nansen Neuroscience Network and other healthcare industry actors in Norway, Oslo Cancer Cluster will attend NLSDays to promote Norwegian Healthcare Industry and the cluster members.

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

Read the latest newsletter from NLSDays 2015 below or online

The 3rd annual Nordic Life Science Days partnering conference will take place September 9–10 in Stockholm, Sweden, at the Waterfront. NLSDays Super Sessions and Workshops feature top industry leaders and executives speaking on relevant trends to industry decision makers.


Already 50+ Company Presentations confirmed

Presenting at NLSDays is the perfect chance to increase your visibility and attract more partners. Pitch your company’s profile, strategy and objectives to a global audience. Be seen by BD executives, investors, analysts, media and get more activity in partneringONE®. Still a few 6mn and 12mn available slots, don’t miss the opportunity to book your presentation when registering.


Already 50+ Exhibitors confirmed
NLSDays brings hundreds of Life Science Industry leaders from 30+ countries together for 2 days of intensive networking. As an exhibitor, you will reach high-level executives and influential decision makers who come to NLSDays to meet with new players in the industry and initiate partnerships. Still a few 4sqm, 6sqm and 9sqm available stands, don’t miss the opportunity to book yours now.


Oncology 2025 Super Session
Hosted by Oslo Cancer Cluster. Oncology is at the forefront of realizing the promises of precision medicine. Huge and complex datasets are exploited for novel drugs devolpment as well as for informed and real-time care decisions. Emerging cancer immunotherapies represent a paradigm shift for cancer treatment triggening a global R&D race and novel partnerships. Furthermore, the convergence of the genetics and digital revolution creates novel types of products, companies and growth opportunities transforming the sector.


International Investors Super Session

Hosted by Business Sweden, co-hosted by Industrifonden and HealthCap. Meet the investors actively investing in European Life Sciences companies. What are they looking for? What are the learnings in biotech and medtech investing over the past decade? How are these learnings being applied in current investments decisions? How is the financial climate in Life Sciences today?


Member of a supporting organization?
Since Oslo  Cancer Cluster is a supporting organization, members get a discount. Send an e-mail to Elisabeth Kirkeng Andersen, Head of Communicaton to get the Promotion Code and benefit from discount on all registration fees. Remember that Regular Rate registration period ends on June 30, 2015.


Interested in
sponsoring, exhibiting, presenting ? Contact: Olivier Duchamp

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.

 

Ultimovacs, Inven2 and Nordic Nanovector will present at ICCS

Oslo Cancer Cluster will for the 4th time arrange International Cancer Cluster Showcase, ICCS in collaboration with leading cluster partners from Europe and North America. 20 oncology biotechs will pitch their latest innovations and partnering opportunities.

Member companies pitching at ICCS are Inven2, Ultimovacs and Nordic Nanovector:

  • Ultimovacs will present the clinical development of their universal cancer vaccine
  • Inven2, Norway´s largest TTO, will pitch highlights from their portfolio which is particularly strong in immuno-oncology
  • Nordic Nanovector will present their lead clinical-stage product opportunity Betalutin™, the first in a new class of Antibody-Radionuclide-Conjugates (ARCs).Nordic Nanovector went public this March with one of the biggest IPO´s in European biotech so far this year.

Below you may find some more information on this years edition of ICCS and BIO2015.

International Cancer Cluster Showcase 2015, June 15th, 2015 – Philadelphia Convention Center

General BIO Info:

  • BIO 2015 takes place in Philadelphia. From what we hear the hotels are filling up, so be sure to book your housing soon if you are attending
  • Oslo Cancer Cluster will not feature a booth this year, but International Advisor Jutta Heix will be present at BIO and participate in partnering meetings

 

 

Opptak: Fremtidens kreftbehandling – hvordan sikre norske kreftpasienter den beste behandling?

28. april arrangerte Oslo Cancer Cluster sammen med LMI, Astra Zeneca og MSD et møte om tilgang til nye kreftmedisiner. Møtet ble strømmet og kan sees i sin helhet her.

På møtet hørte vi innlegg fra flere om hvordan norske pasienter i dag slett ikke har lik tilgang på nye kreftmedisiner.  I tillegg var det paneldebatt, der helsepolitikere fra Ap, Høyre, Krf og Frp deltok for å svare på kritikken mot beslutningsforum og metodesystemet.
Se fullstendig program her.

Dette var det andre møtet i en serie om fremtidens kreftbehandling. Møteserien setter søkelys mot hvordan Norge skal sikre sine kreftpasienter en behandling på høyde med det beste internasjonalt – både i dag og i fremtiden.

Det tredje møtet vil finne sted torsdag 13. august under Arendals-uka med tema persontilpasset kreftmedisin.


 

 

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.

 

 

 

Doctor caring for elderly patient.

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: http://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng2

 

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 www.photocure.com

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.

Facts:
Targovax
Targovax was established in October in 2010 to develop immunotherapy in the form of therapeutic cancer vaccines based on pioneering research at the Norwegian Radium Hospital and Norsk Hydro. Mutation of RAS is an early mutation in the transformation of a normal cell into a cancer cell.

Lead candidate TG01 educates the body’s immune system to recognize and kill cancer cells with RAS mutations. TG01 has Orphan Drug status for pancreatic cancer in the EU and US and is currently in Phase II trials in operated pancreatic cancer. 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.»

Kontakt:

Targovax Gunnar Gårdemyr, Chief Executive Officer, mob: E-mail: ggardemyr@targovax.com

Jonas Einarsson, Chairman of the Board, mob: (+47) 48 09 63 55 E-mail: je@radforsk.no

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: http://www.noodls.com/viewNoodl/27052320/targovax-as/trvx-targovax-appoints-216ystein-soug-as-new-cfo#sthash.zygqEXIj.dpuf

View videos from Cancer Crosslinks 2015

At this years Cancer Crosslinks we made short video interviews with presenters Professor Paul Baas, Professor Nicholas Navin, Professor Bjørn Tore Gjertsen and Professor Kimmo Porkka on their research and views on cancer treatments in the future. You may watch them below.

We would like to thank the presenters for taking the time to share their knowledge and our sponsors Bristol-Myers Squibb and Roche for making it possible to produce these videos.

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.

Hexvix® can improve the overall survival in bladder cancer patients

In a retrospective study Hexvix fluorescence-guided bladder resection significantly improved overall survival and recurrence free survival compared to resection performed with standard white light.

Photocure ASA  is pleased to note that a study on the impact of Hexvix® on survival in bladder cancer patients has been published in the World Journal of Urology.

The study investigated the impact on survival in bladder cancer patients of photodynamic diagnosis (PDD)-guided bladder tumor resection (TUR-BT), including that guided by Hexvix (hexaminolevulinate (HAL)).

The findings from this retrospective study of 224 patients demonstrate for the first time that Hexvix guided TUR-BT in bladder cancer patients, who later progressed to requiring radical cystectomy (RC), significantly increased the three year overall survival (p=0.037) and the median three year recurrence free survival (p=0.002) compared to patients in the comparator group.

Dr. Georgios Gakis of the Department of Urology, Eberhard-Karls University at Tuebingen, Germany and lead author, stated: “These data indicate for the first time that improved patient management with HAL-guided TUR-BT can make a difference in outcomes even for those bladder cancer patients who later progress to advanced disease and require radical cystectomy.”

Kjetil Hestdal, President and CEO of Photocure, said: “These exciting data add to the growing clinical evidence that Hexvix/Cysview makes a positive impact on the diagnosis and management of bladder cancer in multiple patient types. We believe the continuously increasing adoption of Hexvix/Cysview guided TUR-BT will bring significant clinical and health economic benefit to urologists, patients and payers fighting the disease.”

Bladder cancer, which affects 550,000 people in the U.S. and 500,000 in Europe has a high recurrence rate, up to 61% in one year and 78% over five years, making the lifetime costs of managing bladder cancer one of the highest of all cancers.

 

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 commercializes highly selective and effective solutions within 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, which can improve health outcomes for patients worldwide. Photocure is listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange (OSE: PHO).

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 US.

 

Supercomputing reveals the genetic code of cancer

Cancer researchers in Oslo are now using one of the world’s fastest computers to detect which parts of the genetic code may cause bowel and prostate cancer.


Written by Yngve Vogt, Apollon. Read the original article in English here and in Norwegian here. Published on www.oslocancercluster.no with permisson from the author.

Cancer researchers must use one of the world’s fastest computers to detect which versions of genes are only found in cancer cells. Every form of cancer, even every tumour, has its own distinct variants.

“This charting may help tailor the treatment to each patient,” says Associate Professor Rolf Skotheim, who is affiliated with the Centre for Cancer Biomedicine and the Research Group for Biomedical Informatics at the University of Oslo, as well as the Department of Molecular Oncology at Radiumhospitalet, Oslo University Hospital.

His research group is working to identify the genes that cause bowel and prostate cancer, which are both common diseases. There are 4,000 new cases of bowel cancer in Norway every year. Only six out of ten patients survive the first five years. Prostate cancer affects 5,000 Norwegians every year. Nine out of ten survive.

Comparisons between healthy and diseased cells
In order to identify the genes that lead to cancer, Skotheim and his research group are comparing the genetic material in tumours with the genetic material in healthy cells. In order to understand this process, a fast introduction to our genetic material is needed.

Our genetic material consists of just over 20,000 genes. Each gene consists of thousands of base pairs, represented by a specific sequence of the four building blocks adenine, thymine, guanine, and cytosine, popularly abbreviated to A, T, G, and C. The sequence of these building blocks is the very recipe for the gene. Our whole DNA consists of some six billion base pairs.

The DNA strand carries the molecular instructions for activity in the cells. In other words, DNA contains the recipe for proteins, which perform the tasks in the cells. DNA, nevertheless, does not actually produce proteins. First a copy of DNA is made. This transcript is called RNA, and it is this molecule that is read when proteins are produced.

RNA is only a small component of DNA, and is made up of its active constituents. Most of DNA is inactive. Only 1–2 % of the DNA strand is active.

In cancer cells, something goes wrong with the RNA transcription. There is either too much RNA, which means that far too many proteins of a specific type are formed, or the composition of base pairs in RNA is wrong. The latter is precisely the area being studied by the UiO researchers.

Wrong combinatorics
All genes can be divided into active and inactive parts. A single gene may consist of tens of active stretches of nucleotides (exons).

“RNA is a copy of a specific combination of the exons from a specific gene in DNA.”

There are many possible combinations, and it is precisely this search for all of the possible combinations that is new in cancer research.

Different cells can combine the nucleotides in a single gene in different ways. A cancer cell can create a combination that should not exist in healthy cells. And as if that didn’t make things complicated enough, sometimes RNA can be made up of stretches of nucleotides from different genes in DNA. These special, complex genes are called fusion genes.

In other words, researchers must look for errors both inside genes and between the different genes.

“Fusion genes are usually found in cancer cells, but some of them are also found in healthy cells.”

In patients with prostate cancer, researchers have found some fusion genes that are only created in diseased cells. These fusion genes may then be used as a starting-point in the detection of and fight against cancer.

The researchers have also found fusion genes in bowel cells, but they were not cancer-specific.

“For some reason, these fusion genes can also be found in healthy cells. This discovery was a let-down.”

Can improve treatment
There are different RNA errors in the various cancer diseases. The researchers must therefore analyse the RNA errors of each disease.

Among other things, the researchers are comparing RNA in diseased and healthy tissue from 550 patients with prostate cancer. The patients that make up the study do not receive any direct benefits from the results themselves. However, the research is important in order to be able to help future patients.

“We want to find the typical defects associated with prostate cancer. This will make it easier to understand what goes wrong with healthy cells, and to understand the mechanisms that develop cancer. Once we have found the cancer-specific molecules, they can be used as biomarkers. In some cases, the biomarkers can be used to find cancer, determine the level of severity of the cancer, the risk of spreading, and whether the patient should be given a more aggressive treatment.

Even though the researchers find deviations in the RNA, there is no guarantee that there is appropriate, targeted medicine available.

“The point of our research is to figure out more of the big picture. If we identify a fusion gene that is only found in cancer cells, the discovery will be so important in itself that other research groups around the world will want to begin working on this straight away. If a cure is found that counteracts the fusion genes, this may have enormous consequences for the cancer treatment.”

Laborious work
Recreating RNA is laborious work. The set of RNA molecules consists of about 100 million bases, divided into a few thousand bases from each gene.

The laboratory machine reads millions of small nucleotides. Each one is only one hundred base pairs long. In order for the researchers to be able to place them in the right location, they must run large statistical analyses. The RNA analysis of a single patient can take a few days.

All of the nucleotides must be matched with the DNA strand. Unfortunately the researchers do not have the DNA strands of each patient. In order to learn where the base pairs come from in the DNA strand, they must therefore use the reference genome of the human species.

“This is not ideal, because there are individual differences.”

The future potentially lies in fully sequencing the DNA of each patient when conducting medical experiments.

Supercomputing
There is no way the research can be carried out using pen and paper.

“We need powerful computers to crunch the enormous amounts of raw data. Even if you spent your whole life on this task, you would not be able to find the location of a single nucleotide. This is a matter of millions of nucleotides that must be mapped correctly in the system of coordinates of the genetic material. Once we have managed to find the RNA versions that are only found in cancer cells, we will have made significant progress. However, the work to get that far requires advanced statistical analyses and supercomputing,” says Rolf Skotheim.

The analyses are so demanding that the researchers must use the University’s supercomputer, which was ranked as one of the world’s fastest computers a few years ago. It is 10,000 times faster than a regular computer.

“With the ability to run heavy analyses on such large amounts of data, we have an enormous advantage not available to other cancer researchers. Many medical researchers would definitely benefit from this possibility. This is why they should spend more time with biostatisticians and informaticians. RNA samples are taken from the patients only once. The types of analyses that can be run are only limited by the imagination.”

“We need to be smart in order to analyse the raw data. There are enormous amounts of data here that can be interpreted in many different ways. We have just got started. There is lots of useful information that we have not seen yet. Asking the right questions is the key. Most cancer researchers are not used to working with enormous amounts of data, and how to best analyse vast data sets. Once researchers have found a possible answer, they must determine whether the answer is chance or if it is a real finding. The solution is to find out whether they get the same answers from independent data sets from other parts of the world.”

By Yngve Vogt

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 monica@lmi.no to be put in contact with the international companies

PROGRAM
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 monica@lmi.no 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)

Vaccibody Granted Platform Patent in the US

Vaccibody AS, a biopharmaceutical company focusing on immunotherapy and vaccines, is pleased to announce that the U.S. Patent Office has Issued patent No. US 8,932,603 B2 covering the Vaccibody format which can be described as homodimeric modular constructs targeting vaccines to antigen presenting cells designed to increase the immune system’s antibody and T-cell responses. In December 2014 Vaccibody announced that the equivalent patent was granted by the European Patent Office.

 

This patent protects Vaccibody’s platform technology on which the company has based its lead drug candidate VB10.16 as well as the previously announced license agreement with the Phibro Animal Health Corporation, covering vaccines for poultry. The technology allows for the development of new and more efficient vaccines as well as new versions of existing vaccines with a need for improved efficacy.  It lends itself to therapeutic vaccines, such as cancer vaccines, as well as prophylactic (preventive) vaccines against infections.

The company will utilize its technology platform to develop human and veterinary Vaccibody vaccines both through developing its own drug pipeline as well as offering the pharmaceutical industry exclusive licenses to the technology platform.

The company’s lead product, VB10.16, is being developed as a DNA vaccine to prevent the development of and treat HPV16 induced pre-malignancies and malignancies. The first in man clinical trial is currently in late stage preparations. This initial clinical evaluation will aim to characterise the safety and immunogenicity of VB10.16 in HPV16 infected women with high grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (HSIL; CIN 2/3).

Tom Pike, Acting CEO of Vaccibody, commented: “This patent is a cornerstone in the protection of our novel technology platform, which is the discovery engine of Vaccibody’s own pipeline. We expect that it will also provide the basis for additional strategic partnerships with pharmaceutical companies in the future. Although Vaccibody has filed a number of additional patent applications offering several layers of protection to our pipeline and technology, this patent family is the first and thus represents an important milestone for the company.”

 

About Vaccibody AS
Vaccibody is a vaccine company dedicated to the discovery and development of novel 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 HPV induced  pre-malignancies and malignancies. A first-in-man study currently in preparation will evaluate the safety and immunogenicity of VB10.16 in women with high grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (HSIL; CIN 2/3) and is planned to be initiated early 2015. www.vaccibody.com

 

Presentation at one of the R&D Network meetings.

View presentations from Cancer Crosslinks

Cancer Crosslinks 2015 featured some very interesting, cutting-edge presentations from some of the leading cancer clinicians and researchers. Below we have listed the presentations that were held.

  • How to combine molecularly targeted therapies and emerging cancer immunotherapies based on molecular insights into the tumour?
    Paul Baas MD, PhD, Dept. of Thoraic Oncology, The Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Investigating Clonal Diversity and Evolution in Breast Cancer with Single Cell Genomics
    Prof. Nicholas Navin, The University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston
  • Liquid biopsies – monitoring solid cancers in the blood: where are we today and how can these technologies affect clinical decision-making?
    Prof. Klaus Pantel, University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf, Germany
  • Myeolid malignancies as models of oncogenesis – molecular characterization
    Henrik Hjort-Hansen, Dept. of Hematology, Inst. of Cancer Research and Molecular Medicine, St. Olav’s Hospital, NTNU, Trondheim
  • Hematology perspective
    Prof. Bjørn Tore Gjertsen, Haukeland University Hospital, Bergen, Norway
  • Personalized therapy of chemorefractory AML and multiple myeloma
    Kimmo Porkka, Helsinki University Hospital Comprehensive Cancer Center, Dept. of Hematology and Hematology Research Unit, University of Helsinki, Finland
  • Clonal heterogeneity in epithelial malignancies: Challenges and clinical applications
    Prof. Manuel Teixeira, Portuguese Oncology Institute, Porto, Portugal
  • From targets to bullets in lymphoid malignancies
    Alexander Fosså MD, PhD, Dept. of Medical Oncology, Oslo University Hospital, the Norwegian Radium Hospital, Norway

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

European Biotechnology Book 2015

HORN International is developing the 2nd edition of ‘European Biotechnology.’  The 2014 edition is available here.

The digital & hardback book will profile several countries, including main bio agencies and organizations, regional structures, IP, pricing & regulatory environments, MAHs, and bio-economy.  Each country will present 20-25 R&D-based companies in editorial format.

The books are given for free to cooperating European and national agencies & organizations, each country’s main bioregions, clusters, academic & research institutes, science parks, and embassies.  The publication will launch in November at BIO-Europe in Munich, as well as BIO-Europe Spring 2016, BIO International, and many others.  Based on demand, first print will increase from 20.000 to 30.000 copies.

Members of the Oslo Cancer Cluster are invited to participate with a discounted offer, and should email Chelsea Ranger, Life Science Project Manager, at chelsea@hornonline.com to reserve space.

 

References:

  • The digital book had over 44.000 viewers from 26 countries within two weeks of launching online, and held 18 of the Top 30 HORN-site trafficked sites in 2014.
  • 1500 books were distributed at the publications launch, BIO-Europe Frankfurt in November 2014
  • “ ‘European Biotechnology, A Medical Focus’ was for the Belgian life sciences community a piece of reference and high standard even before it was published. The collaboration with HORN Publishing was both constructive and inspiring and the response of the life sciences actors in Belgium to the opportunity to feature in this reference work was indeed overwhelming. It demonstrates the motivation of our actors but also the maturity of the Belgian cluster. The fact that we are anxious for the opportunity to be part of the next edition, is likely the best tribute to this wonderful initiative. The main challenge will be to find a picture to represent Belgium next time. But we will handle that with pleasure.”
    Henk Joos, Managing Director, FlandersBio

 

Photocure: Green light for phase 3 in the U.S

Photocure ASA, a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on photodynamic technologies in dermatology and cancer, announces the conclusion of the Phase 2 program, and FDA clearance to prepare Phase 3 protocol for the clinical development of Cevira, the innovative breakthrough for the treatment of precancerous lesions of the cervix.

The conclusion of a Phase 2 meeting with the FDA confirmed that the Phase 2 data supports the proposed Phase 3 program, and are sufficiently robust to continue the development of Cevira. Following a guidance meeting with FDA in December 2014, Photocure completed the re-analysis of the Phase 2b data as requested by the Agency. The re-analysis included a new panel read pathology assessment and applying new clinical success criteria in the end-point definition. The re-analysis demonstrated that Cevira provides improved treatment efficacy compared to placebo among patients with cervical high grade lesions (HSIL). Photocure discussed the results, including target population and statistical sample size, in the FDA meeting in early December.

Kjetil Hestdal, President and CEO of Photocure, said:  “With End of Phase 2 achieved for Cevira in the U.S., together with the support achieved through Scientific Advice in key European markets to progress to Phase 3 in women with HSIL (CIN2), Photocure has reached an important milestone in the development of Cevira.

Cevira has the potential to treat HPV induced cervical high grade disease and prevent the development of cervical cancer which affects more than 500 000 women annually. We will continue discussions with leading companies in women’s healthcare to secure a strategic partnership that will assist in the Phase 3 development and commercialization of Cevira.“

Following the positive outcome of the meeting with the FDA, Photocure plans to submit the proposed Phase 3 protocol for a detailed Special Protocol Assessment (SPA) to the FDA first half 2015.

www.photocure.com

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.

 

 

 

 

Oslo Cancer Cluster events on World Cancer Day

February 4th is World Cancer Day. Oslo Cancer Cluster will pay tribute to this day by arranging a breakfast meeting at Litteraturhuset together with LMI. This breakfast meeting is the first of a series of three political breakfast meetings in 2015, addressing  the topic “Future cancer treatment – how to secure Norwegian cancer patients the best treatment in the future?”

Our first breakfast meeting on World Cancer Day, February 4th, address “clinical cancer studies”: Why is clinical cancer studies important to convey in Norway, what are the unique advantages for conducting studies in Norway and in what way are experimental cancer studies a vital part of access to the latest treatment available for cancer patients not responding to standard treatments.

The political breakfast meetings aim to contribute to ensure that Norwegian cancer patients receive a treatment that is on par with the best internationally, to ensure political involvement and come up with concrete proposals for improving the framework conditions for Norwegian cancer research- and treatment.

Target groups for the meetings are health politicians and authorities, members companies from Oslo Cancer Cluster and LMI, patients and everyone interested in the topics.

The meeting is open for the public and free of charge. Please register here.

 

Afternoon member meeting
On World Cancer Day we also arrange the first member meeting of 2015, addressing the topic og conjugated antibodies. Program will follow – but you may already register here. Please note that this is a meeting only for members of the Oslo Cancer Cluster.

 

 

BerGenBio Completes NOK90 Million Fundraising

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

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

Richard Godfrey, Chief Executive Officer of BerGenBio, commented:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Career Day at University of Oslo

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

Please find more information here:

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

 


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

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

Alt vil skje i Vilhelm Bjerkes’ hus.

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

The investment in proton therapy for cancer

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


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

More cancer survivors

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

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

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

Radiation can cause damage

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

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

Proton treatment reduces side effects

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

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

Where radiation center be placed?

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

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

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

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

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

This has great significance for the individual patient.

 

Picture illustrating immuno-oncology on a molecular level.

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

More information:

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

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

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

 

Nordic Nanovector

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Registration for Cancer Crosslinks 2015 is open

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

Picture illustrating immuno-oncology on a molecular level.

Call in Immuno-Oncology: 9 applications received

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

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

Evaluation process

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

 

Questions?

Invitation: Career day at NTNU

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

Please find more information here:

Questions regarding this event may be adressed to:

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

Gunnar Gårdemyr appointed CEO in Targovax

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Facts:

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BerGenBio Announces First Patient Dosed in BGB324 AML Trial

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

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

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

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

Richard Godfrey, Chief Executive Officer of BerGenBio, commented:

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

www.bergenbio.com

 

Targovax AS has reached primary endpoint in ongoing phase I/II trial

Oslo Cancer Cluster member Targovax AS has reached an important milestone in the ongoing clinical trial investigating its cancer vaccine TG01 for treatment of operable pancreatic cancer.

Targovax announces that the primary endpoint for the ongoing phase I/II clinical trial CT TG01-01, regarding immune response and side effects, is already reached. Recruitment of patients for the clinical trial will continue according to protocol and plan as basis for readout of secondary endpoints.

Immunotherapeutic cancer vaccines
Targovax was established in October in 2010 to develop immunotherapy in the form of therapeutic cancer vaccines based on pioneering research at the Norwegian Radium Hospital and Norsk Hydro. Mutation of RAS is an early mutation in the transformation of a normal cell into a cancer cell. Lead candidate TG01 educates the body’s immune system to recognize and kill cancer cells with RAS mutations.

TG01 has Orphan Drug status for pancreatic cancer in the EU and US and is currently in Phase II trials in operated pancreatic cancer, patients start treatment up to 12 weeks after surgery. The company is located in Lysaker, close to Oslo, Norway.

 

FACTS

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.

Innovation Camp on personalized cancer medicine

Almost 350 students at Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences was engaged in last weeks Innovation Camp where they were asked to come up with original ideas on how to communicate personalized cancer medicine.

Photo: Cicilie S. Andersen/Khrono

 

Last week Oslo Cancer Cluster, Young Entrepreneurship Oslo, Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences (HIOA) and researchers from Institute for Cancer Research at Oslo University Hospital teamed up. The reason for teaming up was this year’s Innovation Camp at HIOA for no less than 350 students from the faculties of both health and engineering. In collaboration, we had decided to let the students solve the following task in only 24 hours:

“It is important to give correct and realistic information about what personalized cancer medicine is. Please develop a (physical) product that communicates the essence of what personalized cancer medicine is. Please define your target group, for example students, adults, elderly, health personnel or politicians.”

The students were divided into groups of 4-5 people randomly – and then had 24 hours to come up with an idea, make a business plan and pitch it in a semi-finale before a jury.

 

Challenging assignment

The students were taken a bit back about the assignment at first – thinking it was almost impossible to solve. How ever it turned out that they were much clever than they thought them selves.

Before the assignment was presented they had been given a lecture on innovation and creativity by Kim Østberg Larsen from Young Entrepreneurship Oslo and a lecture on the concept of personalized cancer medicine from Leonardo Meza-Zepeda – plus a lecture on how cancer patient are treated with drugs that are classified as personalized by clinician Åslaug Helleland.

As Meza-Zepeda pointed out – the concept of personalized cancer medicine is unknow even for most of health personell – so there is a great need for communicating what this is, what is the upside are and of course the limitations.

 

Interactive game with cartoon caracters
After a hectic semi-finale round with more than 60 groups pitching in three parallel sessions, 9 groups where selected to go to the grand finale. Common for the groups that were selected was originality and a good understanding of the assignment and a good idea to solve it.

The jury decided on the three differet winners of the awards “Best Pitch”, “Best Innovation” and “Overall winner”.

The “Overall winner” turned out to be the same as the winner of the “Audience Award” that all the participants voted on. This was group nr. 1. They suggested to develop an interactive game for children diagnosed with cancer, using known and loved cartoon characters – where the children could play doctors combating cancer. As the group pointed out in their presentation: this would empower the children whilst giving them both knowledge and comfort.

The winners get an “Innovation Lunch” with the cancer researchers at Oslo University Hospital, including a guided tour to their labs and also inside the Oslo Cancer Cluster Innovation Park that is being built now.

 

Please read more about the Innovation Camp here:

 

 

 

 

4 new members in Oslo Cancer Cluster

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

Read more about them here:

 

DNB Bank ASA

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

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

 

Oslo and Akershus University College, Faculty of Health Sciences

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

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

 

Scandinavian Development Services

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

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

 

Prostataklinikken AS

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

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

Contact person: Ole Mjåtvedt, CEO

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

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Juice with Omega-3 can become new cancer treatment

Professor Per Kogner (picture) and his research team at Karolinska Institute in Sweden have found that omega-3 fatty acids inhibit cancer growth. Now in a new study children who have had cancer are receiving supplementation of the fatty acids.

Experiments at the Karolinska Institute is already in full swing. Several years ago, Per Kogners research team saw that omega-3 fatty acids kill cultured cancer cells. Now a group of children who have finished cancer treatment have been selected for inclusion in a clinical trial. They get supplementation of omega-3 fatty acids (DHA and EPA) in the form of a juice based nutritional drink containing a high dose of Omega 3 every day for three months. In phase one, researchers will determine the dose that is right, then with longer treatment during phase two, they will study the effects omega-3 have on late complications and cancer recurrence.

See the movie about Per Kogners research

– We know from other studies that supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids are good for brain development and that those who eat a diet high in omega-3 are more rarely affected by cancer. Our own research shows that omega-3 fatty acids inhibit the growth of both neuroblastoma and medulloblastoma. Now we go on to see how large doses are needed and how they affect the children, says Professor Per Kogner.

Reduce the risk of relapse and complications
The purpose of the study is to see if supplementation of omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of relapse in the disease and also if the children feel better when drinking the juice with the fats. The researchers also want to see if complications after treatment can be reduced by using the supplement since it is previously shown that these fatty acids promotes the vision, behavior, heart and blood pressure and brain development.

– We have reason to believe that omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of relapse and improve the child’s health, immune system, nutrition, cognition and quality of life. Other researchers have found that omega-3 fatty acids improve the condition of children with ADHD and dyslexia and therefore it is important to test our hypothesis in children with cancer, says Per Kogner.

The reason for the hypothesis that omega-3 fatty acids work for children who have had brain tumors or neuroblastoma, is exactly where the tumors arise.

– Neuroblastoma is a cancer of the peripheral nervous system, medulloblasom in the central nervous system. Nerve tissue contains more fat than any other tissue in the body and is dependent on addressing the omega-3 fatty acids that we eat. In our previous experiments, we have seen that the implanted nerve cell tumors grow smaller and occur less often if you eat a diet that is enriched with omega-3, particularly DHA. Complications affecting the brain or metabolism also occurs in children with other cancers, so they will also be included in the clinical studies.

Fruit juice and fish oil
Omega-3 is found in vegetables and oily fish. The children included in the study will be drinking a specially made fruit juice with fish oil from Norway. The dose of it will be increased over time – as the researchers want to see how the dosage affects the body and if a higher dosage better reduce the risk of late complications and relapse, or maybe just give unnecessary additional risk side effects. The importance of children’s normal diet and previouse fatty acid balance will be investigated thouroughly.

– We want to see what balance is prefered. To see this, we examine the children carefully and measure the cells’ membranes and blood fats repeatedly. The first thing we want answered is how big dose the child needs to feel better, and if any side effects occur. In a few years when Phase 2 is completed, hopefully we know if the risk of relapse can be avoided for children receiving the supplementation, says Per Kogner.
Omega-3 combined with traditional treatment

The research team examines particularly the balance between omega-3 and omega-6,

– Both fats are important for the body’s cell membranes and other processes in the body that inflammation and the immune system, including programmed cell death. Unfortunately, the modern diet has too much omega-6 compared to omega-3.

Another very important part of the research team’s study is to evaluate whether omega-3 fatty acids can be combined with chemotherapy and / or radiation early in cancer treatment.

– The combination may result in us being able to cure more children, while improving nutrition and immune defense. In a few years, the results of our studies might be of value for children with cancer, even for those with leukemia and other tumors, not only neuroblastoma and medulloblastoma.

Kind and effective supplements in cancer treatment
If a supplement of omega-3 fatty acids work in the treatment of children with cancer, says Per Kogner that it will be something completely new.

– We know that chemotherapy kills both cancer cells and normal cells as a double-edged sword, which can both cure cancer and cause severe complications. Omega-3 fatty acid kills cancer cells but protects normal cells, especially brain cells are sensitive. In this way, these fatty acids are both sword and shield at once. With omega-3 sword, you can kill the cancer cells while its shield protects the body’s other cells. It will be both a protective and effective supplement in cancer treatment, the combined sword and shield, says Per Kogner.

Facts about polyunsaturated fats
• Polyunsaturated fats are essential for life. The body can not produce them, we have to get ourselves in them through food.
• The most important polyunsaturated fats are omega-3 and omega-6.
• Omega-3 found in oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, herring and sardines, some seaweed, walnuts, canola oil and flaxseed.
• Omega-6 For example, in corn oil, sunflower oil and rapeseed oil.
• Omega-3 and Omega-6 has many different functions and is required in particular for the body to build and repair cells. They also affect the regulation of blood pressure, the kidneys are functioning and our immune system.
• Omega-3 and omega-6 affects the body in different ways. In many cases omega-3 attenuates the effects of omega-6, for example, when it comes to blood clotting and the immune system. Both lipids interact and it is therefore important to get through the food right amount of both.

Flocking to Norway

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

DNB invites to informal Healthcare gathering

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


Please sign up by November 5th.

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

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

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

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

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

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

18:50-19:20 Panel debate

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

19:30 Dinner and networking in restaurant 16th floor

 

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 www.ideprisen.no

 

 

 

The Minister of Education pre launched the long-term plan for research and education with Lytix Biopharma

Yesterday Minister Røe Isaksen and the Minister of Health Bent Høie visited Lytix Biopharma at the Department of Cell therapy at the Cancer Research Institute/Oslo University Hospital. The background is that the Government will present a long-term plan for research and higher education on October 8. This white paper will outline how the government will prioritize the use of research resources in the coming years.

Health, nutrition and outstanding research are some of the priority areas, and the long-term plan will also follow up on Health&Care21. Both Ministers pointed out that Lytix Biopharma is a good example of several aspects of the plan.

CEO Unni Hjelmaas in Lytix Biopharma appreciate the contact with both ministries.

Right focus from the Government
– It is an honor for Lytix Biopharma to be part of this and at the same time be acknowledged for many of the objectives set in the long term plan for research and higher education as well as the Health&Care21, says Hjelmaas. We are ensured that the Government has the right focus after the insight we got into the long term plan today. We now look forward to seeing this be moved from words to action.

The General Manager of the Pharma Industry Association in Norway Karita Bekkemellem was also present. She was very enthusiastic after the meeting. – This is a recognition that the pharma industry is an important contributor to good patient treatment. It is positive that the Government now focus on an active public and academic partnership with the pharma industry. We look forward to contribute, she continues.

Long-term research and higher education
The Government announced in May that it will present a long-term plan for research and higher education in autumn 2014. The objective is a strategic, coordinated and predictable research and higher education policy that lays the foundation for Norway to meet the challenges and opportunities ahead of us.

The long-term plan is a tool to target efforts on areas where Norway has strategic advantages, and to meet future needs for knowledge in key areas. At the same time the long-term plan allow for crossing borders and for innovative research that can give us new insight in the long term.

 

Lytix Biopharma
Lytix Biopharma’s technology is based on nature’s own defense mechanism. The membranes of bacteria and cancer cells are destroyed. Our technology has the potential to meet two substantial medical challenges; treatment of infections regardless of resistance and cancer therapy that activates the patient`s own immune system. Lytix Biopharma’s strategy is to develop its drug candidates to Proof of Concept, and then bring in partners for the final stages of product development and commercialization. See www.lytixbiopharma.com.

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. www.bergenbio.com

 

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.


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. http://www.sygnaturediscovery.com

 

Lytix Biopharma awarded Nordic Stars 2014

Oslo Cancer Cluster member Lytix Biopharma is one of three biotech companies selected as Nordic Stars 2014. The prize is given to companies that the organizers of the Nordic Life Science Days sees as extra promising.

The Nordic Stars Awards have been established to shed some extra light on those companies Nordic Life Science Days see really showcase how innovative Nordic companies can be.

– This is a great honour, says Unni Hjelmaas, CEO at Lytix Biopharma. – We appreciate that we are noticed in an active Nordic market with many promising companies. To receive such an award makes us aware that others are watching us and gives us an extra motivation to prove that it is possible for innovative Nordic companies to succeed.

– With this price and the attention given to us we have a good basis for dialogue with potential partners. We are very grateful that professionals outside our company believe in what we do, said Knut Eidissen, Chairman of the Board of Lytix Biopharma

 

Lytix Biopharma:
Lytix Biopharma’s technology is based on nature’s own defense mechanism. The membranes of bacteria and cancer cells are destroyed. Our technology has the potential to meet two substantial medical challenges; treatment of infections regardless of resistance and cancer therapy that activates the patient`s own immune system. Lytix Biopharma’s strategy is to develop its drug candidates to Proof of Concept, and then bring in partners for the final stages of product development and commercialization. See www.lytixbiopharma.com.

Nordic Life Science Days:
Nordic Life Science Days is the Nordic region’s largest partnering conference for the global life science industry. The conference attracts leading decision-makers in the life science sector, including the bioengineering, pharmaceuticals and Med Tech segments, along with investors, research institutions, politicians and authorities. This year’s Nordic Life Science Days event is taking place in partnership with Oslo Cancer Cluster and Toulouse Cancer-Bio-Santé Cluster.

This year they have:
840+ registered delegates
570+ companies/organizations
26 countries represented
7000+ meeting requests in partneringONE
1400+ accepted meetings
480+ licensing opportunities

Picture illustrating immuno-oncology on a molecular level.

Strong Scandinavian Cancer Immunotherapy Mission

A very strong Scandinavian immunotherapy delegation is in the US September 15 – 19 to meet peers from some of the most prominent institutions “over there”. Medicon Valley Alliance is arranging this unique opportunity and have kindly invited members of Oslo Cancer Cluster to join.

As of now 22 delegates from Scandinavia will visit some of the world’s leading universities, research groups, clinical centers and big pharmaceutical companies working within the immunotherapy field. This partnering mission will thus enable the delegates to learn more about the latest research and business trends within immunotherapy in the US while expanding their network – all in just one week.

Strong Norwegian players in the field of immuno-oncology; Inven2, Targovax, Ultimovacs, Nextera and PCI Biotech are joining the delegation from Oslo Cancer Cluster`s side. Immuno-oncology is one of the hottest research topics globally now, and the Scandinavian players are considered to be strong in this area.

Download program

CANCER IMMUNOTHERAPY PARTNERING MISSION 2014

Cancer Immunotherapy Partnering Mission
Washington DC – Baltimore – NYC – Boston

September 15 – 19, 2014

Delegates will visit:

  • The David H. Koch Institute for integrative cancer research @ MIT
  • Merck Research Laboratories
  • MASSBIO event: Cancer Immunotherapy – Investment and Partnering trends
  • Dana-Farber cancer institute
  • Novartis institute for Biomedical Research
  • NYU Langone Medical center/Perlmutter Cancer Center
  • Cancer Research Institute
  • Mount Siani Health System in NYC
  • Bristol-Myers Squibb
  • University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine
  • John Hopkins Hospital, the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • National Institute of Health, National Cancer Institute

Job opportunities: 2 Medical Advisors – CNS and Oncology

Janssen wish to strengthen their medical affairs team in Norway. We are hereby seeking 2 field based Medical Advisors to support our business in CNS and Oncology.

The Medical Advisor is responsible for becoming a scientific and clinical expert on our portfolios and its related clinical areas and competitors. With this expertise, the field based Medical Advisor provides clinical and scientific support to internal and external customers in the Nordic countries.

Please see the full advertisement here.

Both positions are based at Lysaker, Norway, and will report directly to Therapeutic Area Head Oncology and Therapeutic Area Head CNS.

Questions?
Further questions about the positions can be addressed to Mr Jon Bjørbekk, Kelly Scientific, +47 952 11 580
or Mr Thomas Lund, tel: +47 401 080 70.

 

Lifstream with in debth articles on Oslo Cancer Cluster

Karl Simpson from Liftstream, a company that provides recruitment services to the global life sciences sector, visited the Oslo Cancer Cluster this Summer. Simpson just published in-debth analysis of both the cluster and some of the members. Please read an excerpt below and more on their web site www.liftstream.com.

“Oslo, Norway is home to the emerging Oslo Cancer Cluster, a growing cluster with a host of exciting companies targeting the oncology therapeutics and diagnostics marketplace. These companies include, Nordic Nanovector, Lytix BioPharm, Targovax and Ultimovacs.

The Oslo Cancer Cluster has big ambitions to create a global cluster comprised of world-leading experts in cancer drug development and diagnostics and wishes to attract this competence.

With a brand new innovation centre to be launched in 2015, this is an exciting time for this biotech cluster and the companies in it. Liftstream has taken time to profile the cluster through interviews with the Oslo Cancer Cluster leadership, as well as CEO’s of some of the cluster’s companies.”

Why choose Norway as your partner in healthcare R&D?

Norwegian healthcare actors have joined forces and launch the “Norwegian Package” at next weeks Nordic Life Science Days/ECCP. The “Norwegian Package” is five reasons why Norway is a unique place to do research and development within healthcare.

If you would like to learn more – please download a brochure elaborating on the unique features of the Norwegian Healthcare R&D.
Please also come visit our joint stand “Norwegian Healthcare Industry” at the Nordic Life Science Days/ECCP September 7-9 hsoted by Oslo Cancer Cluster and Nansen Neuroscience Network.

Five reasons to collaborate closely with Norwegian actors within Healthcare R&D:

  1. A healthcare system with great opportunities for research
  2. Unique and accessible health registries and biobanks
  3. A great location for clinical trials with a history of delivering on time and quality, a population that is willing to participate in trials and a systematic and transparent regulatory approval process
  4. A strong player in biomedicine with excellent academicresearch environments
  5. A biomedical model that is well adapted for delivering the pharmaceuticals of the future

This is a joint initiative from: Oslo Cancer Cluster, Nansen Neuroscience Network, Innovation Norway, The Research Council of Norway, The Assosiation of the Pharmaceutical Industry in Norway and Link Medical.

K.G.Jebsen Colorectal Cancer Research Centre opened

Professor Ragnhild A. Lothe, Head of Dept of Cancer Prevention at Oslo University Hospital, will lead the new K.G.Jebsen Colorectal Cancer Research Centre that officially opened late August. The center was recently appointed in strong competition with other outstanding scientific environments.

A strong interdiciplinary team of PIs: Professor Michael Bretthauer (gastroenetrologist), Professor Arild Nesbakken (surgeon), Professor Kjell Tveit (oncologist), ass. Professor Rolf I Skotheim (bioinformatics) was co-applicants. The colorectal cancer research centre will focus on improving the methods for diagnosis and treatment of colorectal cancer and will receive 16 mill NOK over a 4-year period from the K.G. Jebsen Foundation.

 

Publication in NEJM on opening day
“I believe that this new centre may stimulate young medical doctors and researchers to become interested in this serious disease, which is the second most common cancer type in Europe, where only half of the patients survive,” says Lothe. She is also a member of the Board of Oslo Cancer Cluster and has been so for several years.

On the opening day Michael Bretthauer (in the middle of picture) published research on risk of developing colorectal cancer in New England Journal of Medicine.

New CEO in Nordic Nanovector

The Board of Nordic Nanovector is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Luigi Costa as new CEO of the Company.

Mr. Costa has over 20 years of international pharmaceutical and biotech experience. Most recently he held the position of Vice President Europe, Middle East and Africa for Onyx Pharmaceuticals, a global biopharmaceutical company based in South San Francisco, California. He was responsible for the startup of the Company’s international organization and for the pre-launch and launch of its Hematology potential blockbuster Kyprolis outside the US.

Will start 1st September
Prior to joining Onyx Pharmaceuticals, he held several roles of increasing responsibility with Amgen including Head of International Oncology Franchise, General Manager of Italy and Vice President and General Manager of France, the Company’s largest market outside the US. Mr. Costa, is a highly successful senior commercial bio-pharma/’biotech’ leader in Europe.

He has delivered a track record across diverse products and therapeutic areas with experience gained on both sides of the Atlantic. Mr. Luigi Costa will take over as CEO on the 1st September 2014.

Important phase of internationalization
”We are about to enter a new and more international phase in the development of Nordic Nanovector. The Board is therefore pleased that Mr. Luigi Costa has accepted to take over the helm as CEO and take the Company to its new phase,” says Chairman Roy H. Larsen on behalf of the Board. ”We see this as yet another professional acknowledgement of the Company and its product Betalutin’s future potential.”

”We are grateful for Jan A. Alfheim’s personal commitment and contributions as CEO in building up the organization of the Company in the first years of its lifetime” says Roy H. Larsen.

 

FACTS:

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.

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).

Update from PCI Biotech`s study on head & neck cancer

Oslo Cancer Cluster member PCI Biotech reported Friday August 24 that the treatment evaluation of the second group in the intra-tumour light dose escalation part of the ENHANCE study has been completed.

ENHANCE is a phase II study of Amphinex® in combination with the cytotoxic agent bleomycin in recurrent head and neck cancer patients. No serious safety concerns were raised and strong clinical effects with clear indications of tumour response were seen at this light dose level.

Three more patients
A Dose Review Committee (DRC) of clinical experts and company representatives has been established to evaluate the results and provide recommendation for the continuation of the study. The DRC has recommended that three further patients are included at the same light dose level, before final selection of the light dose for proof of concept with intra-tumour treatment. Patients for the next group are currently being screened and will be treated with Amphinex® as soon as possible.

www.pcibiotech.no

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 www.nlsdays.com

 

Great Kick-off for Oslo Cancer Cluster Innovation Park

More than 170 people kicked-off the Oslo Cancer Cluster Innovation Parkat the annual Oslo Cancer Cluster Summer Meeting. The Innovation park opens in less than a year, and for the first time participants from the cluster could come in side the Park.

 

 

Program

–15:00: Registration & coffee

15:00– 15:20: “Welcome – update on main projects”
– Ketil Widerberg, General Manager of Oslo Cancer Cluster

15:20–15:40: “The Radium Hospital Innovation Campus”
– Jan Vincent Johannessen, CEO Radium Hospital Foundation

15:40–16:00: “Ullern High School – Spring 2015”
– Esther Eriksen, Ullern High School

16:00–16:20: “Oslo Cancer Cluster Innovation Park”
– Jónas Einarsson, CEO of The Radium Hospital Research Foundation, founder of the Innovation Park

16:40–17:00: Refreshments

17:00–18:00: “New Kids on the Block” – presentations from new members;
• Teva Scandinavia, Asker
• Smartfish, Oslo
• Pharmalink, Stockholm
• NorChip, Hurum
• Oncoimmunity, Oslo
• SFF – Centre for Cancer Biomarkers, Bergen

18:00: Summer networking with exclusive group tours “inside” the Oslo Cancer Cluster Innovation Park guided by Skanska

 

 

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, ohbrekke@vaccibody.com, +4792628434
Please visit www.vaccibody.com

Ketil Widerberg on Pharma TV

In April 2014, Pharma TV interviewed Ketil Widerberg, General Manager of Oslo Cancer Cluster. Watch the interview and learn more about how Oslo Cancer Cluster works to develop new diagnostics and medication.

Watch the interview here.

In the interview Ketil Widerberg also explains to Fintan Walton from Pharma TV how Oslo Cancer Cluster`s core expertise in the field of Immuno-Oncology makes the cluster well positioned to contribute in this field and how several research projects and ongoing clinical trials will contribute to an exciting pipeline of novel cancer immunotherapies.

 

 

“HelseOmsorg21 represent a unique opportunity”

The HelseOmsorg21 strategy process was launched in 2013 by the Ministry of Health and Care services. The aim of the national process was to promote evidence-based health and care services characterized by high quality, patient safety and efficiency.

 

The final report was presented to Prime Minister Erna Solberg and Health Minister Bent Høie June 25th by leader of the HelseOmsorg21 process John-Arne Røttingen. The strategy has five main priorities aimed at providing better public health, more groundbreaking research, and the growth of a national health industry.

 

Oslo Cancer Cluster has been heard
Oslo Cancer Cluster has contributed to the HelseOmsorg21 process with formal input to the sub-reports on the knowledge system and on health industry development.

“Oslo Cancer Cluster aims to create one of Europe’s leading centers for research, education and development of cancer, and HelseOmsorg21 represent a unique opportunity”, says General Manager of Oslo Cancer Cluster, Ketil Widerberg. “Now we have a national strategy in the health field that addresses the research- and innovation system in health, and this strategy will allow a stronger collaboration between all stakeholders”.

 

The five main priorities are

1. A knowledge boost for municipalities by a solid financing, the establishment of a national registry of municipal health services and a higher education sector and new institutes aimed at municipal needs.

2. Making Health and Care Services an area for industry growth, providing sector-specific measures and stimulate to greater interaction between the public and private sectors.

3. Easier access to and increased utilization of health data.

4. A knowledge-based health care system with greater user interaction and an emphasis on skills, and to develop, try out and document the effects of different interactions.

5. Stronger focus on the internationalization of research and increased participation in the competition in EU research systems.

 

Read more
Download Oslo Cancer Cluster`s formal input

ECCP Oncology Track Program

The program for the ECCP Oncology Track Sessions at NLS Days/ECCP in Stockolm is now ready. We are proud to present a strong program with international renowned speakers, representing the entire oncology value chain. The program addresses both the most important topics in oncology at the moment, plus the companies that might become the success stories of tomorrow.

Download the program for the ECCP Oncology Track Sessions here.

Immuno-Oncology and Big-Data
The ECCP Oncology Track Sessions of 2014 focus on cancer immunotherapies, the hottest topic within oncology at the moment, early-stage oncology innovations and the utilization of biomarkers, biobanks and big data for developing better cancer treatments. We are proud to present several leading speakers from academics, biotechs, as well as a strong lineup of speakers from international Pharma companies.

The program has been developed in collaboration between several leading European Oncology Milieus such as the Oslo Cancer Cluster, Cancer Bio-Santé, Cancer Campus, BioWin, Medicon Valley Alliance/Invest in Skåne and Health Capital Berlin Brandenburg.

Norwegian stand
Kindly sponsored by Innovation Norway there will be a joint Norwegian stand at ECCP/NLS Days 2014 promoting Oslo Cancer Cluster and Nansen Neuroscience Network. We invite all members to display their marketing material here.

Please contact Elisabeth Kirkeng Andersen for more information on this opportunity.

 

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 AS is registered on the NOTC-list

Targovax AS is registered on the NOTC-list from June 16th, 2014, with ticker code TRVX. The company has issued 9 429 404 shares, each at par value NOK 0.10.

All shares are registered in VPS with ISIN code NO 001 0689326. Based on the most recent capital increase, June 4th, 2014, where the shares were signed up for NOK 21.50, the company has a post money price of NOK 202 732 186. The company has entered an agreement wiht NOTC AS and will be able to use the reporting system from June 16th, 2014.

Immunotherapy against pancreatic cancer
Targovax is a cancer biotech-company started in October 2010 to develop targeted immunotherapy in the form of therapeutic cancer vaccines. Lead candidate 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.

 

FACTS:

Targovax
Targovax was established in October in 2010 to develop immunotherapy in the form of therapeutic cancer vaccines based on pioneering research into RAS mutations in 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 has Orphan Drug status for pancreatic cancer in the EU and US and is currently in Phase II trials in operated pancreatic cancer, patients start treatment 1-8 weeks after surgery. 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.

 

Nordic Nanovector: Betalutin™ granted Orphan Designation in Europe

Oslo Cancer Cluster member Nordic Nanovector`s  lead product candidate Betalutin™ has been granted orphan designation for treatment of follicular lymphoma in Europe by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the European Commission (EC).

Orphan designation for Betalutin™ will provide the company several advantages, including reduced costs related to the clinical development program, as well as commercial exclusivity for ten years once the product reaches the market in Europe.

Market exclusitivity
Jan A. Alfheim, Nordic Nanovector CEO stated: “With the orphan designation for Betalutin™ in the Europe, the company can receive protocol assistance, a type of scientific advice specific for designated orphan medicines and market exclusivity once the medicine is on the market. Fee reductions are also available. These benefits will help tremendously in the development and commercialization of an important new form of treatment of non-Hodgkin Lymphoma“.

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.

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).

 

Cambridge-report shows high number of oncology publications per capita in Norway

MBA students from University of Cambridge did a benchmarking of international oncology clusters this spring on behalf of the Oslo Cancer Cluster.


Please download an excerpt of the report here.

Key findings;
• Norway has a high number of oncology publications per capita
• The entrepreneurial culture in Norway represents untapped commercial potential
• There is a positive collaboration environment within the Oslo Cancer Cluster – based on a high level of trust
• The grant funding process in Norway is highly fragmented and complicated

The report is important for the Oslo Cancer Cluster`s Management Team in our work to further improve the cluster and our member services.

Questions regarding the report may can be directed to Ketil Widerberg.

Vaccibody AS and Phibro Animal Health Corporation enter into Development and License Agreement

The Norwegian vaccine company Vaccibody and Phibro Animal Health Corporation (Nasdaq:PAHC), a global animal health and mineral nutrition company, have signed a global exclusive license agreement which grants Phibro and its affiliates the right to develop, market and sell novel vaccines for the poultry market using the Vaccibody platform technology.

Under the agreement, Phibro and its affiliates have an option to exclusively commercialize new indications for poultry vaccines. Phibro will conduct and finance the development of the poultry vaccines, and Vaccibody is entitled to certain milestone payments upon successful completion of proof of concept for each indication and royalties upon commencement of commercial sales.
The global poultry vaccine market accounts for over 1 billion USD annually with vaccines dedicated to fighting diseases in broilers, layers and breeders playing a critical role in animal welfare as well as protecting the industry from major economic losses.

A milestone
“We are very pleased to enter into a collaboration where Vaccibody’s potent and innovative technology will benefit from Phibro’s demonstrated global capabilities in developing poultry vaccines and bringing them to market. We expect the collaboration to foster novel and highly effective vaccines for the poultry industry. This agreement is the first step in carrying out the company’s strategy of entering into partnerships to exploit the broad applicability of our platform technology. Simultaneously, it allows Vaccibody to focus its resources on its own internal cancer vaccine development program,” said Ole Henrik Brekke, Vaccibody’s CEO.

“We are very excited about working with Vaccibody to apply its technology to further enhance Phibro’s strong portfolio of poultry vaccines,” said Larry Miller, President, Animal Health, of Phibro. “This agreement marks another milestone in Phibro Vaccines’ focus on bringing real innovation to help solve the very challenging disease issues faced by our global customers.”

About Vaccibody
Vaccibody is a vaccine company dedicated to the discovery and development of novel prophylactic and therapeutic vaccines which target cancer and infectious diseases, for human and veterinary use. Vaccibody’s lead program is focused on advancing a therapeutic DNA vaccine against HPV induced cancers currently undergoing preclinical development for a first-in-man study against cervical cancer.

Contact:
Ole Henrik Brekke
CEO, Vaccibody AS
+47 2295 8193
ohbrekke@vaccibody.com

About Phibro Animal Health Corporation
Phibro Animal Health Corporation is a diversified global developer, manufacturer and marketer of a broad range of animal health and mineral nutrition products for use in the production of poultry, swine, cattle, dairy and aquaculture.
For further information, please visit www.pahc.com.

Contact:
Richard Johnson
Chief Financial Officer, Phibro Animal Health Corporation
+1 201-329-7300
investor.relations@pahc.com

 

Lytix presents at ASCO

Lytix Bioharma presents data at ASCO from the first LTX-315 clinical trial.

Sunday June 1st Lytix Biopharma presents results from the first Phase I clinical study with LTX-315 at the 50th annual ASCO (American Society of Clinical Oncology). The results are presented as a poster at the ‘Developmental Therapeutics – Immunotherapy Poster Session’. The poster title is “A Phase I study with LTX-315 – an immunogenic cell death inducer in patients with transdermally accessible tumours”.

ASCO is the largest clinical cancer congress, with participants from all over the world.

The overall conclusions from the study were:

  • The main safety issues were primarily dose-related flushing and transient hypotension
  • Tumour infiltrating lymphocytes and tumour regression were observed in some patients
  • The findings confirms the rationale and potential benefit of LTX-315 as a novel intralesional immunotherapy
  • A Phase I/IIa study with LTX-315 is ongoing at four sites in Europe (ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01986426)

See the poster here

Pharmaconutrition products for cancer patients

Smartfish is a Norwegian company developing synergistic omega 3 based pharmaconutrition products. Smartfih is now studying the effect of their phamaconutrition on the immune system, and would like to get in contact with Norwegian collaborators.

Smartfish joined the Oslo Cancer Cluster in 2014 and currently have two products on the market that have been clinically developed for the use of cancer patients; Nutrifriend 1100 and Nutrifriend 600. Their patented technology is basis for the product range of orally applied liquid emulsions ecpecially suitable for cancer patients.

Looking for collaborators
“Our core expertise as a company is to develop immune-modulating medical nutrition. Currently we have collaborations with both UCLA in the US and Karolinska in Sweden on a new type of medical nutrition we are developing containing curcumine. Recent findings suggests an effect on the natural killer cells (NK-cells) of the immunesystem, which are important in combating cancer,” says Janne Sande Mathisen, Co-Founder and R&D, Smartfish.