Three new board members of Oslo Cancer Cluster: Per Morten Sandset, Gunhild M. Maelandsmo and Cathrine Lofthus

New board members

We are happy to welcome three new members to the board of Oslo Cancer Cluster. Find out what they had to say about entering their new positions.

Per Morten Sandset

Per Morten Sandset

Per Morten Sandset is a Senior Consultant in hematology at the Oslo University Hospital and a professor in thrombosis research at the University of Oslo. He has previously been head of the Department of Hematology and Deputy Director of the Medical Division at Ullevål University Hospital and Director of Research, Innovation and Education of the southeastern Norway Health Region. He is currently Vice-Rector at the University of Oslo with responsibilities for research and innovation including the life sciences activities of the university. Sandset has published more than 315 original publications and supervised 30 PhD students.

Why did you join the board of Oslo Cancer Cluster?

“There are currently strong political expectations that the many scientific achievements in the life sciences can be utilized, commercialized and eventually form the basis for new industry.”

“Oslo Cancer Cluster has matured to become a major player of the research  and innovation ecosystem within the life science area in Oslo and also on a national level. This is why being on the board is so interesting and important.”

What do you hope to achieve in your new role?

“As a OCC board member, I want to strengthen and develop the collaboration across the sectors, i.e., between the hospitals and the university – and between academia and industry. On a larger scale, it is about establishing a regional ecosystem that take achievements of the basic sciences into the development of enterprises. Oslo Cancer Cluster should maintain its role as the major player in the cancer area.”

Gunhild M. Mælandsmo

Gunhild Mari Mælandsmo

Gunhild M. Mælandsmo is the head of Department of Tumor Biology, Institute for Cancer Research, Oslo University Hospital where she also is heading the “Metastasis Biology and Experimental Therapeutics” research group. She is a Professor at Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Tromsø.

Why did you join the board of Oslo Cancer Cluster?

“I think the concept of Oslo Cancer Cluster is very interesting, fostering a close collaboration between academia, health care providers and the health industry. 

“Focusing on translational research for many years, I think I can contribute in the board with valuable experience in several parts of the value chain; from basic science, from translational aspects and from my close collaboration with clinical partners as well as administrative experience.”

What do you hope to achieve in your new role?

“I hope I can contribute with valuable knowledge – both from cancer research and from my administrative experience from Oslo University Hospital. I also hope to see more products from small Norwegian companies reaching clinical testing and expanding the biotech industry. Finally, I hope to see the Norwegian health care system more active in providing precision cancer medicine (and to utilise the advantages we have when it comes to registries etc).”

Cathrine M. Lofthus

Cathrine M. Lofthus

Cathrine M. Lofthus is the CEO at the Norwegian South East Regional Health Authority (Helse Sør-Øst RHF). She has previously held several leading positions at Aker University Hospital and at Oslo University Hospital. Lofthus is a qualified doctor from the University of Oslo, where she also completed a PhD in endocrinology. She also holds qualifications in economy, administration and leadership, and has experience from the health sector as a clinician, researcher and leader. Lofthus also holds directorships in Norsk helsenett and KLP, in addition to being a member of the board of National e-Health.


We also wish to extend a special thank you to our previous board members:

  • Kirsten Haugland, Head of the Research and Prevention Department at the Norwegian Cancer Society.
  • Inger Sandlie, professor at the Department of Biosciences, University of Oslo and research group leader at the Department of Immunology, Oslo University Hospital.
  • Øyvind Bruland, professor of clinical oncology at the University of Oslo and consultant oncologist at The Norwegian Radium Hospital, Oslo University Hospital.

Norwegian life science on exhibition

The strong life science actors in Norway joined forces during the conference Nordic Life Science Days 2018.

Oslo Cancer Cluster aims to enhance the visibility of oncology innovation made in Norway by being a significant partner for international clusters, global biopharma companies and academic centres. We used the conference Nordic Life Science Days 2018 in Stockholm this September week to show the growing Norwegian life science environment.

The Norwegian stand
From 2015 onward, we have had a Norwegian stand promoting Norwegian healthcare and life science industry together with other life science actors in Norway. Our partners this year were Norway Health TechAleapUniversity of Oslo: Life ScienceThe Life Science ClusterInvent2NORINNansen Neuroscience NetworkLMI, Centre for Digital Life NorwayInnovation Norway and The Norwegian Research Council. Together we represent the essence of Norwegian Life Science.


The Norwegian delegation with Ambassador Christian Syse visited the stand in 2018. From the left: Jutta Heix, International Advisor at Oslo Cancer Cluster, Christian Syse, the Norwegian Ambassador to Sweden, Tina Norlander, Senior Advisor in Innovation Norway and Jeppe Bucher, Intern at the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Stockholm.


A European meeting place
There are several important meeting places for life science actors in Europe, such as BIO-Europe, BIO-Europe Spring and Nordic Life Science Days at the top of the list. Oslo Cancer Cluster is the oncology partner at the Nordic Life Science Days.

Are you interested in what the big oncology session during the Nordic Life Science Days 2018 was all about? The topic was cancer immunotherapy, also known as immuno-oncology.

This article gives you the highlights of the session.

More Nordic collaboration
As a region, the Nordic countries are of international importance in the field of cancer research and innovation, especially in precision medicine, and Oslo Cancer Cluster participates in advancing Nordic collaboration. Oslo Cancer Cluster also engages in more cancer specific European events. One example is the Association for Cancer Immunotherapy Meeting (CIMT), which is the largest European meeting in the field of cancer immunotherapy.

Read more about our international work

Creating One Cancer Vaccine Per Patient

Oslo Cancer Cluster member Vaccibody is making headway with their cancer vaccine technology. Now they are ready with clinical trials involving 40 patients in Germany, the first patient is already enrolled.


Neoantigens Reveals Cancer Cells
Cancer is famous for its ability to deceive, appearing to the immune system as normal tissue while wreaking havoc on the body. But what if cancer cells could be revealed with subtle but unmistakable characteristics that revealed their true nature?

This revealing clue exists and is called neoantigens, which are mutated (or changed/altered) proteins found only in cancer cells. This is the science behind what Vaccibody and Agnete Fredriksen is currently doing, working to develop vaccines that use neoantigens to help patients’ own immune systems recognize and fight cancer tumors.

— I dare to say that this is quite unique. Each vaccine is thoroughly customized for each individual cancer patient. One vaccine per patient! What we do is conduct biopsies and blood tests to reveal each patient’s unique set of neoantigens and with our technology we have the ability to create a potent individualized vaccine in a relatively short time at reasonable cost, says Agnete B. Fredriksen, President and Chief Scientific Officer at Vaccibody.

Extra Effective With Checkpoint Inhibition
The Vaccibody researchers analyze individual tumor genomes and the patients’ immune systems to select an optimal mix of neoantigens.

— We can do that in a few days because of modern technology. Then we monitor and record the changes we think the immune system will react to and include them in the personalized vaccine. The neoantigen technology is then combined with so called checkpoint inhibitor therapy, which stops tumors from suppressing immune-system activity — to make the vaccine extra effective.

With this personalized medicine approach, each patient receives a unique DNA vaccine, in combination with standard of care checkpoint inhibitor therapy.

Vaccibody has also reached the front page of VG! Read the story here. (In Norwegian)

Clinical Trials in Germany
In the upcoming German clinical trials the vaccine will be tested on patients with locally advanced or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer, melanoma, renal, bladder or head and neck cancer.

— Our technology is very flexible and it can record a number of different changes. The vaccine is therefore applicable as a treatment for many different kinds of cancers. The ones included in the trial are chosen because they contain a high number of mutations and changes creating a good basis to create a neoantigen vaccine.

During the trial Vaccibody will check if the vaccine is safe and without side effects.

— We really think it is based on previous experience with this platform! And we will of course check if the vaccine has the expected immune response and investigate signs of clinical efficacy, says Fredriksen.

Bekjemper kreft med gentilpasset behandling

Gentilpasset behandling har siden begynnelsen av 2000-tallet blitt beskrevet som et av de nye, viktige våpnene som kan bekjempe kreft.

Hør forsker Hege G. Russnes og professor Anne Hansen Ree, her fra Cancer Crosllinks i januar i år, fortelle om deres forskningsprosjekt MetAction, og hvordan de tar i bruk gentilpasset behandling for å gi et behandlingstilbud til en pasientgruppe som har manglet det tidligere. Nå avsluttes prosjektet og du kan høre her hvorfor forskerne synes det er både feil og trist.

Forskningsprosjektet, som varte fra 2014 til 2017, ble ledet av Ree, kreftforsker og professor Gunhild Mari Mælandsmo, molekylærpatolog og lege Hege Russnes ved Oslo universitetssykehus, samt kreftkirurg og lege Kjersti Flatmark.

I forrige uke fikk de også forsiden på VG. Og det med god grunn: Ved bruk av genterapi og tverrfaglig kompetanse gir de hjelp til nye pasientergrupper og løfter norsk kompetanse innen gentilpasset behandling.

Les saken i VG her.

Immunotherapy: Finding the Right Fit

A new Norwegian research collaboration helps uncover what treatments are the right fit for American cancer patients. Who are the collaborators and what are they doing?

There’s a lot of excitement and optimism concerning immuno-oncology, where the method is to utilize a person’s own immune system to treat cancer. However, excitement aside, methods such as this are often a costly experience, in expenses as well as negative and unpredictable side-effects for the person in treatment.

Calibrated Collaboration
Company OncoImmunity is collaborating with the Norwegian Cancer Genomics Consortium (NCGC) in finding out what is causing these serious and unpredictable side-effects.

– This collaboration is an exciting opportunity for us. This is because we can demonstrate the strength of our advanced bioinformatics tools and show how they can be used to detect combinations of genetic variation in the patient, as well as neoantigens in the tumour that can further be used as biomarkers for sensitivity to this type of cancer treatment, says Dr. Richard Stratford, CEO of OncoImmunity, in a recent press release.

OncoImmunity develops proprietary machine-learning software for personalized cancer immunotherapy. The company previously won a prestigious European grant for their work.

You can read about it here!

Patients with sarcomas
The researchers in the collaboration analyse the patient’s genes in the tumour. More specifically, they are looking at American patients by using pembrolizumab, a humanized antibody that blocks cancer protection, on patients with sarcoma – cancer in various binding tissues.

Sarcomas are a rare form of cancer where treatment for such procedures have not developed as much as other cancer treatments. Patients who have sarcoma have generally a worse prognosis than other groups.

The research will be shared with the organization Sarcoma Alliance for Research through Collaboration (SARC), helping researchers within the organization to better utilize the results.

The NCGC perspective
The NCGC has, with help from the Norwegian Research Council, established a platform for advanced analysis for such cases. On top of this, they have a vast network of expertise within the area of molecular oncology.

– We find it exciting to see better treatments that can work for multiple cancers where treatment provides promising results, despite limited response, says Professor Ola Myklebost, leader for NCGC and the research project, in a recent press release.

– It is important to be able to choose the right patients for the right treatments. Not only because the treatment is high in cost, but also because of the serious and negative side-effects, he adds.

Photocure’s Promising Combo

Photocure reveals promising results in bladder cancer through the use of Blue Light Cytoscopy alongside the drug Hexvix. 

Bladder cancer endangers 167,000 people in Europe annually followed by over 59,000 deaths.

Men are especially at risk, where a staggering 75% of bladder cancer cases occur. Not only that, but bladder cancer has a reputation as being one of the most expensive cancers to have, due to its high reccurence rate with an average of 61% reccurence the first year followed by 78% for the next five years.

The results we needed
As such, there is an increasingly urgent need to develop better methods of both managing and diagnosing the disease. We’re already hearing positive news from the Norwegian company Photocure; a leader in photodynamic technology. Photocure revealed the results from their study on the 18th of August, where the results appear promising in terms of prognosis and diagnosis.

The promising new combo
By combining Blue Light Cystoscopy (BLC) and Hexvix, Blue Light Cytoscopy being the insertion of a tube in the urinary tract instilled with a photosensitizing agent, they found the overall reccurence rate of three years had decreased substantially. More specifically, by combining Blue Light Cytoscopy with Hexvix, they found that the recurrence rate dropped down to 39% for the next three years, as opposed to using an optimized White Light Cytoscopy (WLC), a standard cytoscopy, that resulted in a 53.3% of reccurence.

Substantially better
The benefit was even more substantial for those with high-risk disease, where the chances of recurrence at year three were 52.1% for the Blue Light Cytoscopy combo as opposed to the White Light Cytoscopy, found to be at around 80%.

How does it work?
The probable reasoning for this improvement lies in how the new combo works to detect bladder cancer. By using Blue Light Cytoscopy with Hexvix, which is a drug that is selectively taken up by cancer cells in the bladder, they are able to see the cancer light up in bright pink. This enables the doctors  to accurately resect and make better management deciscions, thusly improving the patients outlook and way of life.

Meet Our New Members – Part Two

We are proud to introduce Oslo Cancer Cluster’s new members. This is the second part of two stories about our new members.

You can find the first part HERE.

On the 24th of August, Oslo Cancer Cluster hosted a bustling summer party in the Oslo Cancer Cluster Incubator, where the new members had the chance to introduce their amazing work.

This is a brief introduction to those of the new members who primarily work in consulting.

At Dehns, they have a commercially focused and practical approach to intellectual property that helps them to turn inspired thinking into patents, registered designs and trade marks. Dehns was founded in 1920 and has over 90 staff members, with offices in multiple locations across England. Dehns is one of the largest firms of trade mark and patent attorneys in Europe.

– Partnering with Oslo Cancer Cluster will allow us at Dehns to have more contact with the diverse members at Oslo Cancer Cluster that could benefit from our services. Norway is a buzzing place for opportunity, so we believe this is a special chance to be more present. By doing this, we hope to help companies with whatever questions or problems they might have, whilst also setting sights on getting in contact earlier, so that we can get to the root of the problem quicker and make a real impact as a result. Undoubtedly, getting to the root of the problem at the start is more exciting for everyone, and we aim to do just that, says Barbara Rigby, associate at Dehns.

GIAMAG was established in 2012 as a commercial spin-off of Norway’s Institute for Energy Technology (IFE), where their patented technology is based off of the Institute’s research. GIAMAG is not wholly belonging to the area of consulting, but nonetheless offers consulting services in their product: one of the world’s most forceful and configurable magnets. GIAMAG’s mission is to provide solutions based on magnet technology for a varying range of industrial applications. They have the expertise to design and configure magnet systems to customer’s specific requirements.

Acapo is an Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) firm mainly focused on the maintanace of patents, trademark registrations and design. Acapo, despite being located in several places, works as one company. The head office is located in Bergen. Acapo has a joint administration with one legal and one patent department. They strive for the highest degree of both service and quality, where the most important assets are their highly qualified professionals and staff members. They do not only offer advice in areas related to Intellectual Property, but also in business areas. Acapo covers all technical fields.

Artemida Pharma is a consultancy company in drug development who has highly experienced scientists representing multiple disciplines and therapeutic areas. Artemida Pharma offers optimised strategic drug development for biotechnology and pharmaceutic clients. They have past experience with a wide variety of clients, geographic areas and product types that enable them to offer integrared project-driven solutions.

DNV GL allows organizations to progress the sustainability and safety of their business. They provide classification, technical assurance, software and independent expert advisory services to the maritime, oil & gas and energy industries. They also provide certification services to customers across a wide range of industries. In terms of healthcare, they support organizations in this sector across the globe by applying system thinking to address risks and deliver high-quality, person centered care.

IRW Consulting
IRW is a Nordic Contract Research Organization (CRO) With more than fifteen years of experience in conducting clinical trials, non-interventional studies and medical device studies. They have built a wide network in Scandinavia as well as with the rest of Europe and the United States. IRW, depending on the customer’s requirements, is equipped with staff that is either outsourced or works with in-house projects. They cover all stages of clinical development.

Persontilpasset medisin i Arendal

Sentrale fagmiljøer og helsepolitikere møttes på Oslo Cancer Clusters første åpne møte under Arendalsuka. De diskuterte hva persontilpasset medisin har potensial til å være – og hva som skal til for å oppnå resultater av forskning og klinisk bruk.

Hva er egentlig persontilpasset medisin? Det handler enkelt forklart om at forebygging og behandling av sykdom skal bli bedre tilpasset den enkeltes biologi. Veien dit går gjennom forskning på genetisk variasjon. Slik forskning gir innsikt i hvorfor noen blir syke og andre ikke.

Tirsdag 15. august samlet folk seg i skipet MS Sandnes ved kaia Pollen i Arendal for å høre om persontilpasset medisin i medisinsk forskning og klinisk bruk.

Debatten ble arrangert av Bioteknologirådet, K.G. Jebsen-senter for genetisk epidemiologi – NTNU, Folkehelseinstituttet, Helsedirektoratet, Kreftregisteret og Oslo Cancer Cluster.

Alle vil ha det – hvordan gjøre det?
Fagmiljøer, politikere, pasienter og næringsliv ser ut til å ønske en utvikling mot mer persontilpasset medisin velkommen. Hvordan kommer vi fram til et helsevesen der dette er vanlig praksis?

Ole Johan Borge, direktør i Bioteknologirådet, var ordstyrer. Han åpnet møtet med å minne om målet for persontilpasset medisin: å tilby pasienter mer presis og målrettet diagnostikk og behandling, og samtidig unngå behandlinger som ikke har effekt.

Næringslivets mange muligheter
Kreft er det medisinske området som er tidligst ute med å ta i bruk persontilpasset medisin i Norge. Ketil Widerberg er daglig leder i Oslo Cancer Cluster. Han deltok i panelet under debatten, og fikk spørsmålet:

– Du representerer en næringslivsklynge. Hvilke roller kan store og små næringsaktører spille innen norsk helsevesen for persontilpasset medisin?

– Store farmaaktører og små biotekselskaper er viktige i utvikling av ny medisin. Store internasjonale selskaper kan komme hit til Norge for å teste ut og utvikle nye medisiner her. Store næringslivsaktører innen teknologi, som ikke tradisjonelt er involvert i helse, er det i dag ikke klart hvordan skal samhandle med helsesystemet. Apple har i flere tiår sagt at de vil inn i helse, men de har ikke klart det i USA. I Norge har vi imidlertid tilliten og muligheten til å skape slik samhandling. Dette er noe andre land ikke nødvendigvis har, sa Ketil Widerberg.

Personvern og persontilpasset
En stor del av debatten handlet om hensynet til personvern mot behovet for mer forskning på persontilpasset medisin. Er det slik at vi må velge mellom personvern og god forskning på persontilpasset medisin?

Hør hvordan paneldeltakerne tok tak i dette spørsmålet i denne videoen på Bioteknologirådets nettsider.

I videoen kan du til sist høre hva politikere fra Arbeiderpartiet og Høyre mener om persontilpasset medisin i Norge – og hva de vil gjøre først dersom de får statsrådposten innen helse etter Stortingsvalget i 2017.

Oslo Cancer Cluster har flere åpne arrangementer under Arendalsuka. Finn ut når og hvor her! 

How Our Genes Will Change Cancer

Doctors, researchers and audience gather at breakfast to learn about genetics, data and how working together will help beat cancer.

The time is 8:15. Many have started to file in and shuffle to their seats while chatting and occasionally sipping their first morning coffee. As it starts to quiet down, the lights are dimmed, the audience wake up and the breakfast meeting begins.

An air of seriousness with a hint of respect changes the atmosphere, and the audience watches as the first guest speaker steps in and introduces the concept of genes and their relation to cancer.

– Cancer is brought on by errors in our genes. Most of the time, cancer is a result of the unlucky, says Borge, who is the director at the Norwegian Biotechnology Advisory Board.

This is the start of his talk on genes and cancer, where the audience is introduced to that which defines us most: DNA, the molecule of life.

To the moon and back
– 20,310 recipes in our genetic material. 2 meters of DNA in every cell. 10 Billion cells, of which 20 billion meters of DNA is found. If you do the math, astonishingly it amounts to 26,015 trips back and forth to the moon, Borg says, as he shows us a visual representation on the powerpoint slide. (See video in Norwegian.)

It’s this incredibly long strand of genetic material where things can go horribly wrong. If there’s a genetic error, or mutation in the DNA that happens to take place between the double helix and if there’s enough errors, cancer happens. This is the unfortunate fate for many of us.

– However, we may not have come a long way in finding the ultimate cure for cancer, but what we have accomplished is the ability and possibility of analysing, and ultimately predicting, cancer through genome sequencing, Borge says.

It was the best of times…
This message, as a central theme to the breakfast meeting taking place, shines a hopeful light in an otherwise frightful and serious subject. With genome sequencing, or list of our genes, scientists and doctors will have greater accuracy to predict genes that are potential carriers, and highly susceptible to, different cancers.

However, this requires a large amount of genome sequences: we need an army of genome data.

From terminal to chronic
To set further example, the next speaker to take the stage is oncologist Odd Terje Brustugun. He stresses the importance of personalized treatment for lung cancer patients, even those with metastatic cancers. These patients can be tested today to see if they are viable to receive new kinds of treatmemt, such as targeted therapy. This was the case for lung-cancer patient, and survivor for five years, Kari Grønås.

Kari Grønås was able to participate in a clinical study. She was treated with targeted therapy instead of the ordinary treatment for lung cancer patients at that time: chemotherapy.

– I feel I have gone from feeling like I have a terminal disease to a chronic one, she says from the podium.

Beating cancer: the story of us
This personalized approach is arguably what worked for Kari, setting the example and potential for the future. If we can analyse our own genes for potential cancer, then we are both able to prevent and provide personalized medicine catered to the individual. This is why genome sequencing is important for the future.

However, this cannot be done alone. To get a representable treatment for the individual, we need data. And data does not come reliably from one individual, but from the many.

– It is not your genes that are the key for tomorrows cancer research, it is ours. It is collaboration where large amounts of data and correlation will give us the knowledge that ensures the right path towards the future. A future with better cancer treatment for all, says Ole Johan Borge.

Roche with approval for new lung cancer medication

Oslo Cancer Cluster member Roche has received approval for a medication against a specific form for lung cancer by the Norwegian Medicines Agency.  


Clinical data from a phase III study of the lung cancer medicine, named Alecensa, also shows significant approved survival for lung cancer patients.

This is important news for younger lung cancer patients because they have few treatments options today, often develop resistance to current standard of care within one year, and experience metastasis to the brain.

The specific form of lung cancer this drug, called Alecensa is approved for, is called anaplastic lymfomkinase (ALK) -positive advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). In Norway lung cancer affects about 3 035 people per year. Of these almost five percent are ALK-positive. This cancer occurs mainly in young people of 50 years and under, with a specific type of non-small cell lung cancer, called adenocarcinoma. They normally smoke little or are non-smokers.

-We are glad that we finally can offer the lung cancer medicine Alecensa as a new treatment for Norwegian patients who no longer respond to the current standard treatment. We continue our efforts to improve research in personalised medicine to meet current unmet medical needs, says Elizabeth Jeffords, CEO of Roche Norway.


Clinical trials in Norway
Norwegian lung cancer patients have contributed to this study. Lead investigator in Norway is oncologist Åslaug Helland at Oslo University Hospital, Radium Hospital. She is one of the top ranked experts on this kind of lung cancer disease in Norway.

– Alecensa seems to be a very effective medication and is targeted for patients with ALK-positive lung cancer. About 90 people are diagnosed with this disease each year in Norway. This study has shown that the patients have good effect of the drug, with a long term effect and few side effects, says Helland.

Helland is pleased that a lot of new medications for lung cancer patients have been developed recently. She says this is due to the discovery of the driver-mutations for the disease.

– Lung cancer is the cancer that take the most lives in Norway, and we are glad for study results showing that patients can live longer without the disease worsening. Alecensa has now demonstrated efficacy both as first line therapy and second line therapy after treatment with crizotinib, says Jeffords.


About Alecensa
Alecensa (alektinib) is an oral drug, developed by Chugai Kamakura Research Laboratories of patients with non-small cell lung cancer whose tumors are assessed as ALK-positive. ALK-conditional positive, non-small cell lung cancer is often found in younger patients who are non-smokers, or who have previously smoked little. It is almost exclusively found in patients with a specific type of non-small cell lung cancer, called adenocarcinoma.

Alecensa has conditional marketing authorisation for the treatment of advanced (metastatic), ALK-positive, non-small cell lung cancer, where the condition is exacerbated by treatment with crizotinib.


Photo of Martin Bonde, Vaccibody

Vaccibody moves forward with HPV-study

Oslo Cancer Cluster member Vaccibody is moving forward with the first vaccination of a patient with the human papillomavirus, HPV-virus, in a phase IIa study using the company´s immunotherapy platform. The primary objectives of the phase IIa study are to assess T cell mediated immune responses in the peripheral blood and to evaluate early signs of efficacy.

-We have been encouraged to see the outcome of the phase I trial and are excited to initiate this phase IIa clinical study. This offers a chance to get information on how patients respond to the Vaccibody immunotherapy platform, says Principal investigator, Prof. Dr. med. Karl Ulrich Petry, Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology Klinikum Wolfsburg.

Moreover, the treatment can potentially also cure the underlying HPV infection, Petry comments, and thereby prevent recurrence and may protect from other HPV induced cancers.


Will outlicence the vaccine after phase II

– We are pleased to announce the vaccination of the first patient. Surgery is currently the only available therapy to remove abnormal cervical lesions caused by HPV-virus, and thereby stop the progression to cervical cancer, says Martin Bonde, CEO Vaccibody.

Bonde says that the plan is to have enough patients recruited by the end of Q3 and hence the first read out of the data in Q1, 2018.

-As of now we see that we will need a phase IIb/III study involving more patients, maybe up to 150-200. As of now we plan to out licence this product if we see the right responses, says Bonde.


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. Vaccibody also has a strong focus on so-called cancer neoantigen vaccines and is in late preclinical development with this program.


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.




BerGenBio enters collaboration with MSD

Oslo Cancer Cluster member BerGenBio enters collaboration with MSD focused on clinical evaluation of BGB324 in combination with KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab) in advanced lung and breast cancer.

BerGenBio ASA is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing novel, selective Axl kinase inhibitors for multiple cancer indications. The company recently announced that it has entered into a collaborative agreement with Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, NJ, USA (known as MSD outside the US and Canada) , through a subsidiary, focused on the clinical evaluation of BGB324 with KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab) in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC).

BerGenBio’s lead candidate BGB324 is a first in class, highly selective, potent and orally available small molecule Axl kinase inhibitor in clinical development in a variety of cancer indications. The Axl tyrosine kinase is a key driver of cancer spread, immune evasion and drug resistance – the cause of the majority of cancer-related deaths. Increased understanding of the role of Axl in suppressing innate immunity supports the rationale for evaluating BGB324 in combination with KEYTRUDA.

Under the terms of the collaboration with MSD, BerGenBio will conduct two international Phase II studies to evaluate the potential clinical synergy of combining BGB324 with MSD’s anti-PD-1 therapy, KEYTRUDA. Details of the studies are as follows:

  • BGBC007 – A Phase II multi-centre study of BGB324 in combination with KEYTRUDA in patients with previously treated, locally advanced or unresectable TNBC.
  • BGBC008 – A Phase II multi-centre study of BGB324 in combination with KEYTRUDA in patients with previously treated unresectable adenocarcinoma of the lung.

Biomarker studies will be conducted in parallel to the above studies with the goal of developing companion diagnostics to identify patients who would be most suitable for treatment with the BGB324/KEYTRUDA combination.

The clinical trials will be sponsored by BerGenBio while MSD will provide the trial with KEYTRUDA. The rights to the study results will be shared. No further details are disclosed.

BerGenBio is investigating BGB324 in multiple cancer indications based on preclinical and early clinical findings. Phase II studies with BGB324 as a single agent in relapsed acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) and myeloid dysplastic syndrome (MDS); and in combination with erlotinib (TARCEVA®) in advanced EGFR-positive NSCLC are in progress.

Richard Godfrey, Chief Executive Officer of BerGenBio, commented: “We are delighted to enter this collaboration with MSD, a leader in developing novel cancer therapies. This new agreement gives us the opportunity to evaluate the clinical potential of BGB324 in combination with KEYTRUDA in advanced lung and breast cancer; two of the areas of significant unmet medical need. We believe that BGB324 is a unique drug candidate that addresses a critical cancer mechanism responsible for promoting immune evasion. We believe the clinical utility of BGB324 in combination with immunotherapies has enormous potential. BerGenBio is excited to advance BGB324 in combination with KEYTRUDA into Phase II trials and we anticipate results in mid-2018.”

About BerGenBio ASA
BerGenBio (Bergen, Norway) is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing a pipeline of first-in-class Axl kinase inhibitors to treat multiple cancer indications. The Company is a world leader in understanding the central role of Axl kinase in promoting cancer spread, immune evasion and drug resistance in multiple aggressive liquid and solid cancers.

BerGenBio’s lead product, BGB324, is a selective, potent and orally available small molecule Axl inhibitor in Phase II clinical development in three major cancer indications. It is the only selective Axl inhibitor in clinical development. BGB324 is being developed by BerGenBio as a single agent therapy in acute myeloid leukaemia (AML)/myeloid dysplastic syndrome (MDS) and in combination with TARCEVA® (erlotinib) in advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC); and in combination with KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab) in advanced NSCLC and triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) in collaboration with MSD.

The Company is also developing a diversified pre-clinical pipeline of selective Axl inhibitors including BGB149, anti-Axl monoclonal antibody.

For further information, please visit:

It is estimated that more than 220,000 new cases of lung cancer will be diagnosed in the US in 2017 and it is the leading cause of cancer death. 65% of NSCLCs are of adenocarcinoma pathology. Although various treatments exist for NSCLC, they are often curtailed by acquired resistance to therapy and immune evasion. Novel treatments overcoming these mechanisms in NSCLC are urgently required.

About TNBC
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women – it is estimated that more than 250,000 new cases will be diagnosed in the US in 2017. 20% of breast cancers lack receptors for three common hormones (estrogen, progesterone and HER2) and are thus called triple-negative breast cancers (TNBC). Treatment options for TNBC are limited to intense chemotherapy, but despite therapy recurrences are frequent and aggressive. Consequently, novel treatment strategies for TNBC are of high need.

KEYTRUDA® is a registered trademark of Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., a subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc. TARCEVA® is a registered trademark of OSI Pharmaceuticals, LLC.


We are hiring an EU Advisor

EU Advisor

We are currently looking for an EU advisor with skills and experience in writing EU funding proposals. This is a fixed term contract with duration to the end of 2018. If successful, this can become a long-term contract after 2018. We are also open to discuss a part-time employment. The EU advisor will report directly to the General Manager of OCC.

Key tasks:

  • Increase awareness of the H2020 funding opportunities and benefits among the cluster members incl. start-ups, SMEs and academic investigators
  • Actively support the cluster members with identifying relevant and appropriate H2020 funding schemes and call topics in 1:1 consulting meetings
  • Assist companies in development of project proposals in H2020 funding instruments
  • Pro-actively use OCC`s strong international network to identify new partners and suitable consortia for cluster members
  • Co-ordinate with other (national or Nordic) funding schemes and innovation agencies for achieving larger synergies and ensuring maximum impact
  • Organization and preparation of events and workshops for stakeholder information, education etc. addressing the needs of the cluster members
  • Development of project proposals to attract funding for OCC and OCC Incubator activities

Key qualifications:

  • Relevant scientific education, oncology background advantageous
  • 3 to 5-year experience in EU project applications and potentially project management
  • Innovation management experience and understanding of the different stakeholders in EU projects (start-ups, SMEs, academic partners, global companies)
  • Strong analytic capabilities and understanding of biomedical R&D, innovation challenges and business models
  • Self-driven, result oriented and disciplined
  • Fluent in written and spoken English

The EU advisor will be part of the Oslo Cancer Cluster team. OCC can offer competitive benefits, a positive working environment and colleagues with a strong drive and passion in the field of expertise. If you have any questions regarding this position, please contact Kelly Scientific and recruitment advisor, Janne Stang, cellphone: + 47 400 37 302. Kelly Scientific is a recruitment agency working with industry related positions within the Life Science sector.

Three new members in Oslo Cancer Cluster

IRW Consulting, Eisai and Personalis, Inc. are all new members of the Oslo Cancer Cluster. Please read more about them below.


IRW Consulting AB

IRW is a Nordic Contract Research Organization (CRO) with more than 15 years of experience in conducting clinical trials, Non-Interventional Studies (NIS) and medical device studies. IRW has built an extensive network throughout all Nordic countries, as well as the rest of Europe and the US. Depending on the customer’s requirements, our staff is either outsourced or works with in-house projects. We cover all the stages of clinical development, from phase I to phase IV, including pediatric and non-interventional studies and all classes of medical device investigations.

With regional offices in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden, IRW has experienced locally-based staff providing an optimum combination of local knowledge and expertise to assist you conduct your clinical trial as per country specific guidelines. Local presence not just ensures adherence to local requirements for submissions to the Ethic Committees and Regulatory Authorities but also the knowledge of local language facilitates the communication with all local parties involved in the project thereby avoiding possible misunderstandings and reducing approval process timelines.

Working with the full range of companies, from small start-ups to multi-national pharmaceutical corporations, we have learned how to tailor our services to the specific needs of our customers.  Our involvement in clinical trials covers both Europe and the US, always following the appropriate regulations wherever we work, either according to external party’s SOPs or our own.
Home page IRW Consulting AB


Personalis, Inc.
Personalis, Inc., was founded in February 2011 out of Stanford University with the mission to provide precision, high accuracy genomic sequencing and analysis to enable precision medicine in the areas of cancer, immuno-oncology, and inherited disease.

Personalis provides researchers and clinicians with highly accurate, comprehensive, and validated DNA and RNA sequencing and interpretation of human genomic data for cancer research, clinical trials, and diagnostics. Our ACE (Accuracy and Content Enhanced) technology goes beyond standard sequencing approaches, substantially increasing medically relevant coverage and accuracy.

Personalis builds on this enhanced sequencing foundation with innovative algorithms and proprietary databases for alignment, variant calling, annotation, and analysis. Through this comprehensive approach, we provide genomic data and interpretation of the highest accuracy. Our CLIA-licensed and CAP-accredited laboratory, in combination with our validated, high accuracy ACE NGS platforms enable seamless transition from discovery to commercialization for our partners.

Home page Personalis, Inc.



Eisai is a global pharmaceutical company addressing unmet medical needs, and Eisai is committed to make contributions to better healthcare for patients and their families around the world through its business activities.

Eisai has identified neurology and oncology as important areas where there are many diseases for which treatments are still not well established. Concentrating our R&D resources in these areas, Eisai is striving to discover new highly effective treatments especially for neurology and oncology.

Eisai carries out drug discovery research, drug development research and clinical research throughout the world. Eisai pursues innovative new drug discovery by promoting the exchange of various knowledge and ideas from around the world.

Main activities within oncology are within breast cancer and liposarcoma, where Halaven (eribulin) a cytotstatic agent, has shown survival benefit in both tumour types. Halaven is a novel anticancer agent discovered and developed by Eisai, has been launched in Japan, the United States, Europe and Asia.

Lenvima (lenvatinib), a multi targeted tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI), discovered and developed by Eisai, received orphan drug status and approval for radio-iodine refractory Differentiated Thyroid Cancer. Kisplyx (lenvatinib) was recently approved by EMA and FDA for use in advanced renal cell carcinoma. We are also involved in research in several other tumours.

Eisai AB is the Nordic affiliate and the Nordic office is in Stockholm.






Apply now for Startup Slam at BIO-Europe Spring!

Are you a startup or entrepreneur in Healthcare or Life-Sciences? If yes – keep reading! 

Startup Slam is a pitching competition offering innovative entrepreneurs a chance to pitch their company at BIO- Europe Spring. Selected companies will have the opportunity to attend one of the leading partnering events in the global biotechnology industry.

– Startup Slam is a fantastic event that provided global exposure and interest in EpiAxis.  It showcases small startups with emerging and transformational technologies, which drives the engine of innovation. In addition, Startup Slam helped me to focus and hone my pitch to potential collaborators and investors with a clearer value proposition, says Dr Jeremy S Chrisp, CEO, EpiAxis Therapeutics: Winner of StartupSlam16 Cologne.


Why Pitch at BIO-Europe’s Startup Slam?

·        Receive pitch training from a speaking coach

·        Increase your company’s visibility by pitching to industry executives and investors

·        Receive a significantly discounted registration & presentation fee

Deadline is February 24th and Startup Slam is March 21st. What are you waiting for? Apply to join here.


Record high attendance at Cancer Crosslinks – watch and dowload presentations

Cancer Crosslinks is now one of the most relevant meetings for Norwegian oncologists, with 300 delegates attending this year.

The 9th Cancer Crosslinks meeting took place at Oslo Cancer Cluster Innovation Park January 26. It was a great success, gathering the Norwegian Oncology Community with a record high attendance of 300 delegates. They came to learn from each other.

– We strongly believe in bringing oncology professionals from various fields together, so that they can exchange knowledge and get to know one another. In doing so, Cancer Crosslinks could contribute to developing new cancer treatments, since this requires collaboration across both medical disciplines and country borders, says Ketil Widerberg, general manager at Oslo Cancer Cluster.

The delegates were mainly oncologists and hematologists. These two professions have traditionally had little interaction, and there is a need to exchange knowledge between these two groups. In addition, there were many other researchers in oncology among the participants, as well as participants from biotechnology companies that develop cancer treatment.


Download the presentations

For those of you who missed the event or would like to revisit:

You can download presentations from the meeting here:

  • Jerome Galon : Opening Keynote – Cancer and Inflammation.
    Prof. Jérôme Galon, Ph.D., Research Director at INSERM; Leader of the INSERM Integrative Cancer Immunology Laboratory, Cordeliers Research Center, Paris, France
  • Seth Coffelt: International Keynote – Inflammation lights the way to metastasis.
    Dr. Seth B. Coffelt, Cancer Research UK Beatson Institute, Institute of Cancer Sciences, University of Glasgow,
  • JRMarchesi: International Keynote – The gut microbiota, inflammation and cancer
    Prof. Julian Marchesi, Imperial College London, UK
  • WWierda: International Keynote: Hematological cancers: how individualized can we treat patients today?
    Prof. William G. Wierda, M.D., Ph.D.; Department of Leukemia, Division of Cancer Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, USA
  • Anna Schuh: International Keynote: The role of clinical -omics for precision medicine approaches in hematology
    Dr. Anna Schuh, Director of Molecular Diagnostics in the Department of Oncology; Honorary Consultant Hematologist at Oxford University Hospitals Trust, UK
  • Guttorm Haraldsen: Inflammation Research in Norway –  core expertise and collaboration opportunities
    Prof. Guttorm Haraldsen, KG Jebsen Inflammation Research Center, Oslo


Cancer  and the micro environment
They came to listen to and learn from leading Norwegian and international experts from the US and Europe. One of them was professor Julian Marchesi from Imperial College in London. He gave an exciting talk about the research on cancer, inflammation and the gut microbiota, showing results of how what we eat can affect the gut microbiota and hence cancer development.

Professor Jerome Galon from INSERM Integrative Cancer Immunology Laboratory, Cordeliers Research Center in Paris added to the discussion with a key note talk on the immune micro environment on cancer and a method called Immunoscore[3] .

– Immunoscore is a way to classify cancer patients based on immune parameters . It is then possible to classify patients into high- and low risk groups, says Galon in the podcast Radium.


The best treatment for each patient

Professor William G. Wierda from MD Anderson Cancer Centre was another keynote speaker. As an expert in leukemia, he gave insight to the field of precision medicine within hematological cancers. He raised a debate on the question: how individualized can we treat patients today?

Norwegian projects and approaches were also discussed at the meeting. Professor Guttorm Haraldsen, head of KG Jebsen Inflammation Research Center in Oslo gave an overview of Norwegian research and core expertise in the inflammation area. He highlighted opportunities for collaboration with the oncology field.

Another Norwegian example is a project between Dr. Yngvar Fløisand, Senior Consultant, and Dr. Jorrit Enserink, group leader at Oslo University Hospital. They introduced the screening of samples from patients with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (ALM), to identify the best treatment for each patient. Finally, there was a panel discussion with leading Norwegian experts on the ways forward from data generation to clinical use.
On the previous evening, the delegates participated in thematic roundtables and meetings between Norwegian and international experts. This provided some insight into possible international collaboration in and across their fields of expertise.


10 years anniversary next year

This 9th Cancer Crosslinks meeting was kindly sponsored by Oslo Cancer Cluster members  Bristol-Myers Squibb  and AbbVie.

You can look forward to the upcoming Cancer Crosslinks Anniversary Editions: The next Swedish Cancer Crosslinks  meeting will be held in Lund, October 25th (the date will be confirmed) this year and the 10th Norwegian edition will be in Oslo Cancer Cluster Innovations Park in January 2018.

7 Oslo Cancer Cluster members granted funding from the Research Council

The Norwegian Research Council recently granted  funding to Oslo Cancer Cluster members; BerGenBio, Bionor Immuno, GE Healthcare, Lytix Biopharma, PCI Biotech, Zelluna  and Phoenix Solutions through the Programme for User-Driven Research Based Innovation (BIA).

In total, the Research Council will grant 406 MNOK  to 42 Norwegian companies in this application round. A total of 187 applications was filed.

Overview of member companies and their funded projects:

Funding from the  BIA programme is a quality stamp since the companies compete in “open class” where all sectors are represented. On the Research Council`s website you may find the total list of all the 42 companies (in Norwegian) and read more about the funding from the BIA-programme.

Lytix Biopharma granted 15.9 MNOK from The Norwegian Research Council

Oslo Cancer Cluster member Lytix Biopharma has been awarded a NOK 15.9 million grant from The Norwegian Research Council (User-driven Research-based Innovation) to support the investigation of LTX-315’s ability to make ’’cold tumors hot’’ and Phase II trial in Triple Negative Breast cancer (TNBC).

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

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

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

Phoenix Solutions granted NOK 15.8 million from the Research Council of Norway

Our member Phoenix Solutions has been granted NOK 15.8 million from the Research Council of Norway to the project “ACT for Pancreatic Cancer”.

The main goal of the project is to provide clinical proof-of-concept for Phoenix`s Acoustic Cluster Therapy (ACT®) technology, in a study where ACT® is combined with current standard of care chemotherapy for treatment of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. Prior to start clinical trials, the project will also include further preclinical work, establishment of GMP manufacture and execution of regulatory safety studies.

“This funding will enable us to push on with our project to fight pancreatic cancer and meet a key developmental milestone; execution of a clinical phase I/IIa program from mid-2018. Together with partners at Institute of Cancer Research / Royal Marsden Hospital (UK) and Haukeland University Hospital, we strongly believe that ACT® can make a significant difference for patients with this hard to treat, deadly disease.”, says CEO in Phoenix Solutions, Per Sontum.

The project will be initiated in Q1 2017 and run for four years. The grant will cover approx. 35% of the project costs. The grant is subject to final contract negotiations.

Established in 2006, the BIA programme is the largest industry-oriented programme at the Research council of Norway (Forskningsrådet). This broad-based programme supports high-quality R&D projects with good business and socio-economic potential.

About Phoenix Solutions: 

Phoenix Solutions is a Norwegian biotech company sprung out from GE Healthcare in 2013, currently developing a technology platform for targeted drug delivery – Acoustic Cluster Therapy (ACT®). ACT® is a unique approach to ultrasound mediated, targeted drug delivery – capable of enhancing significantly the clinical utility of a wide range of therapeutic molecules and nano-drugs for a wide range of clinical indications. Its primary mode of action is in defeating the vascular barrier, enhancing extravasation, distribution and uptake of drug in the targeted tissue, thereby increasing efficacy and/or reducing toxicity.

ACT® is generally indicated towards diseases where current clinical practice treats known, localized pathologies (e.g. solid tumours) with medicinal therapy, and where Standard of Care is being limited from an inability to deliver sufficiently high concentrations of drug to the tumour without excessive systemic toxicity. Phoenix is currently targeting the oncology segment, looking in particular at pancreatic, liver, triple negative breast and prostate cancers, and has extremely promising preclinical results so far.  

Cancer Crosslinks 2017 will be streamed

Cancer Crosslinks 2017 on January 26th features a really interesting program with presentations from international and Norwegian thought leaders within cancer research.

For those of you that may not be present at the conference in the Oslo Cancer Cluster Innovation Park, you may watch the presentations as we will live stream from 9:15 – 16:15.

Close to 250 participants from all over Norway have signed up for this years Cancer Crosslinks. The program for the 9. th Cancer Crosslinks is divided in three parts; recent findings regarding cancer & inflammation, personalised cancer medicine within hematological cancers and the emerging field of real-world evidence.

Cancer Crosslinks is hosted by Oslo Cancer Cluster and sponsored by BMS and AbbVie.

Five members granted funding by Innovation Norway

To stimulate collaboration between companies in the Oslo Cancer Cluster, we have through Innovation Norway´s funding scheme *Innovasjonsrammen*  granted five member companies project funding between NOK 500.00 – 100.000,-.

PCI Biotech, Ultimovacs, Arctic Pharma, Oncoimmunity and MyHere are the said companies, and they  will all use the funding to develop improved cancer treatments. Read more about the projects below.

Ketil Widerberg, CEO of Oslo Cancer Cluster, commented: “Oslo Cancer Cluster encourages collaboration between companies. We highly appreciate that Innovation Norway has a funding scheme like *Innovasjonsrammen* that enables us to fund  projects that may drive collaboration and innovation to develop innovativ cancer treatments.”


Joint project PCI Biotech and Ultimovacs:
PCI Biotech (OSE: PCIB), a cancer focused biopharmaceutical company, and it’s partner Ultimovacs, a pharmaceutical company developing novel immunotherapy against cancer, received funding of NOK 500.000,- for further development of the existing preclinical research collaboration. The purpose of the collaboration is to utilise the companies’ complementary scientific platforms to explore potential synergies and the grant will support these activities.
Read press release here.


Arctic Pharma and Oslo University
Arctic Pharma’s main objective is to develop therapies for breast cancer (triple-negative subtypes) that to date have non-specific treatments and the poorest survival outcome. Arctic Pharma will create therapies that kill cancer cells by attacking the core of their metabolism, and was granted NOK 100.000,- in their effort together with University og Oslo, to test and characterize their most promising therapies, which they are in the process of patenting.



OncoImmunity and partners
OncoImmunity provides innovative software solutions to guide the discovery of neoantigen-based personalized immunotherapies and biomarkers. One of the major challenges to overcome is the accurate identification of immunogenic peptides in the tumor, and their precise constellation on a personalized vaccine. In this project OncoImmunity and partners were granted NOK 300.000,- to develop a software framework to predict the peptides that confer maximum immunogenicity with minimum autoimmune side-affects to a patient.


Myehere and partners
Myhere and partners were granted NOK 100.000,- for a pilot study.


200 EUR discount for OCC members: BIOEurope Spring® 2017

BIOEurope Spring 2017 — 11 th International Partnering Conference
Where the global biotech industry comes to partner

BIOEurope Spring is the springtime counterpart to EBD Group’s flagship conference, BIOEurope , and continues the tradition of providing life science companies with high caliber partnering opportunities. Featuring EBD Group’s sophisticated, webbased partnering system, partneringONE ® , the event enables delegates to efficiently identify, meet and get partnerships started with companies across the life science value chain, from large biotech and pharma companies to financiers and innovative startups.

CCIB Convention Centre
Willy Brandt Square 1114
08019 Barcelona, Spain

Date: March 20–22, 2017


The members of the Oslo Cancer Cluster have the opportunity to obtain 200 EUR discount on the registration fee. To receive the discount code, please contact Jutta Heix (or) Gupta Udatha.



Norwegian Cancer Society honours Oslo Cancer Cluster

Anne Lise Ryel, General Secretary of the Norwegian Cancer Society gave a powerful speech at the celebration of Oslo Cancer Cluster´s 10 years anniversary. Here she stresses the importance of collaboration and ensures the continued support to the cluster. 




13. DESEMBER 2016



Prime Minister,

Deputy Minister,

Members of the Parliament,

Friends of OCC,

Friends of the cancer case,

Dear all of you,



I have a dream.

A dream that Norway expand the investment in, and starts building a sustainable innovative health industry.

Why: For the better of the nation, creating value, creating work places, and of course, needless to say;

for better treatment and quality of life for future patients.

I have a dream that we in doing so, we combine our expertise and excellence in technology from the oil and gas sector with medicine and healthcare.

Pumps and pipes.

I think I share this dream with many, hopefully also with our prime minister.



I have a dream.

A dream that this health industry – being so massive – will focus on cancer.

In this field we have unique possibilities and benefits for national and global success.


Such as:

-Some excellent research groups

-A national cancer registry

-Population surveys

-Bio banks

-A national ID number

-A homogenous population


People trust in the healthcare system/sector

People want to participate in clinical trials

Systems for including the user´s perspective


Obama also shares this dream.

To combat cancer with help of research and innovation and industry.

And to help fulfill his dream he looks to Norway.*


He looks to where we are now, to this very spot!



I have a dream.

A dream that this campus ­ – with Radium Hospitalet, with its clinics, research institutions, Oslo Cancer Cluster, Oslo Cancer Cluster Innovation park, startups, the school, The Cancer Registry, the Vardecenter for patients – becomes a Comprehensive Cancer Center.

This will attract the best global minds and the best ideas, and money.

It’s here in Oslo, in the capital.

But it is national.

Like OCC is national. It’s a Norwegian cluster.



I have a dream that we will continue to build on the Nordic model.

A model with three parties.

Public, private and NGOs.

Together we cover a broader perspective, we contribute with our unique strengths, we play different roles.

Together we gain more.

I say Nordic model, because the most common model globally is the two sectors together: public and private.


The Nordic countries have realized that organizations like the Norwegian cancer society, NGOs within the health sector,

Always have, from their very start, been innovative.

Always tried to find solutions to the needs voiced by citizens and patient groups.


Therefore we think and hope that we have a role to play. That we can contribute. In general. In the healthcare sector.



And that’s why the Norwegian cancer society has been a supporter of OCC from the start and a member from an early stage.

Hopefully we have facilitated contact with other actors, hopefully we have opened some doors, hopefully we have been good ambassadors.



Today OCC is 10 years of age.

It has grown from a baby to becoming a teenager.

The expectations might change a bit.

The challenges might be a bit different in the future.

But with a growing strength, more can be gained, and more value added to the role of being a cluster.


We will continue to support you. Perhaps also in new ways.

We see the need of a common ground, a place where all the actors can meet and mingle and join and create.

Otherwise, neither my nor others´ dreams will come true.


I will make Henry Ford’s words mine:

Coming together is a beginning, keeping together is progress, working together is success.



My colleague googled to find out what a 10-year-old would like as a gift.

The answer was the game «How to become a millionaire». The combination knowledge + ideas + creativity is a way to money. Both in games and real life.

A perfect gift for you!






20% discount for OCC members: NORDIC PRECISION MEDICINE FORUM 2017

The Nordic Countries represent a unique opportunity when it comes to healthcare; boasting a wealth of data, some of the most advanced HealthTech, and being host to world leading biotech and pharma companies and universities. As such it is little surprise that the precision medicine revolution is creating such a buzz; disruptive technology, a strong economic setting and decades of social and health data collection are coming together to create the perfect storm for the future of healthcare in the region.

It is widely accepted that for the promise of precision medicine to become a reality we must work together; sharing data and research via a multi-disciplinary approach as well as cross border collaboration.

Nordic Precision Medicine Forum will bring together those at the very forefront of precision medicine from biologists, physicians and technology developers to data scientists, patient groups, governments and more. We hope you can join the forum in Copenhagen on 26 April 2017.


The members of the Oslo Cancer Cluster have the opportunity to obtain 20% discount on the registration fee. To receive the discount code, please contact Jutta Heix (or) Gupta Udatha.


Update: PERMIDES 1st European Workshop

Oslo Cancer Cluster organized and hosted the ‘1st European Workshop : PERMIDES H2020 Project‘ on 06th December 2016 @ Jónas Einarsson Auditorium, in collaboration with NCE Smart & on behalf of the PERMIDES consortium.

More than 30 delegates from Biopharma, IT and Bioinformatics companies mostly from the Nordic countries actively discussed their innovation barriers and needs along the personalised medicine value chain and digital health revolution. MediSapiens (Finland) and eSmart Systems (Norway) gave stimulating presentations on Digitization of bio-business, Big Data Analytics & Machine Learning aspects. Oslo Cancer Cluster kickstarted the group discussions with an introduction to PERMIDES consortium, the Value Chain Challenges & Topics for Innovation Projects.

During the later half of the workshop, moderated group discussions prioritised the key challenges of biopharma SMEs which can be addressed with the implementation of IT solutions and automatised processes. The workshop thereby provided valuable input for the PERMIDES Innovation Project calls to be launched during the first quarter of the year 2017. In addition, it provided initial matchmaking between participants from the biopharma and IT sector.

Currently we are developing the PERMIDES online platform, where biopharma – IT & bioinformatics SMEs can identify suitable partners to jointly apply for Innovation Vouchers allowing them to address their value chain challenges. For more information, please visit: PERMIDES


Given below is the glimpse of the workshop agenda:



For further information and discussions, please contact:


Ny rapport: Kreftkostnader i Norge

Kreftkostnader i Norge: Hvor ligger de største kostnadene? Hvilken kreftform er dyrest? Oslo Economics har utarbeidet en rapport om kostnadene ved kreft.

Kreft er på vei forbi hjerte- og karsykdom som den vanligste dødsårsaken i industrialiserte land. Samtidig lever stadig flere med en kreftsykdom. Oslo Economics har utarbeidet en analyse basert på registerdata, og ved hjelp av en referansegruppe med fremtredende krefteksperter og representanter fra Kreftregisteret, Oslo Cancer Cluster og Kreftforeningen, gjort et forsøk på å fylle kunnskapshullet.

Bristol-Myers Squibb har finansiert arbeidet, men har ikke vært involvert i design, analyser eller rapportering.

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

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

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

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

DNB Health Care Prize and Nordic Health Care Conference

December 15th is the date for the annual DNB HealthCare Conference. Be sure to apply for both the Health Care prize and to be a part of the Venture Session. You should find all information needed below.

Deadline for applying for the DNB Health Care Prize  and for pitching at the Venture Session is October 26th.

Great interest in R&D Precision Cancer Medicine meeting

Over 50 people turned up for our R&D Network meeting on Precision Cancer Medicin at Stavanger University Hospital yesterday. The meeting was a collaboration beetween Oslo Cancer Cluster and Stavanger University Hospital(SUS) and was hosted by SUS.

The speaker list included Jon Arne Søreide from the Gastrointestinal Surgical Research Group, Bjørnar Gilje from the Reseach Group for Oncology and Medical Physics and Emiel Janssen from the research group at the Department of Pathology.

We were also fortunate to have Åslaug Helland from Oslo University Hospital (OUS) with us to give us some clinical perspectives. Helland is the group leader for the Research Group for Translation Studies on Solid Tumours. More info on Hellands group here

Representing the biotech side, we had Kjetil Hestdal from PhotoCure showing examples of the opportunities photodynamic technology give patients with bladder cancer.

Aslaug Aamodt Muggerud from MSD talked about biomarkers and how precision medicine is different from “traditional treatment”.

Great collaboration between IBM:Watson and Oslo Cancer Cluster

Since IBM became a member of Oslo Cancer Cluster in June this year, there has been a tremendous interest in their software Watson who is about to learn Norwegian from students at Ullern High School.

The role of cognitive technology in cancer diagnostics has received attention both in national and international media. You can find some of the news stories on Watsons role in the fight against cancer below:

PCI Biotech and BioNTech initiates preclinical research collaboration

Oslo Cancer Cluster member PCI Biotech is a cancer focused biopharmaceutical company. They have initiated a preclinical agreement with BioNTech AG, which is a fully integrated biotechnology company developing individualized cancer immunotherapies.


The partnership is governed by a preclinical research collaboration agreement. In brief, the preclinical research collaboration will evaluate technology compatibility and synergy based on in vivo studies performed by the University of Zurich. The companies will evaluate results achieved from this research collaboration and then explore the potential for a further partnership. PCI Biotech has already a collaboration agreement with the University of Zurich and the research is funded through the existing agreement.

Per Walday, CEO of PCI Biotech, said: “I’m very pleased to announce another research agreement in the field of nucleic acid therapeutics. We believe that the PCI technology has the potential to play a role in the realisation of several new therapeutic modalities. We look forward to explore synergies with BioNTech’s pioneering disruptive technologies.“


About PCI Biotech
PCI Biotech is a biopharmaceutical company focusing on development and commercialisation of novel therapies for the treatment of cancer through its innovative photochemical internalisation (PCI) technology platform.  PCI is applied to three distinct anticancer paradigms: fimaChem (enhancement of chemotherapeutics for localised treatment of cancer), fimaVacc (T-cell induction technology for therapeutic vaccination), and fimaNAc (nucleic acid therapeutics delivery).

Photochemical internalisation induces triggered endosomal release that is used to unlock the true potential of a wide array of therapeutic modalities. The company’s lead fimaChem programme consists of a clinical Phase I/II clinical study in bile duct cancer, an orphan indication with a high unmet need and without approved products.  fimaVacc applies a unique mode of action to enhance the essential cytotoxic effect of therapeutic cancer vaccines, which works in synergy with several other state-of-the-art vaccination technologies.  fimaNAc utilises the endosomal release to provide intracellular delivery of nucleic acids, such as mRNA and siRNA therapeutics, thereby addressing one of the major bottlenecks facing this emerging and promising field.
About BioNTech AG
BioNTech AG is an immunotherapy leader with bench-to-market capabilities, developing truly personalized, well tolerated and potent treatments for cancer and other diseases. Established by clinicians and scientists the Group is pioneering disruptive technologies ranging from individualized mRNA based medicines through innovative Chimeric Antigen Receptors /T-cell Receptor-based products and novel antibody checkpoint immunomodulators. BioNTech’s clinical programs are supported by an in-house molecular diagnostics unit whose products include MammaTyper® a molecular in-vitro diagnostic kit, marketed under CE and IVD marking in Europe and certain other countries. Founded in 2008, BioNTech is privately held, with Strüngmann Family Office as a majority shareholder, having closed the largest initial financing in the European biopharma sector’s history. Information about BioNTech is available at


Photocure with exciting news: FDA-approval of new packaging for bladder cancer product

New Cysview kit has an improved design providing healthcare professionals with an improved, simplified, and easy-to-use product.


Oslo Cancer Cluster member Photocure recently received the positive news that the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has granted approval for an improved and more user-friendly packaging for Cysview. Regulatory approval in EU was granted in July 2016.

Diluent for Cysview is used to reconstitute the Cysview powder resulting in the Cysview solution. The diluent that is used to reconstitute the Cysview powder will now be provided in a prefilled syringe and in a needle free kit.

“This improvement is aligned with our mission to provide bladder cancer patients with access to treatments that improve their lives. The new Cysview kit will simplify the clinical use of Cysview both in the use of Blue Light Cystoscopy with Cysview during bladder cancer resection as well as the future launch of Cysview in the outpatient surveillance setting”, says Kjetil Hestdal, M.D., Ph.D., President and CEO, Photocure ASA.



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® is the tradename in Europe, Cysview® in U.S. and Canada. Hexvix® is marketed and sold by Photocure in the Nordic countries and in the US with the trade name Cysview®. Photocure has a strategic partnership with Ipsen for the commercialization of Hexvix in Europe, excluding the Nordic region.  Please refer to for further information on our commercial partners.


About Photocure ASA
Photocure, 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, 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). Information about Photocure is available at


About Bladder Cancer
Bladder cancer is the fifth most common cancer in men with more than 330 000 new cases annually and more than 130 000 die of the disease1. It has a high recurrence rate with an average of 61% in one year and 78% over five years, making the lifetime costs of managing bladder cancer one of the highest amongst all cancers. It is a costly, potentially progressive disease for which patients have to undergo multiple cystoscopies because of the high risk of recurrence.

A recent paper on the economic burden of bladder cancer across the European Union estimates that bladder cancer cost the EU 4.9 billion Euro in 2012. There is an urgent need to improve both the diagnosis and the management of bladder cancer for the benefit of patients and healthcare systems alike.

Bladder cancer is classified into two types, non-muscle invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC) and muscle-invasive bladder cancer (MIBC), depending on the depth of invasion in the bladder wall. NMIBC is still in the inner layer of cells. These cancers are the most common (75%) of all bladder cancer cases and include the subtypes Ta, carcinoma in situ (CIS) and T1 lesions. MIBC is when the cancer has grown into deeper layers of the bladder wall. These cancers, including subtypes T2, T3 and T4, are more likely to spread and are harder to treat.

Nye midler til stimulering av helseforskning i EU

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


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


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


Picture illustrating immuno-oncology on a molecular level.

Presentations from the Day of Immunology

The Norwegian Society for Immunology hosted their annual conference on the Day of Immunology on April 29. The theme for 2016 was Immunotherapy for Cancer. Below you may download some of the presentations as a courtesy of the lecturers.



Morning session (popularized science in Norwegian)

  • Immun mot kreft? Introduksjon til kroppens overvåkningstjenester
    Download the presentation here
    Anne Spurkland, Professor, avdeling for molekylærmedisin, Universitet i Oslo
  • Immunterapi: en revolusjon for kreftbehandling 
    Download the presentation here
    Else Marit Inderberg, PhD, avdeling for celleterapi, OUS Radiumhospitalet
  • Behandling av norske lungekreftpasienter med checkpoint-inhibitorer
    Download the presentation here
    Åslaug Helland, overlege og forsker, avdeling for onkologi, OUS Radiumhospitalet
  • Immunterapi virker – rapport fra en erfaren pasient
    Download the presentation here
    Kjell Stenstadvold


Afternoon session (scientific presentations made accessible for a broad public)

  • Sequential Intranodal ImmunoTherapy (SIIT) in malignant lymphoma
    Download the presentation here
    Arne Kolstad, MD, PhD, Department of Oncology, OUS Radiumhospitalet



Take the opprtunity to get more information on immunology on: and

Kristian Berg and Theodossis Theodossiou with prestigious EU-grant

Theodossis Theodossiou and Kristian Berg from the Photochemical internalisation (PCI) group at the Department of Radiation Biology at OUS have been funded by the Future and Emerging Technology (FET) program under the Excellent Science section of the Horizon 2020. The FET program funded 11 projects out of 820 grant applications (1,4 % success rate) and the proposal by Theodossiou and Berg was rated as number 6.


The project receives 3 million Euros together with 3 collaborating academic partners as well as one commercial partner (SME) from UK. The project, named Lumiblast, will be coordinated by Kristian Berg. This is the first time Norway is the coordinator of a FET project.

The aim of the project is to develop a specific non-invasive treatment modality based on two tumor targeted compounds (A and B in the illustration) that are alone inactive, but together interact by photon-based energy transfer resulting in excitation of the photon-acceptor compound followed by cytotoxic reactions.

The project is designed to develop treatment of aggressive brain tumors such as glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). Brain cancers like GBM are practically incurable due to their location, invasiveness and highly aggressive nature. The use of photon-based treatments of GBM has been clinically evaluated, but with limited success. This is mainly due to the limited propagation of photons in tissues and the efficient spread of tumor cells typically up to at least 2 cm from the resection margin.

Moreover, the existing photon based treatments are highly invasive and usually require open-cranium surgery, due to the need for external light. In the Lumiblast project the photons are produced inside the tumor cells avoiding the major limitation of using external light sources, to treat solid deep-sited and inaccessible tumors. The principle utilized in Lumiblast may also be relevant for treatment of cancers of other origins.

TheoKristian 2014

In addition to OUS, the partners include:

  • National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece
  • Universitat Politècnica de València, Spain
  • University of Oslo, Department of Pharmaceutics, Norway
  • Knight Scientific Limited, UK



DoMore! receives Lighthouse project grant from the Norwegian Research Council

The Norwegian Research Council IKTPLUSS has selected The DoMore! project application as one of the 3 winners of the prestigious Lighthouse Project grant. The Lighthouse Project winning proposals were announced at the Norwegian E-health conference on the 26th april 2016.


The DoMore! project aims to explore the unique combination of academic and industrial competence within the project group to radically improve prognostication and hence treatment of cancer by using digital tools for pathology. ​The DoMore! project focuses on heterogene​​ity in cancer​ and is led by Institute Director Håvard Danielsen.​

​By largely digitalizing and automating diagnostics and prognostication of cancer, we can literally DoMore! and analyze a ​greater number of samples from the same tumor​,​ ​leading to a more precise diagnosis for each patient​ ​​​​Safe storage, analysis and prosessing of the​ ​B​ig ​D​ata​ the project will produce will also be handled by the project partners.

The ​DoMore!​ ​team ​is composed ​of experts within several fields, including: digital imaging, processing, robotics, pathology, cell biology, surgery and oncology, both in Norway and abroad​​. ​​Together, we will create solutions that will​​ ​​​​allow​ us to DoMore!, resulting in objective cancer diagnostics that can be made available to all patients.

Photo of Martin Bonde, Vaccibody

Apim, Vaccibody and Targovax will present at ICCS prior to BIO in San Fransisco

Oslo Cancer Cluster will for the 5th 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 Apim Therapeutics, Vaccibody and Targovax.

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 as well as CEO Ketil Widerberg,

Photocure anoounces grant of patents for CEVIRA®

Oslo Cancer Cluster member Photocure announces that a new patent for Cevira® has been granted in Europe. Cevira® is one of Photocure’s promising pipeline products and is being developed as a new and innovative breakthrough for the treatment of precancerous lesions of the cervix.

The newly granted patent protects the Cevira® drug, its use and its combination with a drug delivery device, such as the Cevira® device, until 2030. This new key patent in Photocure’s Cevira® portfolio complements the company’s proprietary two European patents which protect different aspects of the Cevira® device, and which expire 2029.

Concurrently, the United States Patent and Trademark Office has issued a Notice of Allowance for Photocure’s patent application related to the Cevira® drug. A US patent protecting the Cevira® drug in a similar way as the above-mentioned European patent will issue shortly.

“The approval of this latest European patent and the Notice of Allowance for the equivalent US application is a key milestone for us in our continued work to secure the long-term value of Cevira®. The new patents further strengthen Photocure’s robust patent portfolio and provide Cevira® market exclusivity for the long-term. Cevira® is a key asset for us, with the potential to not only treat HPV induced cervical high grade disease but also to prevent the development of cervical cancer, which affects more than 500,000 women annually”, said Kjetil Hestdal, President and CEO of Photocure.

For more info:

Targovax with encouraging interim results on RAS specific peptide vaccine in resected pancreatic cancer

Oslo Cancer Cluster member Targovax has conducted a predetermined interim analysis of the TG01 Phase I/II trial, indicating promising 1-year overall survival data when combining TG01 with gemcitabine, chemotherapy, as supplementary treatment of patients with pancreatic cancer.


Of the 19 patients included in the study, 15 patients provided consent to be followed up for survival and four patients did not provide consent to be followed up. 1-year survival data showed that 14 out of these 15 patient were alive and one passed away due to pneumonia assessed by the investigator as unrelated to the patients underlying cancer.

The regimen was generally well tolerated and RAS specific T-cell immune responses were induced and enhanced when TG01/GM-CSF was administered in combination with gemcitabine (1).

“One must be careful when drawing conclusions from small survival trials, but this result is an encouraging signal of efficacy and we look forward to the two year survival data which is expected during the first half year of next year“, says Gunnar Gårdemyr, CEO of Targovax.

The study is a single arm study of TG01 in combination with standard of care gemcitabine as adjuvant treatment of patients with operable pancreatic cancer. The interim analysis covered 1-year survival of the first cohort of 19 patients.

References: 1-year overall survival in two independent studies of patients with resected adenocarcinoma of the pancreas receiving standard of care gemcitabine were both approximately 75% (2,3).


About Targovax: “Arming the patient’s immune system to fight cancer”

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 aims to become a leader in its area. The company is currently developing two complementary and highly targeted approaches to immuno-oncology:

ONCOS- 102 is part of 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 and TG02 are part of a peptide-based immunotherapy platform targeting the difficult to treat RAS mutations found in more than 85% of pancreatic cancers, 50% of colorectal cancers and 20-30% of all cancers. Targovax is working towards demonstrating that TG vaccines will prolong time to cancer progression and increase survival.

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 early stage of development. For more information go to

Photocure: Results from 2015

Oslo Cancer Cluster member Photocure had a great year in 2015 with increased sales. Photocure is a Norwegian specialty pharmaceutical company focused on photodynamic technologies in cancer and dermatology, listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange.


Highlights include:
(Numbers in brackets and comparisons are for the corresponding period in 2014.)

  • Hexvix/Cysview global in-market sales increased 22% to NOK 59 million in the fourth quarter and 20% for the full year to NOK 215 million. Full year in-market unit sales increased 7%
  • Sales revenues increased 34% in fourth quarter. Full year sales revenues increased 31% to NOK 122.3 million (NOK 93.6 million)
  • Commercial segment EBITDA increased 70% to NOK 28.7 million (NOK 16.8 million) with EBITDA margin at 21% (17%) for the full year
  • Visonac® phase 2b clinical trial results published in the British Journal of Dermatology
  • Cash and cash equivalents of NOK 134 million as of 31 December 2015


President & CEO Kjetil Hestdal comments: “Throughout 2015, we made great strides towards our goal of building Photocure into a Specialty Pharma Company. Consistent with 2014, we continued to drive revenue growth in all major regions in 2015, while continuously increasing the profitability of our urology focused commercial franchise. Hexvix/Cysview market share continues to grow in the TURB segment across the major markets, and we have started a substantial effort to penetrate the large bladder cancer surveillance segment. Through new partnerships signed in 2015, Hexvix/Cysview will expand into Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

We also continued advancements in our product pipeline this past year. With Cevira, we gained alignment with the US FDA on the pivotal registration program. In addition, the long term value of our novel late stage, phase 3 ready assets, Cevira and Visonac, were further strengthened with issuance of new patents.”

Picture: Faximile fra VG


Norways largest newspaper VG with broad coverage of cancer R&D in Norway

VG, one of Norway´s largest news paper, has issued broad coverage of Norwegian cancer R&D in their paper and online edition. The coverage includes an overview of the cancer treatment being developed by 10 of Oslo Cancer Cluster member companies.


IMG_1753 IMG_1756 IMG_1760photocure

Verdens kreftdag 4. februar: Tarmkreft den tause folkesykdommen

På Verdens kreftdag 4. februar retter Kreftforeningen, Oslo Cancer Cluster og Kreftregisteret søkelyset mot den tause folkesykdommen tarmkreft. Tarmkreftscreening kan redde livet til 300 nordmenn årlig. Det er tre ganger så mange som dør i trafikken hvert år.

– En rekke undersøkelser, både nasjonale og internasjonale konkluderer entydig at tarmkreftscreening redder liv. Bare i Norge kan dette trolig redde opp mot 300 hvert år. Det er tre ganger så mange som dør i trafikken. Hvor lenge skal dette egentlig utredes? Vi vet mer enn nok til å innføre et nasjonalt screeningprogram umiddelbart, sier Kreftforeningens generalsekretær, Anne Lise Ryel.

Hvert år rammes over 4000 nordmenn av  tarmkreft. Det gjør den til den nest  vanligste kreftformen. Den er samtidig blant kreftformene som tar flest liv. Hver dag dør fire. Bare lungekreft tar flere liv enn tarmkreft.  Likevel får sykdommen langt fra den oppmerksomheten den fortjener.


Befolkningsundersøkelse viser at få har kunnskap om tarmkreft

En fersk meningsmåling utført av TNS Gallup på vegne av Kreftforeningen, Oslo Cancer Cluster og Kreftregisteret viser at få er klar over den hyppige forekomsten. Undersøkelsen viser også at tarmkreft er den kreftformen vi tror er blant de mest dødelige og den vi frykter aller mest.

– Samtidig er tarmkreft en av de kreftformene vi har minst kunnskap om. Hele 80 prosent av de spurte svarte at de hadde dårlig eller ingen kunnskap om tarmkreft. Avisene skriver knapt om sykdommen. Dette er ikke bra, og vi har helt klart en jobb å gjøre med å informere bedre om en sykdom som rammer så mange, sier Ryel.

I forbindelse med Verdens kreftdag 4. februar arrangerer Kreftforeningen  et frokostseminar sammen med Kreftregisteret, Oslo Cancer Cluster og pasientforeningen Norilco  med tittel «Den tause folkesykdommen».  For selv om tarmkreft i snitt altså rammer mer enn elleve nordmenn hver eneste dag, er det «sykdommen ingen snakker om».

– Mens nesten åtte av ti svarer at de opplever mest åpenhet rundt det å ha brystkreft, kommer tarmkreft helt i den andre enden av skalaen. Tallene er ikke overraskende, men ikke desto mindre trist og urovekkende. Jeg vet om mange tarmkreftpasienter som synes det er vanskelig å snakke om at de har kreft i tarmen fordi det blir for intimt. Selv i vårt superåpne samfunn der vi deler alt med alle, er dette flaut. Sånn kan vi ikke ha det, sier Ryel.


Bør innføre tarmkreftscreening

I tillegg til å løfte tarmkreft frem i lyset, har Ryel en klar melding til helseministeren.

– Hovedproblemet med tarmkreft er at den er vanskelig å oppdage. Når symptomene melder seg, kan kreften dessuten allerede ha kommet langt.  Jo tidligere oppdagelse, jo større er sjansene for å overleve.  Den eneste måten å oppnå dette på, er å  innføre  et nasjonalt screeeningprogram for tarmkreft, sier Ryel.

Allerede i 2003 anbefalte EUs helseministere enstemmig en anbefaling om å innføre tarmkreftscreeening. Mer enn 20 europeiske land har fulgt anbefalingen, deriblant Storbritannia, Finland og Tyskland. I Norge har Kreftregisteret ansvar for et pilotprosjekt, der til sammen 140.000 personer mellom 50 og 74 år får invitasjon til å delta i screening. Foreløpig pågår prosjektet i Akershus, Buskerud og Østfold, og så langt har bortimot 93.000 personer fått invitasjon.  Prosjektet startet i 2012 men beslutningen om dette skal bli et tilbud til folk over hele landet har blitt utsatt en rekke ganger og  kommer trolig først etter at pilotprosjektet er avsluttet og evaluert i 2018.


Oncoimmunity, Vaccibody, Nextera and Nordic Nanovector granted BIA-funding

The Norwegian Research Council granted  Oslo Cancer Cluster member companies Oncoimmunity, Vaccibody, Nextera and Nordic Nanovector funding through the Programme for User-Driven Research Based Innovation (BIA).

In total, the Norwegian Research Council will grant 532 MNOK to 50 Norwegian companies, of which 10 are within biomedicine.

Oncoimmunity, Vaccibody, Nextera and Nordic Nanovector will receive between 15-20 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.


Titles for the granted innovation projects:

  • Vaccibody: Targeted Personalized Therapeutic Cancer Vaccines
  • Nordic Nanovector: Development of Two New Antibody Radionuclide Conjugates for Treatment of Malignant Lymphoma and Leukemia
  • Oncoimmunity: Software for profiling tumor neo-antigens to empower cancer immunotherapy
  • Nextera: Novel targeted therapy for treating Leukemia


Vaccibody awarded 20 MNOK to develop patient-specific therapeutic cancer vaccines

Oslo Cancer Cluster member and therapeutic vaccine company Vaccibody today has received a grant up to NOK 20 million (USD 2.3 million) over four years from the Norwegian Research Council ‘s BIA Program to develop  therapeutic cancer vaccines based on each patient’s specific neoantigens.


Neoantigens are tumour- specific mutations in cancer cells. While most commonly shared tumour antigens used in cancer vaccines to date have to overcome central tolerance in the tumour, neoantigens are not subject to central tolerance. Recent success with related immunotherapies reveal the importance of immunity specific for neoantigens in patients with clinical benefit. This insight reveal an intriguing new interest in strategies that specifically stimulate neoantigen-specific immune responses, and neoantigen-based cancer vaccines should be particularly attractive.

The recent rapid development in sequencing and bioinformatics opens up the opportunity to rapidly identify immunogenic neoantigens and design patient-and tumor-specific cancer vaccines. Vaccibody’s DNA vaccine technology holds the potential to develop and produce highly effective neoantigen-based cancer vaccines. To increase the chance of success, Vaccibody has put  together a strong team with national and international partners with expertise in bioinformatics, vaccine delivery and translational research. The project seeks to complete a clinical proof of concept study with the neoantigen-based Vaccibody DNA cancer vaccines in advanced cancer patients.

Vaccibody has extensive experience within therapeutic DNA vaccine development. Preclinical models demonstrate highly improved efficacy of Vaccibody vaccines compared to other vaccine technologies for a range of disease models. The lead product, VB10.16 immunotherapy, is currently tested in a multicentre phase I/IIa study for the treatment of high grade Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia (CIN 2/3) caused by human papillomavirus 16 (HPV 16). The expertise from the VB10.16 program will serve as an essential basis and speed up the clinical development of the neoantigen program.

“We are very encouraged by the support from BIA. This funding will help accelerate our efforts to explore our unique technology in an intriguing new field of cancer immunotherapy. We believe that the Vaccibody DNA vaccine platform is especially well suited for neoantigen-based cancer vaccine development and we are confident that we have put together a great team to support the entire chain of events needed to explore this exciting new project ” says CEO Martin Bonde.

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) and was initiated in Q3 2015.


Martin Bonde, CEO

+47 22958193



Thermo Fisher Scientific will create Google-like envionment for biotech in the Oslo Cancer Cluster Incubator

Thermo Fisher Scientific will rent over 800m2 in the Oslo Cancer Cluster Incubator. Here, the company will create a creative Google-like environment with a particular focus on diagnostics and the development of new treatments using cancer immunotherapy.


 Thermo Fisher Scientific is one of Norway´s leading biotechs and among the most profitable. The company is expanding and during the first quarter of 2016 the entire management team, production team and parts of the R&D milieu will move to the Oslo Cancer Cluster Incubator. Here, 800m2 will be set up like a creative Google-like office space.

– We are really pleased that Thermo Fisher Scientific chooses to move into Oslo Cancer Cluster Incubator. The company, which initially was established as Dynal in 1986, has played a vital role in Norwegian biotech with the development of «Dynabeads» that is used all over the world. Their record of accomplishment of bringing innovative products to the market is impressing. For the environment in the incubator it is crucial to have a global, experienced actor present, says Bjørn Klem, CEO Oslo Cancer Cluster Incubator.


Strong in immunotherapy

The overall aim of the Oslo Cancer Cluster Incubator is to contribute to the successful development of oncology biotechs so that they may reach the market with their innovative treatments against cancer. The cancer R&D milieu in Norway in general is strong within cancer immunotherapies, which is also the case with the incubator companies.

– Thermo Fisher´s «Dynabeads» is used in basic research, in billions of diagnostic tests as well as in immunotherapy all over the world. Innovation and further applications is developed in close collaboration with research environments, clinics and industrial partners. Oslo Cancer Cluster has become one of the leading innovation clusters and we would like to take an active role in further developing the cluster. We think that co-localisation with the milieu in the incubator will be a catalyst for our growth and innovation in the future, says Ole Dahlberg, CEO Thermo Fisher Scientific in Norway.



Thermo Fisher Scientific:
Thermo Fisher Scientific in Norway (former Dynal Biotech) was established in 1986. The company focuses on the diagnostics market as well as the development of innovative immunotherapeutics, especially within oncology. The client portfolio features many of the world’s largest pharma and diagnostics companies. In 2014 the company had 180 employees and a turn-over of 760 MNOK. The company have production units both in Oslo and Lillestrøm. The Norwegian company is a subsidiary to Thermo Fisher Scientific which is listed on NYSE.

In Norwegian:

Thermo Fisher Scientific inn i Oslo Cancer Cluster Inkubator: Styrker miljøet rundt immunterapi mot kreft

Thermo Fisher Scientific skal leie over 800m2 i Oslo Cancer Cluster Incubator. Selskapet skal skape et kreativt ‘Google-aktig landskap’ innen bioteknologi med særlig fokus på diagnostikk og utvikling av nye former for behandling ved bruk av immunterapi.

Thermo Fisher Scientific er et av Norges største biotekselskap og blant de mest lønnsomme. Selskapet utvider og flytter nå hele ledergruppen og produktorganisjasjonen, samt deler av sitt forsknings- og utviklingsmiljø over til Oslo Cancer Cluster Inkubator. I 5.etasje i inkubatoren skal over 800m2 omgjøres til et kreativt landskap for ansatte i selskapet med fokus på forskning og utvikling innen diagnostikk og immunterapi mot kreft.

– Vi er utrolig glade for at Thermo Fisher Scientific velger å flytte inn i Oslo Cancer Cluster Inkubator. Selskapet, som startet som Dynal i 1986 er en viktig del av norsk bioteknologihistorie med sin utvikling av «Dynabeads»  basert på Ugelstadkulene. De har vist gjentatte ganger at de kan kommersialisere god forskning. Det vil bety mye for resten av miljøet i inkubatoren å ha med en så erfaren aktør med global tilstedeværelse, sier Bjørn Klem som er daglig leder i Oslo Cancer Cluster Incubator.


Viktig for et Norge i omstilling

Oslo Cancer Cluster Inkubator skal bidra til at flere selskaper lykkes med å utvikle sin behandling av ulike kreftformer. Immunterapi mot kreft er en helt ny måte å behandle kreft på der kroppens eget immunforsvar aktiveres for å bekjempe kreftcellene. Miljøet i inkubatoren er særlig sterke innen dette fagfeltet, som blir ytterligere styrket ved at immunmonitoreringsenheten ved seksjon for celleterapi ved Oslo universitetssykehus, Radiumhospitalet flytter inn med syv ansatte i tillegg til Thermo Fisher Scientific.


– Thermofisher sine «Dynabeads» brukes i dag innen grunnforskning, til milliarder av diagnostiske tester og nå innen immunterapi. Innovasjon og applikasjonsutvikling skjer i nært samarbeid med forskningsmiljøer, klinikker, og industrielle partnere. Oslo Cancer Cluster har demonstrert høye ambisjoner og gjennomføringsevne på å bli en av de ledende innovasjonsklyngene og vi ønsker å være en del av det. Samlokalisering og felles aktiviteter med klinikken og andre selskaper tror vi er en katalysator for vår vekst og innovasjonsgrad fremover, sier Ole Dahlberg, administrerende direktør i Thermo Fisher Scientific i Norge.


– Statsminister Erna Solberg sa da hun åpnet Oslo Cancer Cluster Innovasjonspark og inkubator i august i år at helseindustri er en industri med dobbel gevinst: Fremskrittene som gjøres bidrar til velferd og helse samtidig som de skaper verdier og arbeidsplasser. Vi er overbevist om at det norske kreftforskning- og utviklingsmiljøet kan bety mye for et Norge i omstilling, samtidig som vi utvikler morgendagens kreftbehandling, sier Ketil Widerberg, daglig leder i Oslo Cancer Cluster.



Oslo Cancer Cluster Inkubator: Bjørn Klem, daglig leder: e-post: mobil: 924 161 56

Oslo Cancer Cluster: Ketil Widerberg, daglig leder: e-post:, mobil: 915 77 990

Thermo Fisher Scientific: Ole Dahlberg, adm.dir, e-post:, mobil 91108260 eller Geir Hetland, finansdirektør, e-post:, mobil: 98218280


Thermo Fisher Scientific:
Thermo Fisher Scientific i Norge (tidl Dynal Biotech) ble etablert i 1986. Selskapet har fokus på det diagnostiske markedet samt utvikling av nye former for immunterapi spesiellt innenfor kreftområdet. Kundeportoføljen består av mange av verdens største pharma og diagnostiske selskaper i verden. I 2014 hadde selskapet 180 ansatte og omsatte for 760 millioner. Selskapet har produksjonslokaler både i Oslo og Lillestrøm. Det norske selskapet er et datterselskap til Thermo Fisher Scientific som er et børsnotert selskap på NYSE.











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: 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.

– 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.


Session one: Medical Devices

Session two: Ultrasound and imaging based medtech companies
IC Target



Session three: M-Health
Pattern Solutions
X Center

Lunch and DNB Health Care Prize

Session four: Diagnostics
Genetic Analysis
Spiro Medical

Session five: Therapeutics
Lytix Biopharma
Pharmasum Therapeutics

Vaccibody and Ultimovacs nominated to DNB HealthCare Prize on 1 MNOK

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

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




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

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

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

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

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

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


About Ludwig Cancer Research

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

About the Cancer Research Institute

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


About Targovax

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

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

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

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


For further information, please contact:

Rachel Steinhardt

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


Brian Brewer

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


Gunnar Gårdemyr

Chief Executive Officer, Targovax or +41 798 340 585

HealthCap opens office in Oslo Cancer Cluster Incubator

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


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

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


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

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

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

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


For more information, please contact:

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

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

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



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


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


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


Oslo Cancer Cluster Innovation Park AS

Total space: 36 000 m²

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

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

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

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


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.

Oslo Cancer Cluster Incubator: Hottest bioincubator in the Nordics

According to The European Biotech News Website, Oslo Cancer Cluster Incubator is ranked as the hottest bioincubator in the Nordics as well as the 6th hottest bioincubator in Europe. The Top 10 ranking is subject to several criteria.

Oslo Cancer Cluster Incubator just opened its premises in the Oslo Cancer Cluster Innovation Park August this year and is home to around 20 companies,  instituitons and consultants.

The incubator´s ultimate goal is to contribute to the succesful commercialisation of cancer research performed in Norway. This will provide patients with new cancer treatments and at the same time build a much needed knowledge based health industry in Norway.


DNB Health Care Conference

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

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

DNB Health Care Conference: Invitation and agenda 2015

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

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


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

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

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


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 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.

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:
  • 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:
  • Annonse i Bedriftskontakten Nablas sommerjobbkatalog

Begge typer stands kan også benytte seg av følgende tilbud:

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

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.

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.

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.

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.


Endelig program for dagen vil bli lagt ut på 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.

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 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!

Erik Arne Huso

+47 90 53 44 24 //



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  
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.













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:



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

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)

EU Calls 2016-2017 just published

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


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

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

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.

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.

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.


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 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:

Oslo Cancer Cluster Incubator filling up

12 companies will have offices and lab in Oslo Cancer Cluster Incubator from August on. Bjørn Klem, General Manager of the Incubator, anticipates full house by January 2016.

– If each and every company we have given a quote so far, accepts, we actually are over booked. As of now, we have a good mix of companies. We look forward to have even more start-ups as a result of the activity in Oslo Cancer Cluster Innovation Park and the increased focus on commersialization of cancer research the building represents, says Klem.

The companies will start moving into the Incubator the first week of August, and from then on it is business 24/7. The Oslo Cancer Cluster Managament Team will support the incubator companies with competence within business development, communication, partnering, investor contacts and so on thorugh Oslo Cancer Cluster´s extensive network.


Overview Oslo Cancer Cluster Incubator companies as of mid-June:

  • DNB
  • Curida
  • Intersint
  • Ultimovacs
  • Inven2
  • Lifandis
  • Medivir
  • Pharmalink
  • Normetrix
  • Lytix Biopharma
  • Radium Hospital Research Foundation
  • Oslo Cancer Cluster Management Team



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.




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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Forskningsparken, 12 February 2015

8:30 to 9:00 Registration and refreshments

9:00 to 9:15 Opening

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

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

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

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

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

14.30 to 15.00 Coffee and refreshments

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

Session: Oncology

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

Session: Neuroscience

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

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

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

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.


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






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.

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.



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.



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 //

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.



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.

16 MNOK to BerGenBio from the Wellcome Trust

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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


About the Wellcome Trust
The Wellcome Trust is the second-highest-spending global charitable foundation, dedicated to achieving extraordinary improvements in human and animal health. It supports bright minds in biomedical research and the medical humanities, including public engagement, education and the application of research to improve health. It is independent of both political and commercial interests.

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.


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.

Great Kick-off for the Oslo Cancer Cluster Innovation Park

Oslo Cancer Cluster, in collaboration with Radiumhospitalets Legater, invite members and collaborators to the annual Oslo Cancer Cluster R&D Summer Meeting on Wednesday August 20th at the Auditorium , Institute of Cancer Research.

Download program and register here

The summer meeting will kick off the Oslo Cancer Cluster Innovation Park, and for the first time it will be possible to go inside the Innovation Park. As usual, we also present the new members of the cluster; Teva Scandinavia,
Smartfish, Pharmalink,  NorChip, Oncoimmunity  and SFF – Centre for Cancer Biomarkers, University of Bergen.


–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,, +4792628434
Please visit

“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.