Introducing our new members

Have you heard about our most recent members? Find out more about our growing cancer community below.

A wonderful mix of new members presented at our annual Summer Gathering last week, including companies in cancer prognostics and diagnostics, HR and recruitment, and financial and biopharma services. Here is a short overview from the presenters.


Peeter Padrik, CEO and founder of Antegenes, presented the Estonian company that offers innovative genetic tests for cancer prevention.

“If we detect disease as early as possible, we can also eliminate disease efficiently,” Padrik said.

Padrik explained that breast cancer screening in Norway begins from 50 years, but that 20 per cent of breast cancer cases happen to women younger than 50 years old. It is not reasonable to screen all younger women, but those who have elevated risk for breast cancer can be screened earlier.

Peeter Padrik, CEO and founder, Antegenes.

Peeter Padrik, CEO and founder, Antegenes.

“We need tools for more precise screening. Many cancer risks come from our genetic dispositions and we can identify individual risk levels for common cancers with personalized screening,” Padrik said.

New technology called polygenic risk scores can summarise risks from many gene variants for cancers, but this has not yet been implemented in the public healthcare systems. The company Antegenes has developed tests using polygenic risk scores for breast, prostate, colorectal and melanoma cancers. They are now creating models for new screening programmes, where genetics-based screening can be used, and how to implement these new approaches.


Ján Tkáč, Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Glycanostics, presented the start-up company that develops tests for cancer diagnostics.

The company uses a glycan-based liquid biopsy approach. Glycans are complex carbohydrates attached to proteins. Glycanostics have developed a diagnostic cancer test by identifying glycan changes associated with cancer in the blood. The company has so far focused on prostate cancer diagnostics.

“This is an ideal cancer diagnostic test that can provide high accuracy. It can be done by analysis of blood and be cost-effective. We can avoid unnecessary biopsies, monitor disease progression and treatment, and it is applicable for 11 cancer types,” Tkáč said.

Ján Tkáč, Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer, Glycanostics

Ján Tkáč, Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer, Glycanostics

Glycanostics have already filed five patent applications and are ready to scale up the technology for breast cancer, lung cancer and pancreatic cancer.

“We look forward to participating in Oslo Cancer Cluster’s projects to shape the diagnostics future for oncological patients. Collaboration with cluster members and international cluster partners can drive our mission faster and share Glycanostics’ vision,” Tkáč said.

Randstad Care – Norway

Jon Bjørbekk, Head of Recruitment, Life Sciences at Randstad, presented the recruitment company that is a global market leader in HR services.

“Randstad is quite new in Norway. We have been here for about 14 years and originate from the Netherlands. We are present in 39 countries and have 35 000 employees,” Bjørbekk said.

The company’s area of expertise is executive search, search and selection, and temporary hiring.

Jon Bjørbekk, Head of Recruitment, Life Sciences at Randstad.

Jon Bjørbekk, Head of Recruitment, Life Sciences at Randstad.

“People in the life science industry are quite hard to find or relocate. Most of you are quite loyal to your employers, so it is our job to make you curious about a career move. Things are growing in Norway and there is a huge focus on healthcare and startups for the last 5-10 years,” Bjørbekk said.

Bjørbekk underlines the importance of having local knowledge, keeping close feedback with job applicants and building employer branding in all steps of the recruitment process.


Jo Helge Grepstad, Head of Sales, presented TheVIT, a service provider that has a vision to be the best support apparatus for businesses.

“We are a service provider, so we are not in the field of health or curing cancer, but we want to help you find the cure to cancer by supporting your business in the fields where we are specialists,” Grepstad said.

Jo Helge Grepstad, Head of Sales, TheVIT.

Jo Helge Grepstad, Head of Sales, TheVIT.

TheVIT works in the areas of advisory and services, and supports companies with finances, human resources and business intelligence. They are located at Rebel where Oslo Cancer Cluster Incubator also has some office space.

“Our values are value, innovation and team. We seek good solutions for our clients through putting together the right team with the right competence to solve the challenges the clients are facing. Complemented by utilizing new technologies, we can support growth. Our resources include financial and business controllers, financial managers, CFOs, HR managers and business intelligence resources, and we are open for dialogue with other members of Oslo Cancer Cluster,” Grepstad said.


Sandy Mercurio, Senior Manager of Business Development at Veracyte, presented the US-based global diagnostics company, which provides a range of services to biopharma partners. Last year, Veracyte acquired the French company HalioDx, which specialized in immuno-oncology and was a member of the Oslo Cancer Cluster community.

“Veracyte offers a unique portfolio of multi-omic testing services to our biopharma partners to help them in their biomarker strategy and support their drug development programs by leveraging the best insights from clinical samples through our innovative technologies. Our expertise in immuno-oncology and biostatistics, combined with our robust quality and compliance systems enable us to help our biopharma partners discover clinically relevant biomarkers, identify patients for clinical trials and develop companion diagnostics.”

Sandy Mercurio, Senior Manager of Business Development, Veracyte

Sandy Mercurio, Senior Manager of Business Development, Veracyte

The company recently introduced the Veracyte Biopharma Atlas, which is a comprehensive database to help guide clinical trials. The company has been involved in clinical trials for CAR T therapies and vaccines, and has dozens of biopharma partners.

Comunin AS has also joined Oslo Cancer Cluster recently and they will be presented at a later date.




Image of Oslo Cancer Cluster Innovation Park

New member: Hubro Therapeutics

In this series, we will be introducing one-by-one the new members that have joined our ecosystem in the last six months. Follow us for a new article next week!

We are proud to present one of the latest additions to our cluster – Hubro Therapeutics.

Hubro Therapeutics is a Norwegian biotech start-up from 2018 that develops immunotherapies against cancer. These treatments aim to trigger the body’s immune system to fight cancer. The company is currently situated in Oslo Cancer Cluster Incubator, where they are using the laboratory facilities to develop their treatments.

We talked with Jon Amund Eriksen, founder and CEO of Hubro Therapeutics, to find out a little bit more about the company, their work in cancer research and the reason why they joined Oslo Cancer Cluster.

Could you briefly describe Hubro Therapeutics and the role you take in cancer?

“Hubro Therapeutics AS is a biotech company based on thirty years of R&D experience in the field of immunotherapy of cancer. The company is specialising in developing peptide vaccines targeting shared cancer specific neo-antigens, focusing on design and development of novel peptides and peptide compositions for targeting frameshift mutations in micro-satellite instable (msi) cancers.  The lead candidate vaccine targeting frameshift mutation in TGFbR2 is currently in development for clinical testing in msi-colorectal cancer and potentially msi-gastric cancer,” said Jon Amund Eriksen, founder and CEO.

Why did you join Oslo Cancer Cluster?

“For us, Oslo Cancer Cluster with its incubator and laboratory facilities provides a perfect opportunity to operate in a highly relevant and focused scientific environment as well as to generate our own experimental results without heavy investments,” said Jon Amund Eriksen, founder and CEO.


Hubro Therapeutics logo


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Summer party 2018

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.

Precision Oncology Team

Meet our new members – Part One

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

You can find the second part HERE.

On the 24th of August, Oslo Cancer Cluster hosted a summer party with the intention of getting to know their newest members in an informative and fun setting. The party started with a heartfelt welcome and speech held by Oslo Cancer Cluster’s General Manager Ketil Widerberg and intensive mingling amongst guests. After the welcome was in order, each member stood up, in turn, to introduce their amazing work.

Of the 14 new members we have so far this year, here’s an introduction to those who primarily work in the area of biotechnology.

Precision Oncology
Precision Oncology is a specialty contract research organization (CRO) that provides clinical research services. The company primarily provides application of metrics-driven project management to perfect oncology drug development.

As for their inspiration and reasoning for joining the Oslo Cancer Cluster roster of members, Andrea Cotton-Berry, head of Strategic operations at Precision Oncology, responds:

– What really inspires us at Precision Oncology, is matching the right drug to the right patient, by using biomarkers for patient identification and stratification; a true personalized medicine approach, to find more efficient treatments for patients with advanced cancers. We are looking forward to bringing our team of oncology development experts to contribute to the Oslo Cancer Cluster mission and initiatives, especially advancing immuno-oncology research.

Personalis is a leading preciscion medicine company focused on advancing next generation sequencing based services for immuno-oncology. The company is mainly focused on producing the most accurate genetic sequence from each sample set, and using analytics and privately owned content to draw reliable and accurate biomedical interpretations of the data.

In regards to current and future inspiration, Erin Newburn, Senior Manager and Field Applications Scientist at Personalis, comments:

– We aspire to utilize next-generation sequencing as a multi-dimensional platform for bio-marker discovery across cancer therapeutics, as well as throughout developmental stages.

iNANOD is a nanotechnology based anti-cancer drug developing company established in 2016. Their goal is to increase efficacy of anti-cancer drugs and to reduce side-effects for cancer patients as well as maximizing the patients longevity. They aim to become a pharmaceutical company for anti-cancer nanomedicines in the near future.

As for expectations and reasoning for joining Oslo Cancer Cluster, Nalinava Sengupta, CEO and Co-Founder of iNANOD shares his view:

– We think our project – to develop cancer nano-medicine – fits best with Oslo Cancer Cluster. In the incubator we get in touch with other similar firms who have achieved milestones in cancer drug delivery. We expect synergistic knowledge transfer within the incubator network, as well as various kinds of help from the cancer research related entrepreneurial ecosystem developed at Oslo Cancer Cluster. This also helps with business developmental aspects and project application writing.

Norgenotech is a start-up company that originated from the EU project COMICS that aimed at improving production methods for analysis of DNA damage and repair. Norgenotech mainly assesses genotoxicity, or property of chemical agents that damage the genetic information within a cell, as well as drugs. The company also participates in research projects and developing tools for measuring DNA integrity in patients.

Eisai AB originates from a global company in Japan that is active in the manufacturing and marketing of pharmaceutical drugs, pharmaceutical production systems, and over-the-counter drugs. Eisai AB, that will be joining the Oslo Cancer Cluster roster of members, is the sales subsidiary of Eisai Company.

Immunitrack is a startup company with capabilities in production and studies of protein molecules central to the adaptive immune system in humans in order to develop new therapeutics. Their mission is to provide the research community with tools to redesign or select drug candidates at the early stage of research and development, but also to provide reagents to monitor leading drug candidates effect on patient’s immune system.

Nacamed’s goal is to produce nanoparticles of silicon material for targeted drug delivery of chemotherapy, radiation therapy and diagnostics to kill cancer cells. By using silicon nanoparticles in cases such as therapy, the particles are biodegradable which entails a clean delivery without any side-effects as they completely disappear and dissolve from the body.

Arctic Pharma
Arctic Pharma is a privately held startup biotech company founded in 2012 that primarily focuses on developing innovative anti-cancer drugs. They do this by exploiting cancer cells and their peculiar features, or more specifically, by targeting key enzymes that are upregulated, or have been increased in terms of stimulus with inhibitors designed at Arctic Pharma. Essentially, their main mission is to become a leader in designing cancer therapies that are both environmentally friendly and have few side effects.