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Expanding Norwegian Cluster of Excellence Dedicated to Oncology
Date:10/31/2011

OSLO, Norway, October 31, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --

Oslo Cancer Cluster represents a strong R&D environment dedicated to oncology. The true strength of the Norwegian cluster lies within developing novel technologies and significantly better cancer treatments than the ones available to cancer patients today.

Oslo Cancer Cluster is a research and industry cluster within the field of oncology, dedicated to accelerating the development of new cancer diagnostics and medicines. The cluster comprises of more than 60 members mainly from Norway, and is founded on the basis of the excellent cancer R&D performed at universities and university hospitals in Norway, like the Oslo University Hospital as well as Haukeland University Hospital and NTNU.

Oncology start-ups: Cancer Vaccines

The strength in research has recently manifested itself in several new oncology start-up companies within the field of cancer vaccines and targeted radio immunotherapy. One of these companies, Ultimovacs is developing a novel peptide based therapeutic cancer vaccine. The main investor in Ultimovacs is Bjørn Rune Gjelsten. Gjelsten is one of Norway`s most successful businessmen, and this is the first time he has invested in a oncology company. Targovax is another start-up, developing a peptide-based cancer vaccine. The lead candidate TG01 is ready for a phase II clinical trial in resectable pancreas cancer.

Oncology start-ups: Algeta follow-ups

Two other start-ups: Nordic Nanovector and Oncoinvent, are set up by the researchers/founders behind Algeta. Algeta has developed Alpharadin, which is a drug against bone metastases in prostate cancer patients that recently was granted fast-track by the FDA due to excellent results performed in the phase III trial on the drug. Nordic Nanovector develops innovative therapeutics against Non-Hodgkins lymphoma (NHL). They have developed a nanovector based on a tumor specific antibody and a radioactive nuclide. The nanovector seeks out the lymphoma cells and the radiation destroys them. Oncoinvent has not come as far as the other start-ups, but the company will use immune based therapy to target bone cancer, osteosarcoma, actually in both humans and dogs due to resemblance in the disease in both species.

Drug delivery spinning out of Photocure

Photocure has for some time been the star of Norwegian biotech, and as well as the other star, Algeta, Photocure has resulted in a very interesting spin off named PCI Biotech. PCI got exciting results from phase I/II on head- and neck cancer; strong tumour response was observed in all patients. A phase II study within Head & Neck cancer is planned to start in Q4 2011.  Another company doing well in their clinical studies is Clavis Pharma. They have a rather clever approach to their development of cancer treatments. They attach a fatty acid to already existing cancer drugs and thereby enhance the effect of the drug by ensuring a higher hit to cancer cells, at the same time reducing the side effects.

Oslo Cancer Cluster Innovation Park

Oslo Cancer Cluster wants to drive the innovation and commercialization from cancer research to cure even further, and will do this by establishing an oncology incubator in the new Oslo Cancer Cluster Innovation Park that will open in 2014.

The Innovation Park will physically bring together the strong R&D environment in oncology in Oslo right next to the Norwegian Radium Hospital, and will also integrate a high school to ensure the recruitment of tomorrow's researchers and entrepreneurs.

International collaboration

Oslo Cancer Cluster has a strong international network and together with our sister cluster in Toulouse, France, Cancer-Bió-Santé we annually arrange the European Cancer Cluster Partnering event (ECCP). The event gathers the whole oncology community and has proved to b a success year after year.

We are now in discussion with a strong European partner to take ECCP to another level.

Excellent evaluation

Even though the Oslo Cancer Cluster was established only five years back in 2006, an independent evaluation have given the cluster an excellent evaluation with the highest score summarizing the achievements' so  far to; strong cluster organisation, good trust and embedment in the cluster, relations to strong international environments as well as an excellent reputation - both nationally and internationally.

As a Norwegian Centre of Expertise, the Oslo Cancer Cluster maintains high standards and is partially funded by the Norwegian government. The members of the cluster represent the best in academic research institutions, biotech companies, and industry, financial, regional and national development stakeholders.

Find out more:

http://www.oslocancercluster.no

Here you may find information on how to become a member of Oslo Cancer Cluster.

Meet us at BioEurope

Our International manager Jutta Heix will represent Oslo Cancer Cluster at BioEurope. Meet her there to get more information on Oslo Cancer Cluster.

E-mail: jh@radforsk.no or mobile: +47-941-63-089

Contact:

Tone Yrvum, CEO Oslo Cancer Cluster, e-mail: ty@radforsk.no or mobile: +47-413-14-891

Jónas Einarsson, Chairman of the Board, Oslo Cancer Cluster, e-mail: je@radforsk.no or mobile: +47-480-96-355



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SOURCE Oslo Cancer Cluster
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