Ketil Widerberg, general manager of Oslo Cancer Cluster, asks that the Norwegian government raises the bar to offer clinical studies for all cancer patients.

New political paper: Action Plan for Clinical Studies

Ketil Widerberg, general manager of Oslo Cancer Cluster

The Norwegian government wants to double the number of clinical studies by 2025, but is this goal ambitious enough?

The highly anticipated political paper “Action Plan for Clinical Studies (2021-2025)” was released in Norway by the Ministry of Health and Care Services this week. The government’s vision is to make clinical studies an integrated part of patient care.

A clinical study is a type of research study that tests how well new medical approaches, such as screening, prevention, diagnosis, or treatments, work in people.

The action plan is the first of its kind and has been requested by researchers, clinicians, the health industry and patient organisations for several years.

The number of clinical studies in Norway is on a negative, spiralling trend. This is especially alarming for cancer patients, who are eager to receive novel treatments.

The Norwegian Health Minister Bent Høie now sets the goal to double the number of clinical studies in Norway and include 5% of all patients in the specialist health services before 2025.

“The action plan includes many important points, we believe the bar should be raised higher,” commented Ketil Widerberg, general manager of Oslo Cancer Cluster.

“Our goal should be to make clinical studies available for all cancer patients in Norway – not just a small fraction.”

The government also announced in the State Budget proposal in October 2020 that NOK 30 million will be allocated through the NorTrials scheme. The funds will be used to employ study nurses and improve competency in clinical research.

The Norwegian Health Minister also calls for a change in work culture, in order to make clinical trials an integrated part of patient treatment.

Another major obstacle is the difficulty to recruit patients quickly. The regional health authorities are now tasked with developing a best practice for patient recruitment.

Oslo Cancer Cluster contributed input to the development of this political paper in September 2019. Our major suggestions included:

  • the need for financial incentives to improve patient recruitment,
  • establishing Norway and the Nordic countries as an international testbed for innovative medicine,
  • authorities to collaborate with industry on guidelines on how to approve precision medicine treatments and the documentation requirements.

Read our entire input here (in Norwegian): Innspill Kliniske Studier til Helse- og omsorgsdepartementet (September 2019) fra Oslo Cancer Cluster

 

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Dr Deborah Owens, Partner, Dehns, is looking forward to help Norwegian companies in the cancer field. Photo: Dehns

Dehns acquires Norwegian office

Dr Deborah Owen, Partner, Dehns. Photo: Dehns

Our member Dehns announced this week that the company will set up a local office in Oslo.

The law firm Dehns has acquired the Norwegian Intellectual Property consultancy firm Leogriff. This means Dehns will now have an active Norwegian presence with a local office in Oslo.

Dehns is a law firm specialized in patents and trademarks. Dehns’ attorneys have insight in many different technologies in the engineering, chemistry and biotechnology sectors.

With this acquisition, Dehns gains the highly-experienced Leogriff team with all their additional competencies, skills and expertise in Intellectual Property. Leogriff’s clients include companies, investors, research institutes and universities.

What does this mean for Norwegian companies in cancer innovation and life science?

“Companies in the cancer field and life science sector face many challenges and need an excellent network of advisors to navigate these successfully.”
Dr Deborah Owen, Partner, Dehns.

“Intellectual Property (IP) issues are key to such companies at all stages, and we are delighted that the opening of the Dehns’ Norwegian office provides an expansion of the Dehns’ team to provide even greater experience and expertise in areas relating to IP management and strategy consultancy, which will be of real benefit to Norwegian companies of all sizes in these sectors,” continued Owen.

Dehns was founded in 1920 and is one of Europe’s leading firms of patent and trademark attorneys. The company has more than 230 staff across 8 offices: London, Munich, Oxford, Brighton, Manchester, Bristol, Sandwich and, now, Oslo.

Dr Adrian Samuels, Partner, Dehns. Photo: Dehns

Dr Adrian Samuels, Partner, Dehns. Photo: Dehns

“We are delighted that, having been working closely with Norwegian innovators and industry leaders for over half a century, Dehns’ ongoing success will be supported by this direct investment in Norway.”
Adrian Samuels, Partner, Dehns.

For more information, please read Dehns’ press release or visit Dehns official website.

Carlos de Sousa, CEO of Ultimovacs, who has launched a new collaboration study in ovarian cancer with the Nordic Society of Gynaecological Oncology, the European Network of Gynaecological Oncological Trial Groups and AstraZeneca. Photo: Ultimovacs

New clinical study in ovarian cancer

Carlos de Sousa, CEO of Ultimovacs

Our member Ultimovacs has announced a new Phase II clinical trial for ovarian cancer patients.

DOVACC is a new clinical study from Ultimovacs that will investigate the effect of combining the cancer vaccine UV1 with a checkpoint inhibitor and a PARP inhibitor in patients with ovarian cancer.

This is the first time this type of combination treatment is tested in a clinical study. Patients with advanced ovarian cancer, who have relapsed after receiving two rounds of chemotherapy treatment are eligible for the study.

The study will be sponsored by the Nordic Society for Gynaecological Oncology – Clinical Trial Unit (NSGO-CTU). This group is a part of the European Network of Gynaecological Oncological Trial Groups (ENGOT), which is also a part of the study.

“The collaboration with the NSGO-CTU and ENGOT is exciting for us as they are very experienced with conducting clinical trials in the field of gynaecological oncology. Their expertise and network will support the recruitment of patients at multiple participating study sites across Europe,” commented Jens Bjørheim, Chief Medical Officer at Ultimovacs.

The global pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, will contribute with two different cancer drugs to the study. These include the checkpoint inhibitor durvalumab and the PARP inhibitor Olaparib.

Ultimovacs is evaluating the company’s universal cancer vaccine UV1 and has also received NOK 10 million from Innovation Norway.

“A key benefit of UV1 is its safety profile, which enables a triple combination study with a PD-L1 inhibitor and now for the first time also with a PARP inhibitor, in an indication in desperate need of new treatment options,” commented Carlos de Sousa, CEO of Ultimovacs.

“The evaluation of UV1, durvalumab and olaparib in this Phase II triple combination study is an important next step in changing the standard of care for patients with ovarian cancer,” added Dr. Mansoor Raza Mirza, Medical Director of the NSGO-CTU and Chair of the ENGOT.

DOVACC is a randomised study, which will include 184 patients. The study is divided into three control arms, or patient groups. The first group includes 46 patients who will receive PARP inhibitor. The second group includes 46 patients who will receive both the PARP inhibitor and the checkpoint inhibitor. The third group includes 92 patients who will receive UV1 and both AstraZeneca drugs.

The multi-centre study will be held at more than 30 hospitals in about 10 countries in Europe.

The first patient will be recruited during the first half of 2021 and results are expected in 2023.

Ultimovacs currently have a broad clinical development programme, with over 500 patients enrolled in Phase II trials.

Read more in the press release from Ultimovacs

 

Jutta Heix, Head of International Affairs at Oslo Cancer Cluster and Project Manager of the new initiative CONNECT, which 22 public and private partners have joined to accelerate the implementation of precision medicine for Norwegian patients. Photo: Stig Jarnes/Oslo Cancer Cluster

Landmark public-private agreement for precision cancer medicine

Scroll down to read the press release in Norwegian.

While more than 30 000 Norwegians are diagnosed with cancer every year and the incidence is still increasing, more precise treatments can save lives. CONNECT is a new initiative aiming to ensure that precision medicine reaches the patients.

“A serious cancer disease is an existential challenge for the individual. Cancer research gives hope. The pharmaceutical industry and the public health sector, clinicians and executive authorities, have to collaborate to offer new treatments, balancing the latest research with hospital operations,” says Åsmund Flobak, Oncologist at St Olav’s Hospital, Trondheim University Hospital.

The new initiative, called CONNECT (Norwegian Precision Cancer Medicine Implementation Consortium), is a direct response to Health Minister Bent Høie’s political guidance to accelerate the implementation of precision medicine for Norwegian patients. It also responds to the Health Minister’s ambition to increase research and collaboration between public and private actors, including hospitals, other public stakeholders, the Norwegian Cancer Society, and the pharmaceutical industry.

CONNECT is one of four interconnected initiatives that will ensure infrastructure and collaboration on diagnostics, clinical trials, implementation of advanced precision medicine and use of health data e.g. for health economics analysis. This could eventually affect how Nye Metoder (The National System for Managed Introduction of New Health Technologies within the Specialist Health Service in Norway) is adapted for personalized medicine and treatments for small patient groups in cancer.

See the fact boxes about the different initiatives at the bottom of this page.

Precision medicine for the future

Precision medicine, or personalised medicine, is a type of treatment tailored to the individual patient based on individual diagnostic and clinical information. In simple words, it is about giving the right treatment to the right patient at the right time.

“The research front is continuously moving forward. With modern technology, today’s clinicians can analyse specific changes in the cancer of each patient. There are individual changes in a patient’s tumour that can be treated with targeted therapies tailored to every individual patient,” says Bjørn Tore Gjertsen, Director of Research at Haukeland University Hospital, Helse Bergen Health Trust.

“Precision medicine changes healthcare. The implementation of precision medicine requires new types of interactions and partnerships among patients, clinicians, companies, regulators, and payors. CONNECT is a new public-private partnership allowing all stakeholders to jointly address key obstacles and piloting novel solutions,“ says Jutta Heix, Project Manager for CONNECT and Head of International Affairs at Oslo Cancer Cluster.

A nationwide effort towards a common goal

CONNECT is a unique national partnership where the central players join forces to accelerate the implementation of precision medicine.

All six university hospitals in Norway are partners in CONNECT. More than ten leading pharmaceutical companies have joined the initiative so far. As representative for patients, the Norwegian Cancer Society will play a central role.

“We are also having a good dialogue with the Norwegian Directorate of Health, the Norwegian Institute of Public Health and the Norwegian Medicines Agency about participating in CONNECT and contributing with their competency. The Institute of Public Health joins as an observer from the start and the Directorate of Health has expressed an intention to join as an observer as well,” says Kjetil Tasken, Head and Director of the Institute for Cancer Research at Oslo University Hospital.

Karen Marie Ulshagen, Area Director at the Norwegian Medicines Agency, says in a comment that the Medicines Agency supports the project and intends to engage.

“A culture for public-private collaboration is not created through strategic plans, political ambitions or celebratory speeches, but through actions and behaviours that set a new standard. CONNECT is not about money or donating pharmaceuticals. It is the combined expertise of the different players and agencies that will increase the competency essential to ensure the implementation of precision medicine. Novartis is happy to participate, and I think that is true for the other industry players too,” says Lars Petter Strand, Head of Medical, Novartis Oncology Norway. He has worked closely together with representatives from Roche, BMS and Merck in the working group for CONNECT.

CONNECT and the associated public initiatives work towards common goals: giving patients access to medicines they otherwise wouldn’t receive, increasing the precision medicine experience of clinicians and researchers nationwide, generating data and insights important for analysing the outcomes and adopting health technology assessments for these new treatment concepts. Via CONNECT a structured dialogue, information sharing and planning for national precision medicine and diagnostics will be established, with Oslo Cancer Cluster having the coordinating role.

Unique public-private partnership

CONNECT will be an arena for all partners and stakeholders to address important issues and will ensure a balanced, broad, and informed approach and debate.

“This is a concrete and important milestone for public-private collaborations in the health sector and builds on the ambitions from, among other things, HelseOmsorg21. This is a completely new way to work in Norway and I hope it paves the way for more collaborative projects and pilots between private and public players in healthcare,” says Karita Bekkemellem, CEO of Legemiddelindustrien (LMI).

 

Press release in Norwegian:

Inngåelse av historisk offentlig-privat kreftsamarbeid

Mer enn 30 000 nordmenn diagnostiseres med kreft hvert år og antall krefttilfeller øker, mer presis behandling vil kunne redde liv. CONNECT er et nytt initiativ med mål å sørge for at presisjonsmedisin når pasientene.

– Alvorlig kreftsykdom er en eksistensiell utfordring for den enkelte. Kreftforskning er håp. Privat legemiddelindustri og offentlig helsevesen, både behandlere og overordnet byråkrati, må samarbeide for å kunne tilby ny behandling i grenseflaten mellom forskningsfront og sykehusdrift, sier Åsmund Flobak, lege ved Kreftklinikken St Olavs hospital.

Det nye initiativet, som kalles CONNECT, er en direkte respons til helseminister Bent Høies ønske om å akselerere implementering av presisjonsmedisin for norske pasienter. Det svarer også helseministerens ønske om mer forskning, og aktivt samarbeid mellom offentlige og private aktører som blant annet sykehus, andre offentlige interessehavere, Kreftforeningen og legemiddelindustrien.

Avtalen er en del av flere initiativ som vil sikre en infrastruktur og samarbeid for diagnostikk, kliniske studier, implementering av avansert presisjonsmedisin og bruk av helsedata til blant annet helseøkonomiske analyser. Dette vil etter hvert kunne påvirke hvordan systemet for Nye Metoder tilpasses persontilpasset medisin og behandlinger til små pasientgrupper innen kreftområdet.

Se faktaboks om de ulike initiativene nederst i saken.

Presisjonsmedisin for fremtiden

Presisjonsmedisin, eller persontilpasset behandling, er en form for kreftbehandling som er tilpasset spesielt den enkelte pasient. Kort fortalt handler dette om å gi riktig medisin til riktig pasient og til riktig tid.

– Forskningsfronten flytter seg stadig fremover, og med moderne teknologi kan leger i dag undersøke detaljerte forandringer i kreftsvulster hos hver enkelt pasient. Det finnes individuelle forandringer i arvestoffet som kan behandles med målrettede behandlinger som er tilpasset hvert enkelt individs behov sier Bjørn Tore Gjertsen, forskningssjef, Helse Bergen

– Presisjonsmedisin forandrer hele helsetjenesten og krever nye typer samarbeid og partnerskap mellom pasienter, klinikere, selskaper, regulatoriske myndigheter og betalere. CONNECT er et helt nytt offentlig-privat samarbeid som vil gi alle parter felles muligheter for å adressere utfordringer og prøve nye løsninger, sier Jutta Heix, prosjektleder for CONNECT og leder for internasjonal kontakt i Oslo Cancer Cluster.

Samler hele Norge for felles mål

CONNECT er et unikt partnerskap der alle de sentrale aktørene er samlet for å akselerere innføringen av presisjonsmedisin.

Alle seks universitetssykehus i Norge er med som partnere. Over ti ledende legemiddelselskaper har også gått med i initiativet. Som representant for pasientperspektivet er Kreftforeningen sentral.

– Vi har også hatt en god dialog med Helsedirektoratet, Folkehelseinstituttet og Legemiddelverket om å delta i CONNECT og bidra med sin kompetanse. Folkehelseinstituttet kommer inn som observatør fra starten, Helsedirektoratet har uttrykt en intensjon om å være med som observatør i CONNECT, sier Kjetil Tasken, leder for Institutt for Kreftforskning ved Oslo Universitetssykehus.

Karen Marie Ulshagen, Områdedirektør, SLV sier i en kommentar at Legemiddelverket støtter prosjektet og har en intensjon om en nærmere tilknytning dersom det er mulig.

– Kultur for offentlig-privat samhandling skapes ikke ved strategiske planer, politiske ambisjoner eller festtaler, kun gjennom handling og adferd som setter en ny standard. CONNECT handler ikke om penger eller donasjon av legemidler, det er den faglige ekspertisen fra de ulike aktører og instanser som utgjør kompetanseløftet som er essensielt for å sikre innføring av presisjonsmedisin. Novartis er glad for å kunne ta del i dette, og det tror jeg gjelder de andre industriaktørene også, sier Lars Petter Strand, Medisinsk Direktør i Novartis. Han har arbeidet tett sammen med representantene fra firmaene Roche, BMS, Merck i arbeidsgruppen for CONNECT.

Målet er at CONNECT og de underliggende initiativene sammen kan bidra til å gi pasienter tilgang til medisiner som de ikke ellers ville fått, helsepersonell og forskere får unik erfaring med denne type medisiner og diagnostikk, og helsevesenet vil få data og erfaring fra hvordan presisjonsmedisin fungerer og påvirker måten vi i dag regner helseøkonomi. Gjennom CONNECT skal det etableres strukturert dialog, kunnskapsutveksling og planlegging for persontilpasset medisin og diagnostikk hvor Oslo Cancer Cluster vil ha den koordinerende rollen.

Unikt offentlig-privat samarbeid

Alle medlemmer og interessenter vil kunne ta opp saker som er viktige for dem, da målet er at CONNECT blir en arena som sikrer en bred, balansert og informert debatt.

Dette er et konkret og viktig løft for offentlig-privat samarbeid på helsefeltet og bygger videre på ambisjonene fra blant annet HelseOmsorg21-rådet. Det er en helt ny måte å jobbe på i Norge og jeg håper det baner vei for flere samarbeidsprosjekter og piloter mellom private og offentlige helseaktører, sier Karita Bekkemellem, Administrerende direktør i Legemiddelindustrien (LMI).

 

Fact boxes:

InPreD (Infrastructure for Precision Diagnostics) is a national infrastructure for advanced molecular diagnostics that will secure a robust, interactive structure facilitating clinical cancer trials on a national level by providing equal access for patients to advanced diagnostics, state-of-the art competence and technology.
IMPRESS-Norway (Improving public cancer care by implementing Precision medicine in Norway) is a prospective, non-randomized clinical trial evaluating efficacy of commercially available, anti-cancer drugs prescribed for patients with advanced cancer diagnosed with potentially actionable alterations as revealed by standardized molecular diagnostics. IMPRESS-Norway is a nation-wide study and all hospitals with an oncology and / or hematology department will be invited to participate in the study. As of December 2020, 17 Norwegian Hospitals have agreed to join IMPRESs. The study will use a combined umbrella and basket design and a Simon two-stage model of expanding cohorts to follow up potentially effective combinations of biomarker and drug on specific indications. Sampling of biological material will be performed at presentation, during treatment and upon progression. Additional biomarker and translational analyses including whole genome sequencing (WGS) on tumour material and liquid biopsies, identifying mechanisms underlying drug sensitivity versus resistance will be performed.
INSIGHT (Regulatory framework for implementing precision medicine into the Norwegian health care system) will develop an analytic framework for using synthetic control data for evaluating effects of small-scale one-armed clinical trials, as in IMPRESS-Norway. INSIGHT will use the developed control arms and data from IMPRESS-Norway and InPreD to evaluate cost-effectiveness of the PCM-model and suggest new reimbursement scheme that reflects the uncertainty in PCM. Concrete ethical and legal challenges when integrating clinical research as part of standard-of-care e.g. the need for informed consent, access and data sharing, storage of molecular data as part of diagnostic pipeline will also be addressed. Taken together, the project will deliver fundamental knowledge and suggest regulatory changes/models necessary for implementation of PCM.

 

CONNECT Founding Partners:

  • Akershus universitetssykehus HF
  • Helse Bergen HF
  • Helse Stavanger HF
  • Olavs hospital HF
  • Universitetssykehuset Nord-Norge HF
  • Oslo Universitetssykehus med Kreftregisteret og OUH Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • Folkehelseinstituttet
  • Oslo Cancer Cluster SA
  • Kreftforeningen
  • Legemiddelindustrien
  • Roche Norge AS
  • Bristol-Myers Squibb Norway Ltd NUF
  • Novartis Norge AS
  • Merck AB NUF
  • Takeda AS
  • Amgen AB Norge NUF
  • AstraZeneca AS
  • AbbVie AS
  • Bayer AS
  • PubGene AS
  • Pfizer Norge AS
  • NEC Corporation

 

 

Oslo Cancer Cluster’s highlights 2020

Networking events, political meetings, ambitious students, funding for SMEs and expansion of the laboratory… Here is a “pick and mix” of our many news from the past year.

Another year has passed and as we look back on a year filled with both challenges and successes, we are inspired with renewed energy to continue our work in 2021. It is never easy to summarise an entire year in only a few paragraphs, but here is an attempt to present a variety of the many positive experiences, fruitful meetings and engaging activities that Oslo Cancer Cluster has enjoyed.

 

Cancer Crosslinks 2020

The speakers, chairpersons, introducers and organizers of Cancer Crosslinks 2020

The speakers, chairpersons, introducers and organizers of Cancer Crosslinks 2020. Photo: Oslo Cancer Cluster

The year began with the 12th Annual Cancer Crosslinks on 16 January. This year’s topic “Progress in Cancer Care – A tsunami of promises or Game Changing Strategies?” included engaging presentations by leading international and Norwegian experts on the latest advances in immune-oncology. These sparked stimulating discussions between colleagues in the networking breaks. Cancer Crosslinks 2020 was one of the few physical meetings this year and gathered more than 350 delegates from all of Norway and abroad at the Oslo Cancer Cluster Innovation Park.

Please visit the official Cancer Crosslinks website at https://www.cancercrosslinks.com to register for Cancer Crosslinks 2021, which will be presented digitally on 21 January.

 

Oslo Cancer Cluster Incubator developed cell therapy lab

Björn Klem and Janne Nestvold celebrate that the Oslo Cancer Cluster Incubator has been nominated among Europe's 20 best incubators.

Bjørn Klem, general manager, and Janne Nestvold, laboratory manager, at Oslo Cancer Cluster Incubator. Photo: Oslo Cancer Cluster.

Oslo Cancer Cluster (OCC) Incubator invested in the laboratory’s cell therapy infrastructure, thanks to a grant from the Oslo City’s Regional Innovation Programme. Moreover, Radiumhospitalets Legater have kindly donated a valuable instrument, called a Seahorse, which was set up in the OCC Incubator in November, to boost research into cancer cells further. Cell therapies have the potential to cure cancer and turn it into a chronic disease. More research is however needed to document the full potential of cell therapies and the OCC Incubator is happy to facilitate this.

Please visit Oslo Cancer Cluster Incubator’s website to learn more about their facilities and services

 

First-year researchers held poster session

Linnéa M. Skille, May Dagny Kollandsrud Hutchings, Tonje Marie Bjørklund Hopen and Elakhiya Dushyanthan presented their research project at the school’s poster session. Photo: Elisabeth Kirkeng Andersem

Oslo Cancer Cluster has collaborated with Ullern Upper Secondary School for several years to inspire students to pursue careers in science, research and entrepreneurship. In 2019, we launched the research programme in partnership with the school and this year marked the end of its first year. The grand finale was a real poster session, similar to those at large science conferences, where the students presented their research projects to their mentors. We are proud of these talented, ambitious students and delighted to follow their journey onwards.

Please visit our School Collaboration website for more information

 

Oslo Cancer Cluster joined Oslo Science City

Christine Sørbye Wergeland, CEO of Oslo Science City, was delighted to welcome Oslo Cancer Cluster as a new member in June. Photo: Oslo Science City

Oslo Cancer Cluster joined Oslo Science City, the first innovation district in Norway, in June 2020. The district already includes more than 30 000 students, 7 500 researchers, the country’s foremost universities, hospitals and world-class research institutions, as well as more than 300 companies. Now, the aim is to become a world leading innovation district that contributes to research excellence, jobs creation, the green shift and sustainable economic development. Oslo Cancer Cluster is eager to contribute to Oslo Science City to solve the hard problems of the future, such as cancer.

Please visit Oslo Science City’s official website to learn more

 

Ministers met at Oslo Cancer Cluster

Danish Foreign Minister meets with Norwegian Trade Minister at Oslo Cancer Cluster

Ministers Jeppe Kofod and Iselin Nybø met at Oslo Cancer Cluster Innovation Park in August 2020. Photo: The Embassy of Denmark in Norway

Oslo Cancer Cluster was honoured by a visit from the Foreign Minister of Denmark Jeppe Kofod and the Minister for Trade, Industry and Fisheries Iselin Nybø in August 2020. The ministers discussed current topics, such as export, international trade and foreign investments. The ministers also listened to presentations from key representatives from the health industry on the potential of Nordic collaboration on life science and cancer. A central issue was how to reduce the development time of cancer treatments from 10 to 5 years, and to make the Nordics a destination for health innovation.

 

Oslo Cancer Cluster Innovation Park 5-Year Milestone

Five years ago, Prime Minister Erna Solberg was welcomed by Jónas Einarsson, founder of Oslo Cancer Cluster, at the opening of the Oslo Cancer Cluster Innovation Park. Photo: Gunnar Kopperud

This year marked five years of innovation in Oslo Cancer Cluster Innovation Park. The milestone was commemorated with a virtual event that will be live until 31 December 2020. The virtual event includes greetings from Prime Minister Erna Solberg, perspectives from members of Oslo Cancer Cluster, reflections from stakeholders in the Oslo Cancer Cluster Innovation Park and comments from Innovation Norway, SIVA and the Research Council of Norway.

 

Leading the way for precision medicine

Dr. Kjetil Taskén, Dr. Åslaug Helland and Dr. Hege Russnes are part of the enthusiastic team at Oslo University who are behind the national study IMPRESS. Photo: Oslo University Hospital

Dr. Kjetil Taskén, Dr. Åslaug Helland and Dr. Hege Russnes are part of the enthusiastic team at Oslo University behind the national study IMPRESS. Photo: Oslo University Hospital

IMPRESS-Norway, a national clinical study starting in 2021 working towards implementing cancer precision medicine in Norway, was officially announced in October. IMPRESS involves the active support of leading global pharmaceutical companies that will provide the study drugs and contribute with per patient fees. Public funding will help to ensure this innovative study paves the way for more cancer clinical trials in Norway. A new public-private partnership called CONNECT is also being established with Oslo Cancer Cluster as project coordinator. CONNECT will provide an arena for all stakeholders to jointly address key obstacles and to pilot novel solutions to advance the implementation of precision cancer medicine.

 

DIGI-B-CUBE funding for SMEs

The first round of voucher applications by SMEs in the DIGI-B-CUBE project was a success. On 29 August 2020, the successful applicants were announced, with funding support of more than 1,4 million euros to SMEs for fostering cross-sectoral Innovation. Of the 217 applications, 22 SMEs were granted financial support to implement their customized solution innovation ideas with an overall budget of more than 1 million euros, ranging from topics like a sleep apnea test device, to Covid-19 monitoring, to in-vitro cellular immunoassays. In addition, 21 SMEs with an overall budget of more than 400 000 euros will be financially supported by the DIGI-B-CUBE project to implement their prototypes.

Please visit DIGI-B-CUBEs official website to learn more

 

Oslo Cancer Cluster events went digital

The Organising Partners from Europe and North America opened the first virtual version of the International Cancer Cluster Showcase this year.

This year we had to think of new, creative ways to meet and deliver key events in a new format. Here is a selection of this year’s virtual events:

In May, we live-streamed a political meeting on integrating clinical studies in standard patient care in Norway from Oslo, in collaboration with Kreftforeningen, LMI, MSD, AstraZeneca and Janssen.

On 8 June 2020, the 9th International Cancer Cluster Showcase was launched as a virtual event presenting 20 early-stage oncology companies and sparking record-high participation with about 400 registrations.

During Oslo Innovation Week in September 2020, we arranged the virtual event “What does it take to impact innovation?”, with talks from stakeholders who inspire innovation, protect innovation and provide the necessary tools for innovation.

As a long-standing conference supporter of EHiN “E-health in Norway”, we participated in the first-ever fully digital EHiN in several sessions, covering current topics such as gene technology, artificial intelligence and health data.

Please visit the Oslo Cancer Cluster Event Calendar for an overview of all upcoming events.

 

New members announcement

The Oslo Cancer Cluster member wheel gives a glimpse of the membership base, which has grown this year.

During 2020, Oslo Cancer Cluster has welcomed several new members to our organization. We are happy to announce that the following companies have joined us and been introduced to the rest of the cluster: Glaxo-Smith Kline, Hubro Therapeutics, Kaiku Health, Ledidi, Hemispherian, PharmaRelations, Vesteraalens, Adjutec Pharma, K og K and Worldwide Clinical Trials.

Please visit the Oslo Cancer Cluster Member Overview to see all our members and to visit their websites.

 

 

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Oslo Cancer Cluster's member wheel provides a glimpse of our organisation's more than 90 members. Click on "Members" in the menu above to access the full overview and our members' websites.

Top news 2020 from Oslo Cancer Cluster’s members

Despite the challenges with the corona pandemic, several of our members have distinguished themselves with good news and positive updates throughout the year.

The corona pandemic made 2020 a challenging year for many companies, but the health industry showed a remarkable ability to adapt to the new circumstances. For companies running clinical trials, two major challenges have been restricted access to hospitals, which forced a temporary stop to clinical trials in March, and disruptions to the global supply chain.

Healthcare companies have worked tirelessly despite these obstacles. For that reason, we wish to highlight ten of our Norwegian members (in alphabetical order) who caught our attention this year.

Adjutec Pharma

Pål Rongved, Adjutec Pharma.

Pål Rongved, founder of Adjutec Pharma. Photo: UiO/Terje Heiestad

Adjutec Pharma is a Norwegian start-up with a technology called ZinChel against antibiotic multi-resistance, a condition that can become life threatening, especially for cancer patients. This summer, Adjutec Pharma secured exclusive rights to the patents for the ZinChel technology and will raise more money to accelerate development of the drugs in collaboration with researchers at University of Oslo. Adjutec Pharma also received several grants, including NOK 16 million in innovation support from the Norwegian Research Council. The company will now raise 20 million dollars in investments to reach phase II clinical trials, including public and private funding.

BerGenBio

Richard Godfrey, CEO BerGenBio

Richard Godfrey, CEO of BerGenBio. Photo: BerGenBio

The Bergen-based Norwegian clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company that develops AXL kinase inhibitors (a form of cancer immunotherapy) has had a remarkable year. In April, the company was selected as the first to be included in the ACCORD trial, which will test the company’s cancer therapy as a treatment for hospitalised Covid-19 patients. In May, the company raised NOK 500 million in an oversubscribed private placement. The company has also consistently reported positive results from the ongoing phase II trial testing a combination treatment of the AXL kinase inhibitor Bencemtinib and immunotherapy Keytruda on non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients.

Visit BerGenBio’s official website to learn more

Exact Therapeutics

Rafiq Hasan, CEO, EXACT Therapeutics

Rafiq Hasan, CEO of Exact Therapeutics. Photo: Exact Therapeutics

Exact Therapeutics is a clinical-stage Norwegian biotech company developing a technology platform for more targeted cancer treatments, called Acoustic Cluster Therapy. This year, the company changed its name from Phoenix Solutions to Exact Therapeutics and appointed Rafiq Hasan as new CEO. Shortly after, the company was listed on Merkur Market (Oslo Stock Exchange) and its value skyrocketed to nearly NOK 1 billion during the first day of trading. In September, Exact Therapeutics restarted its phase I ACTIVATE study, enrolling the first patient at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London. The study is assessing the safety, tolerability and preliminary efficacy of Acoustic Cluster Therapy in combination with chemotherapy in patients with metastatic colorectal and pancreatic cancer.

Visit Exact Therapeutic’s official website to learn more

Kongsberg Beam Technology

Per Håvard Kleven, founder of Kongsberg Beam Technology

Per Håvard Kleven, founder of Kongsberg Beam Technology. Photo: Oslo Cancer Cluster

Kongsberg Beam Technology has developed a technology that increases the accuracy of proton therapy, a treatment that is more precise than traditional radiotherapy against cancer. This year, the Norwegian Research Council awarded a grant of NOK 23 million in support of the development of this technology. The company has partnered with Semcon to develop the control and monitoring systems, a full-scale prototype for testing, as well as a digital twin of a patient or organ. The experienced CEO Kerstin Jakobsson has also joined Kongsberg Beam Technology during 2020.

Ledidi

Einar Martin Aandahl, founder of Ledidi. Photo: Oslo Cancer Cluster

The Norwegian start-up Ledidi offers a cloud-based software solution that makes sharing of health data easier for researchers. This year, the software was approved for all clinical trials on Covid-19 at Oslo University Hospital. This both simplifies the workflow for medical researchers and makes it possible to share data more securely between clinical institutions and countries. It can also perform complicated statistical analyses on large data sets in a short time frame, which makes it ideal for clinical studies on cancer.

Visit Ledidi’s official website to learn more

NEC OncoImmunity

Dr. Richard Stratford and Dr. Trevor Clancy, founders of OncoImmunity

Richard Stratford and Trevor Clancy, founders of OncoImmunity. Photo: Oslo Cancer Cluster

The Norwegian bioinformatics company NEC OncoImmunity AS offers innovative software based on machine learning. The artificial intelligence (AI) platform the company has developed can identify neoantigens, which are key to unlocking the immune system and combating cancer. NEC OncoImmunity made headlines this year by adapting the company’s AI platform towards the development of blueprints for a corona vaccine. In October, NEC OncoImmunity also teamed up with Oslo University Hospital to develop a diagnostic tool for Covid-19 using AI.

Visit NEC OncoImmunity’s official website to learn more

OncoInvent

OncoInvent

Photo: OncoInvent

OncoInvent is a Norwegian pharmaceutical company developing new innovative radiopharmaceutical products to treat cancer patients. The company was established ten years ago by serial entrepreneurs Roy Larsen and Øyvind Bruland. This year, OncoInvent initiated its first clinical studies: two phase I trials in May and June on ovarian and colorectal cancer with progression to the abdominal cavity. The studies are performed at Oslo University Hospital, which means that Norwegian cancer patients gain access to new and innovative treatments long before the treatments reach the market.

Visit OncoInvent’s official website to learn more

Photocure

Dan Schneider, CEO of Photocure.

Dan Schneider, CEO of Photocure. Photo: Photocure

Photocure is a bladder cancer company with a unique light technology, which was developed in Norway, to better detect cancer cells. In January, Photocure’s groundbreaking technology was highlighted in the LA Fox 11 news programme. The biggest news of the year was when Photocure regained worldwide rights to the product Hexvix. Photocure also secured a European patent for Cevira, a photodynamic drug device against cervical cancer. Photocure then appointed Susanne Strauss as Vice President and General Manager of Europe. Moreover, a global phase III trial of Cevira was initiated by the company’s partner Asieris.

Visit Photocure’s official website to learn more

Ultimovacs

Carlos de Sousa, CEO of Ultimovacs. Photo: Ultimovacs

Ultimovacs is a pharmaceutical company developing novel immunotherapies against cancer. The lead product is a universal vaccine called UV1 that has the potential to be used against most cancer types. This year, Ultimovacs appointed Carlos de Sousa as new CEO of the company. In June, the company recruited the first patients in two new phase II studies called INITIUM and NIPU, which will recruit up to 400 patients with melanoma and mesothelioma respectively. A third phase II clinical trial is in the planning with an unknown large pharmaceutical partner. The purpose of these studies is to confirm the results from the company’s completed phase I trials, which have shown promising survival data for several years now. Last week, Ultimovacs announced five-year survival data for melanoma patients who received UV1 in combination with ipilimumab – 50% of the patients were still alive.

Visit Ultimovacs’ official website to learn more

Vaccibody

Agnete B. Fredriksen, founder of Vaccibody. Photo: Vaccybody

Vaccibody is a Norwegian clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company discovering and developing novel immunotherapies. When the corona pandemic struck, the company quickly expanded its technology platform to include infectious diseases; both a strategy and preclinical results of a vaccine was released last week. In October, Vaccibody signed the largest biotech agreement ever in Norway with Genentech (Roche). The agreement is worth up to 715 million dollars in near term and milestones, in addition to low double-digit tiered royalties on sales of commercialized products. Vaccibody was shortly after listed on Merkur Market (Oslo Stock Exchange). Last but not least, co-founder and owner Agnete B. Fredriksen received the Research Council of Norway’s prestigious Innovation Award in November.

Visit Vaccibody’s official website to learn more

 

Oslo Cancer Cluster has more than 90 members, including Norwegian and international companies, research and financial institutions, university hospitals and organizations – all working in the cancer field. They represent the entire oncology value chain, doing everything from exploratory research to selling therapeutics and diagnostics to global markets.

Please visit our member overview page and click on the logos to access the website of each member.

 

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Øystein Soug, CEO of Targovax, was pleased to announce the new results from the clinical study during a webcast this week. Photo: Targovax

Positive results from Targovax’s skin cancer study

Our member Targovax announced an update from the company’s clinical study on melanoma patients this week.

The clinical study offers Targovax’s medicine ONCOS-102 in combination with the checkpoint inhibitor Keytruda to skin cancer patients with serious disease progression. The patients were all at Stage III and Stage IV at the beginning of the trial and had been through the standard of care. They had no other treatment options after failing anti-PD-1 treatment.

What is anti-PD1 treatment?

PD-1 is a protein that is found on T cells (a type of white blood cell that is part of the immune system) that helps keep the body’s immune responses under control. When PD-1 binds to another protein called PD-L1, which can be found on normal cells and in higher amounts on some cancer cells, it keeps the T cells from destroying cells, including cancer. Some anti-cancer drugs called immune checkpoint inhibitors are used to block PD-1. This releases the brakes on the immune system and increases the ability of T cells to kill cancer cells.

Checkpoint inhibitors have revolutionized the treatment of cancer in the last ten years, but they do not work on all cancer patients. Some patients do not have the right types of T cells for the treatment to work. The oncolytic virus called ONCOS-102 developed by Targovax is a combination product, which tricks the immune system to produce these T cells that can help destroy cancer cells.

3d illustration of a cancer cell and lymphocytes

Illustration of cancer cells under attack from lymphocytes (white blood cells), part of the immune system.

 

Partial or complete responses

According to the newly released data from Targovax, 7 of the 20 patients in the clinical study had partial or complete responses after receiving the combination treatment of the immune checkpoint inhibitor Keytruda and the oncolytic virus ONCOS-102. The patients had overall more than a 30 per cent reduction of their tumours. One patient had a complete response, while the overall response rate was 35 per cent.

Systemic effects

Two patients had a response in non-injected lesions. This means that a response was observed in melanoma lesions that had not been injected with the oncolytic virus. This is what is known as a systemic effect and has not been seen with oncolytic viruses before. Two non-injected lesions had completely disappeared on the patients in the study group.

“These impressive efficacy data in anti-PD1 refractory melanoma are the most important clinical results for Targovax to date,” Øystein Soug, Chief Executive Officer of Targovax, commented.

“The data clearly confirm our hypothesis that ONCOS-102 can benefit cancer patients resistant to checkpoint inhibition by triggering local and systemic immune activation,” Soug continued. “They also provide evidence of clinical efficacy and establishes ONCOS-102 as one of the most promising combination partners to checkpoint inhibitors. We will now carefully analyze the immunological data and are planning for a confirmatory melanoma trial for the ONCOS-102 and checkpoint inhibitor combination.”

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The Norwegian clinical stage biopharmaceutical company BerGenBio develops AXL inhibitors against cancer, which are now being tested to treat Covid-19 patients. Photo: Nils Olav Mevatne/BerGenBio

Cancer drugs being tested to treat Covid-19

Bergenbio image of researchers in the lab

Our member BerGenBio is currently testing the company’s cancer medicine as a potential treatment for Covid-19.

Another one of our members has emerged this year as an active contributor in the fight against the corona pandemic. BerGenBio, a Norwegian clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, is running a clinical trial to assess the safety of the company’s cancer drug to treat Covid-19 patients.

BerGenBio develops novel selective AXL kinase inhibitors, an advanced type of cancer treatment. In cancer, AXL suppresses the body’s immune response to tumours. In many different cancer indications, AXL can be the reason that treatments fail.

BerGenBio’s primary drug candidate is called Bemcentinib and is currently being investigated in several ongoing cancer clinical trials, against both lung cancer and leukaemia.

This year, BerGenBio announced the company will also test the drug as a treatment for hospitalised Covid-19 patients. The phase II study, which will recruit a total of 120 patients hospitalised with Covid-19 at different sites in India and South Africa, recruited its first patient in India this week.

“We are pleased to expand the BGBC020 study to patients in India, where incidences of COVID-19 remain high, following the commencement of dosing in South Africa in October,” Richard Godfrey, Chief Executive Officer of BerGenBio, commented. “There are still no approved therapies for patients hospitalised as a result of COVID-19 infection and we are keen to continue exploring the profile of bemcentinib as a potential treatment.”

Promising solutions from health industry

BerGenBio is one of our many members that have joined the effort against corona this year with their science, technology and knowledge.

Another example is the Norwegian biotechnology company Vaccibody, who have used the company’s cancer vaccine technology to expand their activities to do research into infectious diseases.

Similarly, our member NEC OncoImmunity has adapted the company’s artificial technology platform for improving cancer immunotherapies to design vaccine blueprints against the coronavirus.

Moreover, our member the Norwegian start-up company Ledidi has contributed with a data-sharing software that will be used to increase research collaboration in Oslo University Hospital’s clinical trials on Covid-19.

Several of the larger pharmaceutical companies in our membership base are also in the race to deliver effective vaccines against the coronavirus in 2021.

The corona pandemic has left many sectors of society across the world struggling, but the health industry has proved that it holds promising solutions to a global challenge. Medical innovations and the enthusiasm of researchers continue to shine a positive light at the end of this tunnel.

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Prime Minister Erna Solberg visited PCI Biotech to learn about the PCI technology from researcher Anette Weyergang. Photo: Oslo Cancer Cluster Innovation Park

PDT/PCI application grant 2021

Erna Solberg visits PCI Biotech

Radforsk annually distribute funding to photodynamic therapy and photochemical internalization (PDT/PCI) related research. Application deadline will for 2021 be January 15. Please note that one project will be chosen to receive a larger project grant on 1,25 MNOK per year for 3 years, in this application round.

 

Radforsk has one main call for applications for funding for research projects relating to PDT or PCI each year:

  • The maximum amount that can be applied for per project is NOK 300,000, and the total amount to be awarded for all projects is NOK 1,250,000
  • Funding for a larger project will be announced every other year, 2019, 2021 etc:
    The chosen project will be awarded a total amount of NOK 3,750,000,  NOK 1,250,000 every year for three years without sending new applications
  • All Oslo University Hospital employees can apply for funding
  • The deadline for the call for applications will be 15 January 2021
  • Please see application details here: Guidelines for resources to PDT/PCI related research (English) and Retningslinjer ved tildeling av forskningsmidler (Norwegian)

 

Applications, containing a description of the project, may be sent to:
Bente Prestegård: bp@radforsk.no

If you have received a grant for PDT/PCI projects previously, you must provide a project report with your new application.

 

Background:

The objective for Radforsk is to advance cancer research and contribute to better and more effective diagnoses, treatment, care, and prevention of cancer. Research funding is one of several instruments Radforsk has and uses to reach these goals.

Radforsk’s board of directors has decided that funding will be announced for research projects in the areas photodynamic therapy (PDT) or photochemical internalisation (PCI). This decision is due to a prior agreement involving Photocure from when Radforsk was technology transfer office for the Norwegian Radium Hospital.

The mentors described their diverse roads into science and research to the second-year students at Ullern Upper Secondary School. Photo: Elisabeth Kirkeng Andersen.

Mentor meeting: many roads to reach your goal

The second-year class of the Researcher Programme at Ullern Upper Secondary School has been assigned new mentors for the school year 2020/2021. The first meeting with the mentors was about how the road to becoming a researcher or doctor or other occupation can be diverse and take many different routes.

This article was originally published in Norwegian on our School Collaboration website.

The students in the second year of the Researcher Programme at Ullern Upper Secondary School are used to having mentors guiding them during the school year, and inspiring and challenging them. This year, all the mentors, except for Øyvind Kongstun Arnesen, are new to the students. These are the mentors:

  • Henrik Sveinsson, a physics researcher at the University of Oslo,
  • Steven Ray Wilson, a chemist and professor at the University of Oslo,
  • Janne Nestvold, laboratory manager at Oslo Cancer Cluster Incubator,
  • Severin Langberg, a PhD student in machine learning and cancer at the Norwegian Cancer Registry (absent from this meeting).

The meeting included introductions of all the mentors and a Q&A session.

Henrik Sveinsson

“I was fascinated by the financial crisis in 2008 and how they used math to cover up the fraud in big banks like Lehman Brothers. I applied to Norway’s Business School in Bergen to study economy, but I learnt quickly that I should have gone to the University of Oslo to study social economics, so I did that instead. Coincidentally, I took up a physics course and became very interested in that, and ended up as a physicist.”

Henrik Sveinsson became interested in the financial crisis of 2008, and how math was used to cover up the economic situation in the big banks that led to the crisis. Photo: Elisabeth Kirkeng Andersen.

Henrik Sveinsson became interested in the financial crisis of 2008 and how math was used to cover up what the big banks were doing. Photo: Elisabeth Kirkeng Andersen.

 

Steven Ray Wilson

Steven studied psychology first, but then switched to chemistry, and is today professor at the Institute for Chemistry at the University of Oslo. He and his students work with pharmaceuticals, drugs and doping, and use chemistry to measure concentration levels in the body.

“Chemistry was the core of everything I thought was cool,” he said to the students of the Researcher Programme about why he chose to study chemistry.

Steven is also a musician, has worked professionally as a musician for periods and even won the Norwegian music award “Spellemanspris”. He encourages the students to have a passion besides their jobs. In one of the research projects he leads, they are cultivating mini-organs to faster test the efficacy and side-effects of drugs, as an alternative to animal testing.

Steven Ray Wilson to the left in the image, tells the students about his experiences from a combined life as a researcher and musician. Photo: Elisabeth Kirkeng Andersen

Steven Ray Wilson (to the left) tells the students about his experiences from combining careers in research and music. Photo: Elisabeth Kirkeng Andersen

 

Øyvind Kongstun Arnesen

Øyvind is a doctor by education, has worked as a surgeon and led the cancer vaccine company Ultimovacs. He tells the students that the road to get there was not always straightforward:

“I dropped out of upper secondary school and went for a long time on unemployment activities as a youth. One of the jobs was to clean test tubes in the laboratory at the Dentist School. After a while, I got more fun assignments and even participated in research into fluor in drinking water, among other things. Then, I finished upper secondary school by picking up some courses and worked at Dikemark as an unskilled worker. That was when I decided to study medicine and retook some subjects to be accepted to the medical programme.

“After that, I worked a lot with developing a vaccine against a contagious form of meningitis at the Norwegian Institute for Public Health. I am very proud to have been a part of that because this vaccine now saves hundreds of thousands of people’s lives.”

Janne Nestvold

Janne manages the research laboratory at Oslo Cancer Cluster Incubator and helps biotech start-ups. She has a PhD in immunology and a background as a cancer researcher at the Institute for Cancer Research, and several other places. Before her career in research, she studied social anthropology and worked with drug addicts in Oslo. That was when she became interested in the combination of drugs and psychology and began to study biology.

Image caption: Janne Nestvold today manages the laboratory in Oslo Cancer Cluster Incubator and has a background in both social anthropology and cancer research. Photo: Elisabeth Kirkeng Andersen.

Janne Nestvold today manages the laboratory in Oslo Cancer Cluster Incubator and has a background in both social anthropology and cancer research. Photo: Elisabeth Kirkeng Andersen.

 


Questions & Answers


Steven, what kind of music do you like – besides your own band?

“To play in a band and be creative is in many ways like being a researcher. Miles Davies is my biggest musical hero. He was extremely innovative and a tough guy unafraid to make any mistakes. When the band played something wrong, the point was to use the mistake to make something completely new in the music.

“Making mistakes is more about how you handle them than anything else. It is about being able to use the imperfect creatively, which I always remember in life, both generally and in research.”

 

Øyvind, how was everyday life when you worked as a surgeon?

“When I worked shifts as a surgeon, they would go on for about 27 hours. We would start at 7:00 am in the morning with a meeting, where we would learn something new. Then, we reviewed all the patients scheduled for surgery that day and assigned the tasks and surgeries among ourselves. The shift team got the easiest surgeries, so we could help the surgeons in the emergency room at Oslo University Hospital when seriously injured patients were admitted. If you were lucky, you got to sleep a little during the night.

“Then, it was the next morning. We had another meeting to report what had happened during the shift, and then we were supposed to visit the patients. I refused to do that, because it is not acceptable for the patients that an exhausted, tired doctor comes in to talk with them.”

The students listened intently to all the advice from their new mentors: Steven, Henrik, Øyvind and Janne. Photo: Elisabeth Kirkeng Andersen.

The students listened intently to all the advice from their new mentors: Steven, Henrik, Øyvind and Janne. Photo: Elisabeth Kirkeng Andersen.

 

Janne, how do you get a reliable result when you perform research?

“Preparations make up half the work. I worked a lot with animal testing, which means you must think through everything before the experiment. For example, the accurate dosage for sick animals and healthy animals. It is very expensive to do these experiments, so it is important that everything is set up correctly. Afterwards, you analyse the results in a research group, and then you publish the results. If others cite your research, it spreads in the environment, and has an impact on other research in the same field.”

 

Question for everyone: why do you want to be our mentors?

Janne: “I want you to know that a career in science is an exciting path to take. Every day you are in the middle of everything here at Oslo Cancer Cluster Innovation Park. There are a lot of opportunities here with the Incubator and the Institute for Cancer Research. I want to show you what some of those opportunities are.”

Steven: “It is fun to follow your journeys. As I told you earlier, I have been a mentor for over 40 students so far, and it is like being in a time machine. In a couple of years, you will do academic and professional things that are amazing, so it is fun to participate and observe and help a little in your lives.”

Henrik: “I am not completely sure, but I accepted the offer immediately. It feels important, when I think it through now, to give you an insight into physics and to contribute to the choices you will make.”

Øyvind: “Some of the most fun things I do are to teach, and I can’t decline when I am the Chairman of Oslo Cancer Cluster (jokingly). Honestly, it is fun for me to contribute as your mentor, so that is the reason.”

 

The mentors gathered with one metre distance apart. From left to right: Steven Ray Wilson, Henrik Sveinsson (behind), Øyvind Kongstun Arnesen (in front) and Janne Nestvold. Photo: Elisabeth Kirkeng Andersen.

The mentors gathered with one-metre distance apart. From left to right: Steven Ray Wilson, Henrik Sveinsson (behind), Øyvind Kongstun Arnesen (in front) and Janne Nestvold. Photo: Elisabeth Kirkeng Andersen.

 

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