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.


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.


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.

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

Website: https://ebdgroup.knect365.com/bioeurope-spring/

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.