From the left: Emanuele Ostuni, ARTBIO CEO, and Anders Tuv, Managing Director at Radforsk. Photos: ARTBIO and Thomas Ekström/ Radforsk.

What does it take to make it?

Two headshots of men in a collage, black and white image.ARTBIO / Radforsk

What does it take to make it for new biotech companies? We are looking for answers, digging into the legacy and environment surrounding successful start-up companies like ARTBIO.

One of the newest members of Oslo Cancer Cluster is the clinical-stage radiopharmaceutical company ARTBIO. On their webpage, they present the company in these words:

ARTBIO is redefining cancer care by developing a new class of alpha radioligand therapies (ART) and building the ecosystem that maximizes their potential.

We first wrote about ARTBIO in an article presenting the newest members in January. Here, we can read that ARTBIO is shaped by a long-standing scientific legacy with nearly a century of pioneering work in radiation therapy conducted at the University of Oslo and Norway’s Radium Hospital.

What is this legacy all about, and what kind of environment is optimal for successful start-up companies like ARTBIO to grow up in?

The answer appears to be fourfold.

The obvious part: financing

Part of the answer for ARTBIO is the tremendous financing round that raised USD 90 Million in December last year, for progress in the pipeline and isotope technology development for a new class of alpha radioligand therapies. The news of the company raising this amount from private investors made headlines in the Norwegian newspaper E24. How was this possible in today’s slow and skeptical market?

“There are several reasons why we managed to raise one billion NOK in the series A investment. The first one is that ARTBIO is a very attractive investment case with a differentiated technology and pipeline within radio pharmacy, which is a field that is receiving a lot of attention internationally”, said Anders Tuv.

He is Managing Director at Radforsk, an early-stage evergreen fund dedicated to oncology. Radforsk is one of ARTBIO’s founders.

In the latest investment round Boston-based venture capital fund Third Rock Ventures was the main investor, together with an undisclosed healthcare fund and existing seed lead investors F-Prime Capital and Omega Funds, according to a press release from the company.

The crucial part: the right people

“Even though it is crucial to have the right technology as a foundation, it is a must to have the right people and teams. And on that note, we have hit the bull’s eye with ARTBIO”, Tuv said and added:

“The company has been rigged the right way to see it through and succeed with realizing their potential in a global competition.”

Tuv especially mentioned the hiring of ARTBIO CEO Emanuele Ostuni as a key success factor, who was also the first full-time employee. He is described as bright, tenacious, and with a compassionate drive to succeed for patients.

To the question what do you think it will take to get to the next milestone? Ostuni answered:

“Our goals all involve doing things that have not been done before. As such they require creativity, collaboration, and practical optimism.”

Ostuni added:

“We are working to start a phase 1 trial this year. That will require a working technology for P212 isolation and a robust process for manufacturing the therapeutic product. We are also working to create a broader pipeline of programs that addresses patient needs – several of these programs should also move forward this year.”

The historical part: the legacy

So far, we have touched upon the company’s technology, the people, and the financing. What about this long-standing scientific legacy that we started with?

Anders Tuv explained:

“The scientific founders behind ARTBIO are the same people that developed the only alpha-emitting radionuclide treatment on the market so far (Xofigo), the legendary researchers and founders Roy Larsen and Øyvind Bruland.”

Tuv added:

“I think that both the seed round and the series A round in particular have shown that we have worked hard and done many things right with ARTBIO. We got international specialist investors and founding CEO Emanuele involved at a very early stage with Roy Larsen and Øyvind Bruland, and F-Prime and Radforsk have been active investors, building the company and heavily involved from the beginning. We have been thinking globally from the start and extracted talent where they were to be found.”

This is the reason why ARTBIO has offices in Boston, Basel, London, and Oslo.

The part of the environment

Oslo Cancer Cluster Innovation Park and Incubator, and the entire Campus around the Radium Hospital, including Radforsk, offer an environment for companies like ARTBIO to begin their journey, especially in radiopharmacy and precision medicine in cancer.

“We have a strong legacy and a good ecosystem for radiopharmacy in Oslo, including the Radium Hospital and the environment in Oslo Cancer Cluster”, Tuv said, and Ostuni agreed:

“We appreciate the availability of flexible space that is already partially equipped at Oslo Cancer Cluster Incubator – it allowed us to get started quickly when we were building the company.”

“The culture of openness and support at the Radium hospital also made sure that we could establish collaborations with academic groups and progress some programs while at the same time providing educational opportunities for female scientists”, said Ostuni.

So there you have it; the somewhat complex answer to what it takes to make it – at least through the first serious financing rounds.

About ARTBIO and Radforsk

ARTBIO’s approach: Alpha radioligand therapeutics (ARTs) are gaining attention as a promising experimental modality for delivering lethal radioactivity directly to cancer cells. The unique ARTBIO approach selects the optimal alpha-precursor isotope (Pb-212) and tumour-specific targets to create therapeutics with the potential for the highest efficacy and safety. ARTBIO is currently advancing multiple pipeline programs with lead program AB001 first in human trials.

Radforsk is engaged in the commercialisation of cancer research. Our goal is to develop better cancer treatment – for all patients. We invest in and develop infrastructure through Radforsk Innovation and companies through Radforsk Invest. Radforsk Invest is an oncology focused investment fund dedicated to developing immunotherapies, precision medicine and radiopharmaceuticals. The fund has an evergreen structure allowing flexibility and focus on investments that will create long-term value. Radforsk Invest`s model is based on very active ownership as investors and hands-on company builders. Radforsk’s portfolio of companies spans from early start-ups to public companies with products on the global market. For more information, please contact Anders Tuv, Managing Director Radforsk Invest (




The post What does it take to make it? first appeared on Oslo Cancer Cluster.

Meet our new members

Meet the members who recently joined or re-joined our cluster.

A warm welcome to our newest members! Oslo Cancer Cluster’s diverse member base includes university hospitals, research centres, patient organizations, start-ups, biotech and technology companies, global pharma, investors, financial institutions, and service providers. Together, they cover the whole spectrum of oncology, contributing to a unique ecosystem that accelerates the development of innovative cancer treatments. Oslo Cancer Cluster works tirelessly together with our members to enhance the development of novel cancer diagnostics and therapies to improve patients’ lives worldwide.

We are proud to announce that the following companies have recently joined our cluster:




Exact Sciences


Link Medical


We had the opportunity to speak with the companies this week and let them introduce themselves. Read on to learn more about why they joined the cluster, and what they’re currently working on:



ARTBIO is a clinical-stage radiopharmaceutical company redefining cancer care by creating a new class of alpha radioligand therapies (ARTs). Alpha radioligand therapeutics are gaining attention as a promising experimental modality for delivering lethal radioactivity directly to cancer cells. The unique ARTBIO approach selects the optimal alpha-precursor isotope (Pb-212) and tumour-specific targets to create therapeutics with the potential for the highest efficacy and safety. ARTBIO is currently advancing multiple pipeline programs with lead program AB001 first in human trials. ARTBIO is shaped by a long-standing scientific legacy with nearly a century of pioneering work in radiation therapy conducted at the University of Oslo and Norway’s Radium Hospital.

We are excited to be accepted as members of Oslo Cancer Cluster and look forward to collaborating with this rich ecosystem of leading healthcare institutions, researchers, and innovative stakeholders to empower patient-centric advances in cancer care, says Conrad Wüller, Director of strategy and operations




Cody is a Norwegian company developing products, lab equipment and production machinery. With a core competence in mechanical engineering and advanced automation. Cody has extensive experience in developing tailor-made GMP production and packaging solutions for radiopharmaceuticals and other pharmaceuticals. Cody works closely with their customers in the various phases of the development processes to find efficient, robust, and safe production solutions for both the clinical stages and commercial production.

We are excited about the growing number of radiopharmaceutical companies in Norway, and we will do our part in bringing the products to production. Cody has been working in the radio pharma industry since 2011, and we are now looking forward to being a part of Oslo Cancer Cluster, make new connections, and create new opportunities together, says Ken Andre Kihle, CEO



Exact Sciences

Exact Sciences is a provider of cancer screening and diagnostic tests, focusing on cancer prevention, early detection, and personalised treatment. Their invention Cologuard and Oncotype DX (ODX) tests have seen success in various markets. The tests, now available in Norway, received a favourable Single Technology Assessment (STA) from the National Institute of Public Health (FHI) in October 2023. The company awaits the final decision by the Decision Forum (Beslutningsforum) for ODX to be publicly available and reimbursed across all Norwegian Cancer Clinics. ODX predicts chemotherapy benefits, identifying a significant portion of Breast Cancer patients (HR+/HER2-neg) who can avoid unnecessary adjuvant chemotherapy, reducing side effects and improving quality of life.

As a member of Oslo Cancer Cluster, we align with our commitment to enhancing the lives of cancer patients through the accelerated development of new diagnostics and treatments. Our focus on precision medicine and personalized treatment decisions is shared by the Cluster, and we value being a part of the collaborative and innovative environment, says Glenn Gundersen, Country Manager and PhD.



Fortrea is a clinical research organization that specializes in developing treatments for cancer patients. The company has a long history in clinical development and draws on expertise from its predecessors, Covance and Labcorp Drug Development. In July 2023, Fortrea became an independent company and now has a dedicated team of over 2,400 oncology specialists, including 60 medical oncologists. They work with more than 30,000 cancer centers in 90 countries and have experience in over 40 different types of cancer. With their experiences and dedicated team, Fortrea possesses the necessary insights, experience, scale, and processes to expedite the delivery of new treatments to cancer patients.

Fortrea is well-equipped to assist Oslo Cancer Cluster members in advancing their assets through clinical research and onto the next stage of development, thanks to our extensive scale and experience, says Norma Aspajo Vidal, the Director of Business Development


Link Medical

LINK Medical is a leading clinical research organization and regulatory service provider offering a wide range of expertise, flexible services, and innovative technologies for the pharmaceutical and medical device industries across Northern Europe and beyond. LINK Medical was founded in Oslo in 1995, and has over 145 dedicated colleagues in the Nordics, UK, and Germany, with a variety of specialist backgrounds. LINK Medical wants to help Oslo Cance Cluster members with a local presence in their development of cancer treatment and diagnostics. With their long experience in conducting complex clinical trials, and over 90 oncology studies. In addition, Link Medical’s regulatory team has extensive experience with supporting all stages of medical product development.

We are so delighted to once again be a member of Oslo Cancer Cluster, and we look forward to supporting the product development journey of Oslo Cancer Cluster members in their endeavours to help improve the lives of patients. Our vision is to advance health innovations, and we truly believe that LINK Medical continues to play an important role in the eco-system of developing life-saving products, says Sissel Lønning Andresen, CEO.



SurViva is a consultancy firm based in Norway that specializes in providing quality assurance (QA) services and digital quality management systems (eQMS) to clients in the food, pharmaceutical, and medical device industries. They offer customized quality packages to meet the specific needs of individual companies. The company’s goal is to promote activity and value creation in Norway by helping life science companies develop and professionalize their systems and processes. SurViva shares the vision of the Oslo Cancer Cluster to accelerate cancer treatments and diagnostics that improve patients’ lives.

We believe we can contribute to this goal by reducing barriers, saving time and costs for companies, and enabling accelerated development of new cancer treatments, shares Astrid Hilde Myrset, CEO.


The post Meet our new members first appeared on Oslo Cancer Cluster.

The Norwegian delegation at the booth coordinated by OCC at Nordic Life Science Days 2023 in Copenhagen, Denmark

Nordic Life Science Days 2023

This year’s Nordic Life Science Days took place in Copenhagen on 29-30 November.

Since 2015, Oslo Cancer Cluster has coordinated the joint booth Norway for Life Science, promoting the Norwegian healthcare and life science industry. This year together with Norway Health Tech, The Life Science Cluster, Norwegian Smart Care Cluster, Centre for Digital Life Norway, NorTrials, Aleap, Legemiddelindustrien (LMI), Inven2, Innovation Norway, the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Copenhagen and Curida.


The Oslo Cancer Cluster team representing and networking in Copenhagen. From Left: Charlotte Homme, Dave Tippett, Thomas Andersson (Business Development, OCC Incubator), Janne Nestvold (COO, OCC Incubator) and Bente Prestegård.

Our members on stage

Anette Weyergang, CEO at RAB Diagniostics, a new company that works towards making cancer treatment more effective and match the right patient with the right drug. RAB Diagniostics is a part of Oslo Cancer Clusters Incubator accelerator program which provide the project with business development.

 RAB diagnostics Anette Weyergang at Nordic Life Science Days 2023 in Copenhagen

RAB diagnostics CEO Anette Weyergang at Nordic Life Science Days 2023 in Copenhagen.


Weyergang is a pharmacist by education and has spent her career since 2004 in Professor Kristian Berg’s research group at the Institute for Cancer Research.

It was great fun pitching RAB Diagniostics in this environment at NLS days, I wish I had more than 4 minutes on stage to talk about our ongoing mission, which is to help finding the right patients so that we can spare those who are less likely to respond to unnecessary treatments.

Find more information about RAB Diagnostics here


Adam Robertson CEO at Hemispherian, pitching at NLSDays 2023.

Adam Robertson, Chief Scientific Officer at Hemispherian, was thrilled to present at Nordic Life Science days. Hemispherian is an innovative preclinical pharmaceutical company focused on developing a novel class of small molecule drugs.

Presenting at NLS Days was an exciting experience. I am glad that so many participants were able to attend. Being a part of such high calibre pitches is hugely motivating.

Hemispherian is at the forefront of revolutionizing cancer treatment, offering hope and potential solutions for patients facing hard-to-treat cancers, especially glioblastoma. The company will enter clinical development in 2024. Robertson shares that Hemispherian’s drug candidates have shown excellent efficacy including in orthotopic glioblastoma xenograft models, as well as excellent tolerability in several animal models.

Find more information about Hemispherian here



Torbjørn Furuseth, CEO and Co-founder of DoMore Diagnostics.

Torbjørn Furuseth, CEO and co-founder of DoMore! Diagnostics, presented the latest development and new results from tthis years research and projects.

Find more information about DoMore! Diagnostics here


Hanne Lund, Business Development Director at Curida pitching on stage at NLS Days.

Hanne Lund, Business Development Director at Curida, talked about the newest updates from the company in 2023.

Find more information about Curida here




The post Nordic Life Science Days 2023 first appeared on Oslo Cancer Cluster.

Meet the new members from 2021

Image of Oslo Cancer Cluster Innovation Park

Last year, we had the pleasure of welcoming 14 new members to Oslo Cancer Cluster.

In this brief overview, we are proud to introduce the new ensemble of cutting-edge cancer and science-related businesses – and a university.


Bio-Me AS has created a platform for precision microbiome profiling, which takes the vast knowledge of the microbiome to something that can be used in a clinical setting.

Daiichi-Sankyo is a global pharmaceutical company originating from Japan and with European headquarters in Germany. Daiichi-Sankyo has recently also set up a Nordic headquarter in Copenhagen with more than 20 employees.

Oslo Metropolitan University (OsloMet) is working on an exciting initiative to bring artificial intelligence (AI) and product design services together with healthcare and nursing, so that new projects can be launched in the research world.

You can read more about our members Bio-Me AS, Daiichi-Sankyo and OsloMet in this news article from June 2021.


Alv B is developing new immune therapy for solid cancers in cats and dogs. The new therapy will be available both as a supplement to standard treatments as well as a replacement for chemotherapy with strong side effects.

Comunin is a Norwegian start-up that provides a digital platform for smart patient monitoring and support.

Canica is a large, privately-owned investment company operating out of Norway and Switzerland, with core expertise within the fields of business development, retail, brand development and finance. It is focused on creating long-term value and employment.

Do More Diagnostics is a Norwegian start-up on a mission to transform cancer diagnostics with artificial intelligence. The goal is to improve patient care and make drug development more effective by utilizing artificial intelligence to increase the prognostic value of cancer tissue biopsies.

Glycanostics is a start-up company established in 2017 to bring its cancer diagnostics products to the EU and US markets. The company aims for early and more accurate cancer detection to prevent unnecessary biopsies and increase patient survival rate, and their product portfolio includes prostate and breast cancer non-invasive diagnostic kits and technology for glycan biomarker detection.

Hemispherian is an innovative preclinical pharmaceutical company focused on developing a novel class of small molecule drugs. These drugs target the TET2 enzyme as an epigenetic therapy for particularly aggressive cancers.

NordicRWE is a Norwegian Real-world Evidence (RWE) start-up company that has the ambition to be at the forefront of the data-driven drug development process. By tapping into the Nordic health data with its long follow-ups, incomparable completeness, and extensive linking possibilities, NordicRWE is uniquely positioned to be a key player in the forthcoming evolution of the RWE supported drug R&D.

You can read more about NordicRWE in this news article from September.


Norimun is a start-up and part of the OCC Incubator Accelerator programme. The company develops antibodies from the eggs of immunized hens. These IgY antibodies are currently used for passive immunization in aquaculture and livestock, as an alternative and supplement to the body’s own immune system.

Oncosyne is a start-up and part of the OCC Incubator Accelerator programme. The company will develop tests for the patient’s cancer cells and provide information about which treatments the patient will benefit from and which will not be of benefit.

OÜ Antegenes is an Estonian medical technology company founded in 2018. As a registered healthcare service provider of medical genetics, oncology and laboratory services in Estonia, the company uses high-tech polygenic risk score technology to assess a person’s genetic risk of developing cancer.

Randstad Care is dedicated to elevating the quality of talent available to meet the changing resource demands across life sciences organizations. Randstad’s recruiters combine their scientific, pharma and outsourcing expertise with an understanding of individual business needs to deliver the right talent, right away.

You can read more about our members by visiting the Membership Overview and learn about our upcoming events in the Event Calendar