The agreement was signed 19 Desember 2023. From the top left: Guro Bjøntegaard, Managing Director of AstraZeneca Norway, Per Morten Sandset, Professor/Vice-Rector at University of Oslo, Leif Rune Skymoen, CEO of LMI, Idar Kreutzer CEO of NHO, Magnus R. Björsne, CEO BioVentureHub, Christine Wergeland Sørbye, CEO of Oslo Science City, and Ketil Widerberg, General manager of Oslo Cancer Cluster. Photo: LMI

Unique collaboration to build Nordic health industry

A new collaboration agreement between AstraZeneca, Oslo Cancer Cluster, and Oslo Science City aims to strengthen the Nordic health industry by facilitating closer collaboration between researchers, startups, and pharmaceutical companies.

This is a translation of an article in Norwegian, written jointly by Oslo Science City and Oslo Cancer Cluster. The Norwegian version can be read on Oslo Science City’s webpage

The focus on investment in the health industry in Norway gained momentum after Minister of Trade and Industry, Jan Christian Vestre announced at the Norway Life Science conference in February 2023 that the government would develop a roadmap for the health industry.

In June, the health industry was selected as the fourth national export promotion initiative under the export reform “All of Norway Exports.” Two months later, Vestre and Minister of Health and Care Services Ingvild Kjerkol presented the roadmap, outlining 41 measures and 12 focus areas aimed at the sector developing drugs, medical devices, and digital tools.

Ahead of this year’s Norway Life Science conference, the Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, Oslo Cancer Cluster, and the innovation district Oslo Science City are following up with a collaboration agreement to strengthen contacts and cooperation between Norwegian and Swedish research and innovation environments. The agreement will facilitate Norwegian startups’ access to residency at AstraZeneca’s innovation hub, BioVentureHub, in Gothenburg. Simultaneously, Swedish companies will have the opportunity to reside at Oslo Cancer Cluster and collaborate closely with their environments in cancer and precision medicine, as well as the outstanding research groups from the Radium Hospital, part of Oslo University Hospital, and the University of Oslo, which are gathered in Oslo Science City.

“It is important for AstraZeneca to contribute to the success of new startups and to strengthen the entire Nordic health industry. Therefore, we are very happy to participate in this collaboration, which will benefit all parties and build the Nordic region`s position internationally as a leading region in health and life sciences.” Guro Bjøntegaard, Managing Director of AstraZeneca Norway.


Industrial expertise and international connections

BioVentureHub was established in 2014 as an open and internationally oriented innovation ecosystem based on a public-private partnership model. Here, promising startups and research groups in Life Sciences can access office and laboratory space close to AstraZeneca’s strong professional communities and advanced research infrastructure.

Overview of building blocks at night

AstraZeneca BioVentureHub is a not-for-profit innovation hub offering an inside track to AstraZeneca’s scientific expertise and facilities, for academic groups and small and medium-sized enterprises. It is integrated at the heart of AstraZeneca’s R&D center, in the new emerging life science ecosystem, in Gothenburg. Photo: AstraZeneca

“For our company, it is crucial to maintain close contact with the companies and knowledge communities that contribute to pushing the knowledge frontier in the fields we work in. Some of these companies and environments end up entering formal collaborations with AstraZeneca, but the most important purpose of BioVentureHub is to create a professional meeting place for creativity and innovation,” said Bjøntegaard.

From the Norwegian side, Oslo Cancer Cluster will have the role of identifying the companies that are offered residency in BioVentureHub. General manager Ketil Widerberg points out that promising Norwegian startups often lack industrial expertise and an important link to the international market:

“International collaboration is essential to scale up Norwegian startups. BioVentureHub can connect our start-ups to international value chains, and it is only a short train ride from Oslo. I think that will be quite effective!” Ketil Widerberg, Oslo Cancer Cluster


Lifting the entire Nordic region

The parties to the agreement also want to involve Innovation Norway, whereby Norwegian companies staying at BioVentureHub can apply for support during their residency. In the long term, the goal is also to involve Vinnova, Innovation Norway’s Swedish sister organization, in the collaboration.

“Health technology is an important Norwegian export industry, and at Innovation Norway, we encourage this type of broad Nordic collaboration between industry, startups, and research environments. By building stronger collaboration between the governmental agencies responsible for grants and support in the Nordic countries, we can contribute to lifting the entire Nordic region.” Håkon Haugli, CEO of Innovation Norway.

Over several decades, Norway has invested significant public funds in health research, but Christine Wergeland Sørbye, Managing Director of Oslo Science City, points out that several analyses show that we have been less successful than other countries in using this research to develop new companies.

“There is great potential here for business development that will both create new jobs and benefit Norwegian patients in the form of new medicines and treatments.” Christine Wergeland Sørbye, Oslo Science City

“By strengthening the collaboration between research and business across Nordic borders, we shall realize this potential,” says Wergeland Sørbye.

The post Unique collaboration to build Nordic health industry first appeared on Oslo Cancer Cluster.

On 25 January, around 300 people participated in scientific sessions during the 16th edition of the conference Cancer Crosslinks, themed “Bridging innovations to improve clinical outcomes for cancer patients”. All photos: Margit Selsjord/ Oslo Cancer Cluster 

A peak into Cancer Crosslinks

World-leading translational cancer research entered Oslo Cancer Cluster Innovation Park during this one-day conference and created a buzz.

Once a year, the Kaare Norum auditorium is filled with cancer experts, researchers, clinicians, and students. Numerous questions arose from an engaged audience during the scientific presentations and in the mingling areas during the breaks.

The best way of experiencing Cancer Crosslinks, meeting fellow cancer professionals, and exchanging experiences, was of course to participate in person. If you were prevented from attending, we have made this accessible picture special of the day.

Oslo Cancer Cluster EU advisor Marine Jeanmougin during one of the breaks.

“The Cancer Crosslinks educational series aims to make the latest translational research in Oncology and Haematology accessible to Norwegian researchers and clinicians. It is such a privilege to contribute to shaping the scientific programme and to dialogue with world-leading experts.”

Marine Jeanmougin, Oslo Cancer Cluster’s EU advisor and part of the scientific Cancer Crosslinks 2024 team.


Prof. Sonja Loges from Heidelberg University was the keynote speaker. She gave the audience an overview of the personalized oncology landscape in Germany, among other interesting topics.

On 25 January, around 300 people participated in scientific sessions during the 16th edition of the conference Cancer Crosslinks, themed “Bridging innovations to improve clinical outcomes for cancer patients”.

This edition covered a range of topics, including targeted treatments and immunotherapies, the role of new technologies in oncology, and the impact of tumour heterogeneity on clinical outcome.

Dr. Leo Rasche from University Hospital Würzburg was one of the speakers at Cancer Crosslinks 2024. He also participated actively in the audience.

The audience gained insights, for instance into how the composition of the microbiome can affect response to immunotherapy, and in the case of myeloma; how a single dormant cancer cell can cause a patient to relapse after 10 years of remission. Participants also got an overview of the personalized oncology landscape in Germany and heard how AI-driven innovations can change the way clinical studies are run.

Dr. Lisa Derosa from Institut Gustave Roussy and moderator Dr. Marte Grønli Cameron from Sørlandet Hospital on stage during the event.


Be part of the buzzing conversation next year. We are already planning for Cancer Crosslinks 2025!


There will be a new opportunity to be present in person next January when we arrange the 17th Cancer Crosslinks during the 10th anniversary of Oslo Cancer Cluster Innovation Park.

Oslo Cancer Cluster team member Charlotte Wu Homme opening the day

Speaker Prof. Mihaela van der Schaar

Speaker Dr Raza Ali

Moderators Dr Fredrik Schjesvold and Dr Katrin Kleinmanns with speaker Dr Leo Rasche

Cancer Crosslinks 2024 participants mingling


Oslo Cancer Cluster team member Dave Tippett mingling with participants

Moderators Dr Marte Grønlie Cameron and Dr Vilde Drageset Haakensen

Oslo Cancer Cluster team member Bente Prestegård in conversation with participants

The post A peak into Cancer Crosslinks first appeared on Oslo Cancer Cluster.

Bristol Myers Squibb and Daiichi-Sankyo sponsor this years Cancer Crosslinks, an networking event and platform for exchange of knowledge and research. Photo: Fartein Rudjord.

Making Cancer Crosslinks possible

Meet the sponsors behind Cancer Crosslinks 2024: Bristol Myers Squibb and Daiichi-Sankyo.

Cancer Crosslinks 2024, the sixteenth edition of the annual cancer conference, is scheduled for Thursday, January 25, at the Oslo Cancer Cluster Innovation Park. It is a free event, open to all, and will be presented both on-site and digitally.

This educational meeting, organized by Oslo Cancer Cluster in collaboration with Bristol Myers Squibb, serves as a pivotal platform for collaboration and knowledge exchange in the field of cancer research and treatment.

To register and access the programme, please visit the Cancer Crosslinks event website.

Inspirational kick-offs

Charlotte Wu Homme, Oslo Cancer Cluster head of membership and events, is happy for the contributions to Cancer Crosslinks 2024 and expresses gratitude to the collective efforts of speakers, moderators, sponsors, and the wider Oslo Cancer Cluster membership and oncology ecosystem.

Charlotte Wu Homme. Photo: Stig Jarnes.

Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS) is the event’s co-founder and continues to play a crucial role. The company emphasizes the importance of events like Cancer Crosslinks, considering them inspirational kick-offs for the scientific milieu in Norway. BMS’s commitment aligns with the broad scientific innovations discussed at the conference, reflecting their dedication to breakthrough medicines and global patient impact.

man in black and white photo

Ali Areffard. Photo: Ilja C. Hendel.

Ali Areffard, Disease Area Head Oncology & Hematology at Bristol Myers Squibb Norway, emphasizes the company’s broad interest in significant scientific innovations.

We are continually seeking to launch breakthrough medicines to reach more patients around the world. Ali Areffard

He highlights the relevance of all topics on the programme for their industry, academia, and public healthcare organizations.

A crucial platform

Daiichi-Sankyo proudly co-sponsors Cancer Crosslinks 2024, recognizing its 16-year tradition of delivering high-level scientific and clinical content. The company views the event as a crucial platform for bringing together international and national researchers at the forefront of cancer research. Daiichi-Sankyo emphasizes the importance of such arenas in driving translational and clinical research collaborations to advance innovative cancer treatments.

Georg Lindefjeld, Medical Advisor Oncology at Daiichi-Sankyo, expresses high interest in various aspects of the conference programme. Particularly relevant to their work in developing Antibody-Drug Conjugates (ADCs), Lindefjeld highlights the significance of up-to-date diagnostics, AI-supported precision medicine, and overcoming tumour resistance.

Georg Lindefjeld. Photo

For our company developing ADCs and cooperating with AstraZeneca and Merck/MSD to bring our new products to market, the tumour diagnostic relevance of our products, overcoming tumour resistance to treatment and combination synergies with immunotherapy in frontline settings are of high interest to us. Georg Lindefjeld


A day of innovative research

Marine Jeanmougin, Oslo Cancer Cluster’s lead EU advisor, is part of the scientific Cancer Crosslinks 2024 team. She is looking forward to an edition that features leading experts from the EU, UK, and USA, and prominent moderators from Norway, to discuss the latest advances in Precision Oncology & Immunotherapies.

Marine Jeanmougin, lead EU affairs. Photo: Margit Selsjord.

Expect a day filled with innovative research and clinical insights, at the forefront of oncology and haematology, says Jeanmougin

Opportunity for networking

Cancer Crosslinks has evolved into a leading forum, uniting oncologists, haematologists, translational researchers, healthcare providers, regulatory experts, and industry representatives. The conference fosters interactions between researchers and clinicians, encouraging translational and clinical research collaborations to propel innovative cancer treatments.

Both BMS and Daiichi-Sankyo express enthusiasm for the upcoming event, looking forward to the distinguished program, speaker panels, and informal interactions. BMS sees the event as an opportunity for networking and creating synergies going into 2024, while Daiichi-Sankyo anticipates engaging with researchers and clinicians that could lead to new collaborations and projects.

More about the speakers in the article Cancer Crosslinks 2024: meet the speakers


The post Making Cancer Crosslinks possible 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.