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Oslo cancer cluster – improving people’s lives

Oslo Cancer Cluster (OCC) is a Norwegian Centre of Expertise (NCE), integrating members from both the life science industry and research institutions. Its goal is to improve the lives of cancer patients by accelerating the development of new cancer diagnostics...

The cluster was established in 2006 as a result of more than 80 years of excellent cancer-related activities in the region, and in June 2007 Oslo Cancer Cluster was awarded NCE (Norwegian Centres of Expertise) status by the Norwegian Government. According to CEO Bjarte Reve, “Norway has a long and outstanding tradition in cancer research and development, and it is this competence and knowledge that Oslo Cancer Cluster builds upon in order to invent innovative treatments against cancer. It is the close cooperative effort between educational institutions, research, government, hospitals, and the business sector that is one reason for this clusters continued success.”

This cooperation goes far beyond Norwegian borders. Oslo Cancer Cluster is open for new members in cancer R&D from all over the world, and has established close cooperation with other cancer research-intensive regions that include cooperation with universities and research centres like Lund in Sweden; Heidelberg in Germany; Tolouse in France – and also North Carolina in the US. OCC also places great emphasis on transfer of knowledge through events – including the September 2010 hosting of the second European Cancer Cluster Partnering Conference. The 2009 event was staged in France with great success (see the website for more information).

Activities in the Pipeline

Oslo Cancer Cluster fuses together cancer research, healthcare infrastructure such as the Cancer Registry and the biobanks, with innovative biotechnology companies. Oslo Cancer Cluster’s member companies are strong in product development with over 50 products in clinical trials, 10% of the overall cancer products in clinical trials worldwide. The cluster has nearly 60 members from the government, research institutions, patient organizations, life sciences industry and hospitals from the whole of Norway and abroad.

Oslo Cancer Cluster has many projects and activities in the pipeline, with member companies excelling even in time of global economic uncertainty. This is spin-offs from Norwegian research, including like Algeta signing an USD 800 million (EUR 560 million) global agreement with Bayer for development and commercialization of Alpharadin for bone metastase, the biggest deal in Norwegian biotec industries. For more information:

Cancer Innovation Park

In order to gain and keep the cutting-edge in cancer research activities, it is critical to maintain a high level of innovation-related activities. In keeping with OCC´s continued dedication to this vision, an agreement was signed in the 3rd quarter of 2009 with the Oslo City Council and the Norwegian Radium Hospital to build a USD 200 million Cancer Innovation Park. Oslo Cancer Cluster Innovation Park is believed to be the largest investment of its kind in Europe. In contrast to other innovation parks, it will also integrate a high school, including the students in the research and the development of the park.

Lance Armstrong with Bjarte Reve during his visit to Oslo in autumn 2009. © OCC/Thomas Barstad Eckhoff