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Conquering Cancer with Cell Therapy

Hear it from the cell therapy experts

Conquering Cancer with Cell Therapy

Published 14 November, 2022

Miltenyi Biotec and ShareLab joins forces to invite the local science community to an afternoon dedicated to Cell Therapy and Immuno-oncology! Take the opportunity and meet experts in the field, network and mingle with like-minded scientists in Oslo. And while your at it, treat yourself with some snacks and bubbles as well.

We welcome you to the ShareLab premises in Oslo Science Park on December 6th 2022.

Reserve a spot HERE.

We are excited to present a fantastic line-up of speakers for this event, just hear us out:

We have invited Group Leader and Principal Investigator Johanna Olweus from the Department of Cancer Immunology, Institute for Cancer Research at Oslo University Hospital to present the pioneering work on new T-cell based concepts for cancer immunotherapy that overcome the major challenge of self-tolerance in cancer. Johanna and her group has a strong translational focus, and Johanna is also in the steering committee for the new Center of Excellence in Oslo: Advanced Center for Cell Therapy.

We are very proud to present Hugh Salter, Chief Scientific Officer at Anocca. Hugh has great experience from the Biopharma industry with previous assignments at AstraZeneca and Moderna Therapeutics. Now he is leading the Scientific development at Anocca, a privately held Swedish biotechnology company founded in 2014 with the mission to establish a unique technology platform for analysis of T-cell biology to unlock the therapeutic potential of T-cell immunity.

Final presentation will be from Head of Clinical Development Lars Moe from ShareLab start-up member Alv B. They say the following about their company and presentation:

"Alv B is a biotech start-up developing immunotherapies for companion animals. One of our current projects is to make immune cell therapy for solid tumors in dogs. The primary focus for Alv B is currently to provide immunotherapy to dog cancer patients with spontaneous solid tumours. We are launching a hybrid phase I, multi-centre clinical trial as soon as we get the licence approval from authorities. A secondary goal for our company is to define possible benefits from our dog patient clinical trials to the advantage of human cancer patients. Spontaneous cancer in dogs share many similarities to human cancers both concerning causation, frequency and therapeutic mechanisms. We will be presenting some of the challenges of immune cell therapy in veterinary medicine and our strategy to develop an autologous dendritic cell vaccine for dogs with mammary carcinoma and soft tissue sarcoma."

 

After the presentations there will be a Q&A session where you can ask your questions to the experts, followed by a networking session with snacks and drinks.

Agenda:

15.00: Meet and greet, refreshments and networking

15.30: Esben A. Nilssen, Managing Partner ShareLab/Martin Schalén, BioPharma Account, Community and Partner Manager Miltenyi Biotec Nordics - Welcome and introduction

15.35: Johanna Olweus, Group Leader and Pricnipal Investigator, Experimental Immunotherapy, Department of Cancer Immunology, Oslo University Hospital

- Exploiting T-cell receptors to access novel classes of targets in cancer immunotherapy

16:00: Hugh Salter, Chief Scientific Officer, Anocca AB

- The Anocca platform for scalable development of TCR-modified T-cell therapies

16.25: Lars Moe, Head of Clinical Development, Alv B AS

- Autologous dendritic cell as adjuvant therapy for malignant mammary carcinomas and soft tissue sarcomas in dogs

16.40: Q&A roundtable discussion

17.00: Drinks, refreshments, networking etc.

 

We are looking forward to meet and network together with you!

//Miltenyi Biotec and ShareLab

This is a research and networking event. We kindly ask additional providers of instrumentation and equipment to not participate in this event as a means to meet potential customers.


About ShareLab

ShareLab is a lab incubator with fully equipped and serviced wet labs for startups and industrial partners, as well as a community of industry experts and biotech entrepreneurs. The laboratory is located at Oslo Science Park amid Norwegian institutions like University of Oslo, Oslo University Hospital, SINTEF, and a range of life science companies. ShareLab is non-profit and will reinvest funds in cutting edge laboratories and industrial knowhow to fuel life science.

Contact

If you would like to know more, you may contact the ShareLab Team via LinkedIn or other social media.

 

 

 

Tor Espen Stav-Noraas News

«Doing a biotech startup is not as scary as…

Tor Espen Stav-Noraas "Don't look before you make the leap"

Doing a biotech startup is not as scary as you think

By Johanne Kloster Ellingsen, published 14 October, 2022

Despite all the planning, brainstorming, risk management and planning some more, entering the start-up space can be a scary step to take. Tor Espen, entrepreneur and father of three, demonstrates through his own example how you can become a life science entrepreneur without putting your personal life at risk. 

Googling major life science companies already in high school, Tor Espen Stav-Noraas knew early on that he wanted to work in the life science industry. After 5 years of molecular biology at the University of Oslo he wanted to make action of his plans, but due to a dried-up job market Tor Espen had to be creative. He started a PhD, which was partially finished after three years. At that point started a new job at Thermo Fisher. Two years of early morning writing sessions followed by a day of work allowed him to finish his thesis while a full-time employee. As his steppingstone into industry, Tor Espen speaks warmly about his time at Thermo Fisher, highlighting the steep learning curve a big company can provide for someone who just entered the workforce. After five years, he was, however, ready to start on his own. “I saw there was a lot of new and exciting opportunities in bioinnovation” he explains, before adding on his motivation for entering the field. “If you want to make a bigger impact as a single individual, I believe your potential is greater in your own company than at a bigger cooperation”, he says, before highlighting how at the latter it can be more challenging to really make a change “both for yourself and for the world”. 

Tor Espen joined ShareLab last September as Lab Lead and Entrepreneur-in-residence (EiR). AsLab Lead, he is involved in managing the day-to-day affairs of the lab, including maintenance, acquiring new equipment and on-boarding of new members. He also gets insight, he explains, into the workings of ShareLab, it being strategic planning, meeting investors or meeting new, potential members. “It’s an invaluable source of advice and networking for a fresh entrepreneur”. In addition to managing affairs on behalf of ShareLab Tor Espen is also an entrepreneur. When hired as an EiR, time was set aside for him to work on his own start-ups, Node Pharma. “One challenge of a joint position is that you have split focus” Tor Espen explains refereeing to his dual role, before quickly adding that in his experience the benefits outweigh the challenges manyfold. “I think it would have been challenging to get where we are today [with Node] in the timeframe that we have without my involvement with ShareLab”. Just one year after establishment, Node Pharma has hired their first employee, secured several rounds of financing, including 16MNOK from The Research Council of Norway just before summer, and is actively working with a range of partners including Oslo University Hospital and Institute for Energy technology. “We have gotten a lot done the past year”.

On a personal level, he also emphasises the reduced risk associated with being hired as EiR compared to being a stand-alone entrepreneur. The shared position provide security allowing him to, for instance, take out paternity leave within the first year of starting up. “The barrier becomes much lower to enter the start-up lifestyle” he explains. 

Tor Espen has two major pieces of advice for aspiring entrepreneurs, to be creative and proactive. “There are often creative solutions to get started” he says, mentioning common hurdles in the first phases of a life-science start-up like financing and getting proof-of-concept. Secondly, he emphasises the importance of proactively reaching out to people, using his own employment at ShareLab as example, where he contacting the team eventually led to employment. He also stresses that bioinnovation as a growing field is gaining a lot of competent people, making today an exciting time to enter the space. “Vocationally I believe you stand stronger after some time in the innovation space”. “The risk is not as high as many makes it out to be” he adds, “and there is a lot of available financing”.

Taking his own advice and having paved his own path in a manner that worked for him, Tor Espen is a glowing example of how thinking outside the box allow him to do everything and then some, safely combining the entrepreneurial lifestyle with a full house at home. 

 

Tor Espen Stav-Noraas


About Node Pharma AS

Node Pharma is a biotech startup based at ShareLab. The company is still in stealth mode, however, the focus is on novel nanoparticles for cancer therapy. The company was founded by Tor Espen Stav-Noraas, Erik Mjåland, and Sigurd Øien-Ødegaard.

About ShareLab

ShareLab is a lab incubator with fully equipped and serviced wet labs for startups and industrial partners, as well as a community of industry experts and biotech entrepreneurs. The laboratory is located at Oslo Science Park amid Norwegian institutions like University of Oslo, Oslo University Hospital, SINTEF, and a range of life science companies. ShareLab is non-profit and will reinvest funds in cutting edge laboratories and industrial knowhow to fuel life science.

Contact

If you would like to know more, you may contact Johanne or the ShareLab Team via LinkedIn or other social media.

 

 

 

News

Epigenetics and Aging

Kalleberg and Age Labs - Epigenetics and how to age like a fine wine

A Canary in a Coal Mine

By Johanne Kloster Ellingsen, published 23 September, 2022

“I do things I’m interested in”, Karl Trygve explains, referring to his diverse, and impressive, resume. His most recent endeavour is using the combined power of biobanks and machine learning to help people stay healthier longer. 

Karl Trygve Kalleberg is one of those people who can operate at a high level in vastly different fields. When doing something he goes all in. As a foodie he takes it to the next level, using his pastime traveling around the globe eating at the best restaurants in the world. This holds true in his professional life as well. As an informatician he has built trading systems for Wall Street, finance systems for DNB and has a long history in data analysis. But computer science is only one side of his professional coin. Karl Trygve is also a medical doctor, with background from two of the major hospitals in Norway, Bergen and Oslo University Hospitals. Being an expert with both computers and people Karl Trygve is in a unique position to bring innovation into the health space. And this is exactly the current aim of his work. Combining his two alter egos as an informatician and physician he is working on what he refers to as not the sexiest of problems – age- and age-related disease.

Almost all disease is age-related, where both frequency and severity of the disease increase with age, he explains. Consequently, the disease becomes more challenging to treat and hence requires more resources. “The best tactic is avoiding getting sick in the first place”, Karl Trygve states. Age-related disease is already a major load on the health care system, and it is only expected to increase in the future as the average Norwegian grows older. “We need to shift more of our focus to make sure healthy people stay healthy. This is what we are trying to do at Age Labs.” He says, referring to the company he is CEO and co-founder of.

An aging population is not unique to Norway, and the domain of aging and preventative medicine is growing internationally. This field has the overarching goal of increasing the “healthspan” rather than, or in addition to, the lifespan of a person. In other words, the field wants to help people stay healthier for longer, and it is in this space Age Labs operates.

Happy aging Karl Trygve 

At Age Labs they are trying to find new biomarkers that can bring new information about what is going on within the cells of the body. Specifically, they are looking at epigenetics. “Research suggests that the body knows it’s getting sick, and so it is trying to adapt by changing the genes expressed” Karl Trygve explains. “Eventually, the body cannot cope with the disease and at this stage you can start to measure damage in the body”. In other words, at this stage the body shows signs of disease. “What is exciting about epigenetics is that, while you can’t do anything about the genes you are born with, the epigenetics of the cell is a function of things you can do something about”, Karl Trygve explains, listing lifestyle choices and medicines as examples of factors of change. If you can catch early on that the epigenetics of the cell is shifting towards a pattern associated with disease, the patient can do something about it before the disease takes hold, he explains. In addition to enabling early detection of disease, epigenetic biomarkers can provide a new way of segmenting patient groups. Epigenetic signatures can look slightly different across patient groups of the same disease. Connection can be made between epigenetic signatures and treatment. “A medicine which isn’t successful for all patients could be beneficial for some”, he says.

Age Labs is in the works of building a biobank of epigenetic data. Today it contains information such as methylation patterns connected to a range of age-related diseases for at least fifty thousand patients around the world, with new profiles being added all the time. Using machine learning they can exploit these data, in combination with other biobanks like gene banks, to unveil biological characteristics and patterns at different disease stages and in different patient groups over time. Based on this, Age Labs is developing tests for early detection of disease, with a test designed for rheumatoid arthritis detection in the works. Within the next two years the hope is that this test is in the market, and that tests for other diseases are under development. “We have a stack of tests we hope to get to market, so we’re taking them one by one.”

While working full time at Age Labs, Karl Trygve still occasionally pokes his head into the hospital. “When working as an entrepreneur you sometimes lose track of why you’re doing what you’re doing” Karl Trygve explains, adding that when working everyday with patients you get a sense of instant gratification as you blatantly see who you’re helping and how you are helping them. Besides working with what interests him, it is important for Karl Trygve that his work is moving the world in the right direction. “The work needs to be meaningful, have application value, and solve a problem for someone”.

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About Age Labs AS

Age Labs is a Norwegian life science company that discovers, develops and commercializes diagnostic tests for the early detection of age-related diseases. The pipeline includes a test for early detection of rheumatoid arthritis, a biological age predictor and a test predicting the severity of COVID-19 infection. Age Labs' service includes developing biomarkers for use in clinical trials and studying epigenetic drug effects.

About ShareLab

ShareLab is a lab incubator with fully equipped and serviced wet labs for startups and industrial partners, as well as a community of industry experts and biotech entrepreneurs. The laboratory is located at Oslo Science Park amid Norwegian institutions like University of Oslo, Oslo University Hospital, SINTEF, and a range of life science companies. ShareLab is non-profit and will reinvest funds in cutting edge laboratories and industrial knowhow to fuel life science.

Contact

If you would like to know more, you may contact Johanne or the ShareLab Team via LinkedIn or other social media.

 

 

 

News

Direction Correction

LST

Caedo Oncology - Direction correction for the immune system

Helping the body’s defence system to find and fight cancer

By Johanne Kloster Ellingsen, published 12 August, 2022

What if one drug alone could not only treat a cancer type, but multiple cancer types more rapidly and with less side effects than the current gold standard? If all things go to plan, that is exactly what Caedo aims to accomplish.

“We are developing antibodies allowing the immune system to recognise cancer cells” Nina Richartz, Senior Scientist at Caedo, explains. She, together with Seham Skah, Research Scientist, and Sittana Mattar, Industrial PhD Candidate, make up the core lab team at Caedo. Caedo is an immuno-oncology company and the first product they are developing is an antibody that recognises and binds the cell surface molecule CD47. CD47 is expressed across all cell types in the body and is essentially signalling “don’t eat me” to the immune system. It is important that cells can signal to the body’s defence mechanisms that they are healthy and should be protected, however, the same mechanism has been found to be used by a range of cancer cell types for immune evasion. By over-expressing CD47, malignant cells can go under the radar of the immune system, which potentiates their development, metastasis, and treatment resistance. At Caedo, they are working on marking the cancer cells for clearance by the immune system. By blocking CD47 on the cancer cell, the “don’t eat me” signal is silenced, and the immune system is activated.

Although Caedo’s antibody, CO-1, is not the only anti-CD47 drug under development, it appears to be unique in its effects. One of the hallmarks of cancer cells is that they have acquired resistance to undergo programmed cell death (PCD). An important and exciting property of CO-1 is that its interaction with CD47 induces PCD of the cancer cells with high efficacy. “We are still in the pre-clinical phase with the effects of treatment still being uncovered.” Nina explains.  “However, we do have good indications that the antibody provides a dual mechanism both targeting cancer cells directly by inducing PCD and by enhancing cancer cell phagocytosis across multiple cancer cell types”.

Getting CO-1 to market could transform the lives of cancer patients. Cancer treatment comes with a range of life quality reducing side-effects. The proposed dual mechanism of the Caedo’s drug could lower the need for co-treatments, consequently decreasing the potential side-effects, and improving the patient’s quality of life during treatment. Moreover, the rapid induction of the response may also result in a shorter treatment window for the patient. Lastly, as over-expression of CD47 is common in several cancer types, multiple patient groups could benefit from the drug. Although still speculative, CO-1 could in short provide a swifter therapy with less side effects across patient groups than current gold standards.

 

  

From left: Seham Skah, Nina Richartz, Sittana Matar 

When asked about life in Caedo, the passion for the field is evident across the scientific team. “You are developing a product that you know can help people, and society in general”, says Seham. All three have backgrounds in academia, and they are quick to emphasise the importance of academic research. However, the potential of knowledge translation in applying the insights gained from study and research to develop something tangible with the power to help people is rewarding, they explain. This aspect was always a badge of pride for Sittana from her days in BigPharma. “Being able to see the products you have worked with on the shelf at the pharmacy is rewarding” she explains.

Life in a small company is varied. The next day does not look like the last, and the team faces new challenges on the frequent. It is important to be flexible and solution oriented, they explain, adding on that the dynamics in the company allows them to develop a broad set of skills and test different facets of their field. Watching the team discuss their work, the passion for the product is evident. “When you’re excited about the product, the challenges become interesting problems to solve.” And it all boils down to the passion for improving patients’ lives. “The bottom line is helping people” Nina finishes.

Two years from now the hope is that Caedo goes into the first clinical trials with CO-1. Potentially they have also started to explore some of their other potential targets, “and we hope we’re a big team by then” Nina smiles.

 

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About Caedo Oncology

Caedo Oncology AS was established by Kjetil Hestdal and Rolf Pettersen in 2020. It is based on research conducted by Hestdal and Pettersen in the late nineties at Oslo University Hospital with the original discovery of CD47 as a programmed cell death inducing pathway. The company is backed by Norwegian specialist investor Sarsia Seed, with the administration and research located at ShareLab, Oslo Science Park.

About CO-01

CO-01 is a monoclonal antibody blocking the SIRPa CD47 interaction by binding to CD47. CD47, a “don't eat me” signal for phagocytic cells, is expressed on the surface of all human solid tumor cells. Interestingly, CO-01's interaction with CD47 also triggers apoptosis of the target cancer cell. The antibody is in preclinical development.

About ShareLab

ShareLab is an incubator with fully equipped and serviced wet labs for startups and industrial partners, as well as a community of industry experts and biotech entrepreneurs. The laboratory is located at Oslo Science Park amid Norwegian institutions like University of Oslo, Oslo University Hospital, SINTEF, and a range of life science companies. ShareLab is non-profit and will reinvest funds in cutting edge laboratories and industrial knowhow to help fuel life science.

Contact

If you would like to know more, you may contact Johanne and the ShareLab Team via LinkedIn or other social media.

 

 

 

News

From big pharma to biotech start-up

LST

Jonas Hallén - From big pharma to biotech start-up

If you want something done, start it yourself

By Johanne Kloster Ellingsen, published 10 June, 2022

With the ambition of treating an autoimmune disease, but struggling to find a company matching his ambitions, Jonas Hallén took matters into his own hands. In collaboration with a colleague, he founded Arxx Therapeutics in 2018, which, just four years later, is approaching its first clinical trial. By giving insight into his world in Arxx, Hallén illustrates the entrepreneurial spirit of getting it done.

Hallén illustrates the entrepreneurial spirit of getting it done

After finishing his PhD, Jonas was planning on going back to the hospital as an MD, however, through the act of fortune he ended up as a medical advisor for a large pharmaceutical company. After over a decade in big pharma, Jonas wanted a change. With the aspiration of working for a smaller biotech firm, but failing to find the right match, he, together with his colleague Riswan Hussain, decided to be the makers of their own fortune. Benefiting from over 30 years of research, Arxx is developing therapies for patients with the autoimmune, fibrotic disease systemic sclerosis based on the monoclonal antibody AX-202.

Every meeting we have serves a clear purpose

As the chief medical and development officer of Arxx, Jonas’s primary responsibilities include managing the pre-clinical and clinical pipeline for drug development, as well as maintaining communication with experts in the field. However, the nature of working in a small start-up makes for a flexible interpretation of what the role entails. “One of the benefits of working in a small company is the liberty of autonomy in your day-to-day work” he explains, which results in a much more flexible and varied work week compared to larger companies. When further asked about the differences between working in big pharma and a biotech start-up, he highlights the efficiency and the fruitfulness of the work put in. Less energy is directed towards internal bureaucratic processes, he explains, “every meeting we have serves a clear purpose”. This results in quicker implementation of decisions made, as less time and energy are spent on internal communication and decision-making across departments. In essence, the work you put down makes a visible impact on the future of the company, he states.

Always have a plan A, a plan B, and a plan C

Despite the intrigue of starting on your own, the task of starting a biotech firm can seem daunting. Jonas has several tips for aspiring entrepreneurs. First, do your homework. Follow the field you’re interested in closely and make connections. “Most people you encounter are nice, so don’t be afraid to reach out”. Ideally through information exchange as “having some questions makes it easier to make a connection”. Second, have a plan. The decisions made in the early stages will follow the company for a long time, so it is important to think potential scenarios through. “Always have a plan A, a plan B, and a plan C”. Thirdly, be flexible and solution oriented. With a small team you will face a varied set of completely new challenges, and so being open minded about the nature of your role is important. However, the absolute key, he says, is working with something you are passionate about, and never giving up. Starting up a business is hard, especially in a field which is as highly regulated as life science and biotech. Being passion driven and resilient will, however, allow you to put in the extra hours it takes to solve what can appear unsolvable resulting in a meaningful, dynamic, and exciting career.

He has taken the wheel of his own career

And it is perhaps this ethos which has allowed Jonas and the small team at Arxx to make important steps towards realising his dream of helping people with a disease where no effective treatment is currently available. The coming year will be an exciting one for Arxx, as AX-202 is approaching phase 1 clinical trials. Fuelled by the passion to make a meaningful difference for a largely overlooked patient group, Arxx serves as an inspiring case study in the possibility for trailblazing entrepreneurship to fulfil ambitions left unattended by larger industry. Hallén is this story. He has taken the wheel of his own career and demonstrates the empowering possibilities of doing so.

 

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About Arxx Therapeutics AS

Arxx was established in 2018 by Jonas Hallén, Rizwan Hussein, Jörg Klingelhöfer based on research conducted at the Danish Cancer Society in Copenhagen. The company is backed by Norwegian specialist investors Sarsia Seed and P53, with the administration located at ShareLab, Oslo Science Park. Øystein Soug, formerly with Algeta and Targovax, is heading Arxx as May 2022.

About AX-202

AX-202 is a monoclonal antibody neutralising the bioactivity of S100A4. S100A4 is a Damage Associated Molecular Pattern protein located inside the cells under physiological conditions. Upon tissue injury or stress, S100A4 is released into the extracellular environment alerting the surrounding cells to danger by engaging with Pattern Recognition Receptors. These receptors in turn trigger a broad repertoire of inflammatory and fibrotic responses including release of inflammatory mediators from macrophages and other immune cells, activation and differentiation of fibroblasts, and attraction of additional immune and stromal cells to the site of injury. Elevated levels of S100A4 are a hallmark of pathological tissue fibrosis and chronic inflammation and is seen in a wide range of diseases.

AX-202 has been shown to effectively ameliorate tissue fibrosis, chronic inflammation and cancer spread in multiple in vivo models

About ShareLab

ShareLab offers fully equipped and serviced wet labs for startups and industrial partners, as well as a community of industry experts and biotech entrepreneurs. The laboratory is located at Oslo Science Park amid Norwegian institutions like University of Oslo, Oslo University Hospital, SINTEF, and a range of life science companies. ShareLab is non-profit and invests all funds in cutting edge laboratories and industrial knowhow to help fuel life science.

Contact

If you would like to know more, you may contact Johanne and the ShareLab Team via LinkedIn or other social media.

 

 

 

News

No plans to ever stop asking ‘why’

LST

Meet Johanne - the staff writer at ShareLab

Whiskey, ‘why's, and a future world of bio

ShareLab Team, published 30 March, 2022

“I was a definitely ‘why’ kid”, Johanne Ellingsen explains. And this curiosity burned all the way down to the ‘why’ of life. In the quest for an answer to her ‘why’, Johanne pursued biology as a natural field of uncovering the mysteries at the root of her curiousness. Her initial interest in the sciences has refined into a focus on biotechnology. Her goal for the future is to aid the development of biobusiness as a tool in solving pressing issues of our time. And in her role as staff writer at ShareLab, she investigates businesses wanting to do just that. 

As the tale of the dancing birds of paradise was told on TV by Sir David Attenborough, Johanne’s fascination for biology was born.

As the tale of the dancing birds of paradise was told on TV by Sir David Attenborough, Johanne’s fascination for biology was born. Throughout her school years many subjects captivated her interest, and at different points in time she wanted to become an IT engineer or study international relations. However, the interest in the system of life lingered and persistently more than all the rest. “One of my favourite exercises in school was to try to explain why some plant or animal looked or acted like it did. What can appear as a random and non-functional part of an organism generally has a logical explanation (although the logic might be somewhat obscure) which is always fun to debate”. However, it was the concept of humans using and manipulating biology to do something we want that was the selling ticket. “I find it extremely fascinating what bright minds can come up with using the toolbox of biology. Whether it be producing beer, meat, a drug or even something as theoretically ambitious as DNA for data storage.”

Johanne is currently finishing a degree in biotechnology at The University of Edinburgh.

The wave of bio-based industry is coming, and the opportunity to join it is one I feel cannot be missed

The field's capability to combine various branches of science was the second major selling point for Johanne. “A primary reason why I chose biotechnology is the interdisciplinary nature of the field. The intersection with computational sciences is an area I am currently exploring in my final year project in which I am evaluating deep learning models for automatic cell segmentation. I also think the field of synthetic biology is very interesting and a space to watch in the future.” Jason Kelly, co-founder of Gingko Bioworks, has stated that the industry of biotech, and more specifically synthetic biology, is now where the informatics industry was in the 1950s. “The wave of bio-based industry is coming, and the opportunity to join it is one I feel cannot be missed.”

...school, time outdoors, and a (cheeky) night out can all be combined

Besides her studies Johanne enjoys exploring Scotland. Having grown up involved in musical theatre, a major appeal of moving to Edinburgh was the thriving cultural scene of the city. Now that Covid is finally easing its grip, the bustling feel of the city is re-emerging. “I do try to sneak in some stand-up or concerts between study-sessions”. She also enjoys spending the weekends outdoors in the natural surroundings of Scotland. They are not always mutually exclusive, however, and school, time outdoors, and a (cheeky) night out can all be combined. “Last week we went on a whiskey distillery tour (and tasting) as a part of a “core skills” course. Consider it one of the benefits of studying biotechnology in Scotland” she smiles.

no plans to ever stop asking ‘why’

After her studies, Johanne is motivated to be involved in innovative ways of utilising knowledge gained through science for problem solving and product development of biobased products. As a member of her generation, she finds it necessary to engage in a field that is actively trying to solve our planet's biggest crisis. “I strongly believe biotechnology will be a key industry in the handling of the climate crisis, in both its root causes and its consequences.” And while she aims to contribute to the answering of many of our most pressing questions as a globalising society, she also has no plans to ever stop asking ‘why’.

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About ShareLab

ShareLab offers fully equipped and serviced wet labs for startups and industrial partners, as well as a community of industry experts and biotech entrepreneurs. The laboratory is located at Oslo Science Park amid Norwegian institutions like University of Oslo, Oslo University Hospital, SINTEF, and a range of life science companies. ShareLab is non-profit and invests all funds in cutting edge laboratories and industrial knowhow to help fuel life science.

Contact

If you would like to know more, you may contact Johanne and the ShareLab Team via LinkedIn or other social media.

 

 

 

News

Sunlight and Skin Health

LST

Sunlight and skin health

Making a Friend out of a Foe

By Johanne Kloster Ellingsen (ShareLab Staff Writer), published March 3, 2022

Most of us have repeatedly been reminded of the importance of protecting our skin from the damaging rays of sunlight. Still, more than 50% of Norwegians over 50 have sun-damaged skin, says Oscar Solér, Managing Director of the Oslo-based start-up 3Skin. At 3Skin they are aiming to flip the script, as they have been developing solutions to reduce phototoxic effects on the skin with the help from the very same agent that damaged the skin in the first place: the sun.

The reasoning behind the name 3Skin is two-fold, Oscar explains. Firstly, the name is after the three founders Ana Maria Solér, Trond Warloe and Qian Peng, all MDs, and experts within the technology the company is built on, so-called photodynamic therapy. Photodynamic therapy is a clinically established modality against a range of cancers, as well as various forms of skin-damage. The founders of 3Skin were heavily involved in developing photodynamic treatments against skin damage at the Oslo University Hospital in the 1990s, setting the stage for its wide-spread applications 30 years later. However, the founders reasoned that the technology could also be used to prevent the formation of the skin damage. 3Skin was born in 2016 and is currently working on developing a sunscreen that, with the help from the sun, does just that.

In short, photodynamic therapy uses a combination of a photosensitising compound and light to specifically attack and kill damaged cells. In the 3Skin’s sunscreen, 5-aminolevulinic acid (5-ALA), a naturally occurring amino acid, is used. Once taken up by the skin cells, 5-ALA forms the photosensitising protoporphyrin-IX which, in a high concentration and upon red light exposure, will induce cell death. Crucially, sun-damaged cells (like cancerous cells) have a higher production of 5-ALA-derived protoporphyrin-IX leading to selective cell death of damaged cells in the skin after light exposure. The damaged cells will then be replaced by new, healthy cells, a process called skin rejuvenation. This process also stimulates collagen production in the lower layer of the skin, increasing skin elasticity.

That leads us to the second reason for the company name, the three biological effects of its sunscreen: protection, rebuilding, and stimulation. Using a low dose of 5-ALA in combination with vitamin D3 and protective agents against damaging sun radiation, the 3Skin’s sunscreen protects against sun, rebuilds the skin with new and healthy cells, and stimulates collagen production. And the ingenious part, the light used to activate 5-ALA-induced protoporphyrin-IX leading to removal of damage cells and induction of collagen production comes from the sun. Thus, enjoying the sun while using the 3Skin’s sunscreen has the happy side-effect of not only preventing photo-damage, but also reducing wrinkles resulting in a skin that appears more youthful.

Having found its own niche within the photodynamic therapy space, the company, now run by Oscar, the son of one of the founders who stumbled into the family business while studying industrial design, is hoping to get a product to the market within the coming years. The vision is to further develop products that prevent, and in the future potentially treat, photodamaged skin. All are while enjoying sunshine. Who said you can’t have the cake and eat it?

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About 3Skin and ShareLab

3Skin is based at ShareLab (Oslo, Norway). ShareLab offers fully equipped and serviced wet labs for startups and industrial partners, as well as a community of industry experts and biotech entrepreneurs. The laboratory is located at Oslo Science Park amid Norwegian institutions like University of Oslo, Oslo University Hospital, SINTEF, and a range of life science companies. ShareLab is non-profit and will reinvest profits in cutting edge laboratories and industrial knowhow to help fuel life science.

 

 

 

 

News

Ledig stilling for studentskribent

LST

Ledig deltidsstilling for student

Vil du skrive om vitenskap og innovasjon?

Published October 26, 2021

ShareLab er en labinkubator for livsvitere i Forskningsparken i Oslo. Laboratoriet huser i dag 28 selskaper med 70 livsvitere og entreprenører som har som mål å skape nye produkter innen diagnostikk, medisin, veterinærmedisin, landbruk og energi.

Vi søker nå etter en skriveglad student med bakgrunn innen biologi, biokjemi, farmasi eller medisin for å skrive artikler og intervjuer for ShareLab. Du bør ha tilbakelagt minst to studieår og skrive flytende norsk og engelsk på høyt nivå. Jobben er timesbetalt og fleksibel. Vi tror omfanget vil være på rundt 3 timer i gjennomsnitt per uke.

Arbeidet vil gi deg trening i å formidle avansert teknologi, utvide ditt nettverk og gi deg innsikt i innovasjon og entreprenørskap innen livsvitenskapene.

Send CV, karakterutskrift og en halv side med en fiktiv artikkel til ShareLab innen 15. november 2021 via LinkedIn. Bruk denne LINK.

News

ShareLab Startup Show ’21

LST

Meet our bioentrepreneurs

ShareLab Startup Show 2021

Published September 27, 2021

COME TO SEE THIS YEAR's LINEUP OF STARTUPS FROM SHARELAB!
• Meet our most experienced founders
• Hear about our plans for the future
• Learn to know our community

Sharelab is a lab community embracing all entrepreneurs developing product in wet labs.  These startups will present:

  • Arxx Therapeutics - anti-S100A4 mabs for treatment of fibrosis
  • Beefutures - digital beehive
  • Caedo Oncology - anti-CD47 mabs for cancer treatment
  • Cenate - Silicon based nanotechnology for next generation batteries
  • CLEXbio - advanced tissue engineering
  • Corticalis - scaffolds for bone regeneration
  • Hemispherian - small molecule targeting brain cancer
  • Inhibio - antifouling technology
  • Marimetrics - aquaculture sensors
  • Norimmun - vaccines for animal health
  • Temogene - aquaculture genetics

Read More

News

A guru never calls himself a guru

LST

New team member at ShareLab

A guru never calls himself a guru

Published September 20, 2021

ShareLab adds Lab Lead and entrepreneur-in-residence to the team

As of this month, the ShareLab team has been expanded with a new member: Tor Espen Stav-Noraas has a PhD in immunology and comes with several years of biotech experience from Thermo Fisher Scientific. He will take a leading role in moving ShareLab’s lab facilities and services to the next level, as well as assume the role of entrepreneur-in-residence.

Says Tor Espen “I love early discovery with a clear perception of the end-product in mind”. Cell therapy was Tor Espen’s key field at Thermo, while academic years were spent studying IL-33 and Notch pathways.

“The combination of his academic and industrial experience will no doubt be of great value to ShareLab members”, comments Esben A. Nilssen, managing partner at ShareLab, before continuing, “he will also help develop ideas into new biotech start-ups as part of his role as an entrepreneur-in-residence”.

We believe Tor Espen is our new biotech guru. Mind you, a guru would never call himself a guru.

Sharelab