News

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”.

_________________

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

Sample preparation and real-time PCR

Sample preparation and real-time PCR

VWR hosted a sold-out lab course when they invited to training in “sample preparation and real-time PCR” in ShareLab on September 17th.

It was obvious that ShareLab would be the perfect place to facilitate a lab course with mix of theory and hands-on training including analysis. ShareLab Lab Manager and VWR employee, Inderjit S. Marjara, hosted the full-day course with help from VWR team. Inderjit has over 20 years of experience within biotechnology and lab work. He was enthusiastic after the event:

“Although it takes a lot of effort to host such training, it was all worth it. The best part was the enthusiastic participants, they showed curiosity and asked good questions throughout the event. I soon realized that such training should be offered more often, not only on qPCR and sample handling but also other topics.”

- Inderjit S. Marjara, ShareLab and VWR

Lab course consisted of the whole workflow from taking the sample, through long-term storage, extraction of DNA and qPCR. Followed by a brief section on qPCR analysis. It is more or less an impossible task to cover all this in detail, but active participants and good discussions is key and shows what should be emphasized on.

PS,
Last month’s event was fully booked w/waiting list established. New lab courses are scheduled and will be published later this fall and after Christmas, follow ShareLab newsletter and Facebook page to stay updated.

Sharelab