Norway-China Translational Oncology Alliance Formed

Oslo Cancer Cluster (OCC), the leading Norwegian research- and industry oncology cluster and the prestigious Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica (SIMM), part of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, announced on September 15 that  they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU ) aimed at accelerating development and adoption of new cancer therapies for the benefit of patients worldwide.

Overall the collaboration between OCC and SIMM will help create an infrastructure in Shanghai and Oslo for efficient drug discovery combined with high quality oncology clinical trials, and access to both European and Chinese regulatory and safety experts.

The first step is a mutual exchange of students and researchers in oncology between the two organizations. This program is starting immediately with the first Chinese PhD-student already arriving to work in Oslo University Hospital.

The MoU provides also an important gateway for Norwegian biotech companies into China, and a gateway for Chinese biotech companies into Europe. The life sciences week in the Norwegian Pavilion at this year’s World Expo already opened a number of potential opportunities in this area.

“Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica (SIMM) is a world renowned institute and they are currently investigating possible connections between traditional Chinese and western medicines for cancer. Oslo Cancer Cluster is delighted with this agreement, and the possibility to work with such a prestigious Chinese institution in drug development,” says Bjarte Reve, CEO of Oslo Cancer Cluster.

“This MOU also opens a window of opportunity for Norwegian biotech companies to gain access to Chinese drug development and clinical trial resources from one of the foremost institutes in Asia. To give some example of the scale of operations, each year about 100 PhDs graduate from SIMM. This is also the next step in our plans to create a Global Gateway for translational oncology. If we think about drug development in 10 years time I envision a situation whereby a molecule discovered in Norway could be worked on continuously in the US and then China following the time zones. There is no escaping the fact that biotech is global and development and trials need to be done on a worldwide basis. Through these latest moves, we are trying to create the framework for this to happen in oncology”, says Bjarte Reve.

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