The Oslo Cancer Cluster (OCC) and the Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica (SIMM), part of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, signed an agreement aimed at accelerating development and adoption of new cancer therapies.
The aim of the collaboration is to help create an infrastructure in Shanghai and Oslo for efficient drug discovery, combined with high quality oncology clinical trials, and access to European and Chinese regulatory and safety experts.
The first step in the process is an exchange of students and researchers in oncology between the two organisations. This programme is starting immediately with the first Chinese PhD student arriving to work in Oslo University Hospital.
The agreement will also provide 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 has already opened up a number of potential opportunities in this area.
“SIMM is a world renowned institute and it is 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 agreement 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,” Reve added.
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,” Reve said.