Memorandum Of Understanding Strengthens European Arm of Global Biosciences Gateway

[USPRwire, Tue Feb 23 2010] The Hamner Institutes at Research Triangle Park has signed a formal Memorandum of Understanding with the Oslo Cancer Cluster in Oslo, Norway, one of the leading cancer clusters in Europe. The goal of the collaboration is to strengthen The Hamner’s Global BioScience Gateway for Translational Research and Business Development, which began with partnerships in China. Through its partnership with the Oslo Cancer Cluster, the expanded Global Biosciences Gateway will now enable companies and comprehensive cancer centers to speed up development of new cancer therapies. The collaboration will create an infrastructure in North Carolina and Oslo for efficient drug discovery, high quality oncology clinical trials, and access to drug safety and regulatory experts that can address regulatory requirements from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the European Medicines Agency (EMEA) and eventually the Chinese State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA).

Specific initiatives of The Hamner-Oslo collaboration will focus on translational research, business development, and training and education. The Hamner will provide access to its wide network of research collaborators including three Comprehensive Cancer Centers located in North Carolina, the Shanghai Center for Disease Control, and Tianjin Institute for Hematology. Training and education will include post-doctoral training in innovative drug safety technologies, business training for entering the U.S. market, and regulatory training for compliance with FDA standards. Oslo will bring its highly regarded research and Phase I resources, and potential future access to its own growing European network of collaborators, which includes Heidelberg, Lund, Toulouse, Barcelona and Madrid.

Additionally, The Hamner Accelerator will facilitate the launch of Norwegian bioscience companies – currently numbering among some of the leading innovators in Europe - entering the U.S. market. The trilateral collaboration among The Hamner, the Oslo Cancer Cluster and China will serve as a vital portal for the pharmaceutical industry to access new discoveries and resources in oncology.

Bjarte Reve, CEO of the Oslo Cancer Cluster, welcomed the initiative: “We passionately believe that this partnership with The Hamner Institutes will enable companies and comprehensive cancer centers to speed development of new cancer therapies through global partnerships. Over the last few years, we have already taken great strides in Europe to bring together such clusters, with concrete results, such as a Phase 1 network and joint EU-IMI submissions. This partnership with The Hamner is a logical next step to forge stronger links with the United States and also to complement our existing initiatives in China.”

William Greenlee, CEO of The Hamner Institutes, expressed his strong enthusiasm for this joint venture: “The partnership with the Oslo Cancer Cluster, a world leader in cancer research and technology development, is a key link in a shared Global Biosciences Gateway and strategy to accelerate the development of new cancer therapeutics worldwide. The ability we now have to identify and capture cutting-edge cancer research in Europe and China will not only benefit patients, but also will be an important driver for business and economic development in our respective countries.”

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The Hamner Institutes for Health Sciences is a nonprofit research organization located in the heart of Research Triangle Park (RTP), NC. For 35 years, scientists at The Hamner have conducted preeminent research in environmental health sciences and chemical risk assessment. The Hamner is now leveraging its heritage to perform traditional GLP and R&D small animal studies to evaluate the safety and efficacy of drugs. The two flagship institutes at The Hamner, the Institute for Drug Safety Sciences and the Institute for Chemical Safety Sciences, build upon this expertise by developing and validating cutting-edge tools for safety assessment. Novel technologies include in silico models for predictive toxicology, in vitro models that utilize human cells or cell lines to evaluate perturbations of cellular responses, and in vivo models to elucidate genes that play a role in susceptibility to drug-induced toxicities. The Hamner continues to grow its campus through global partnerships with academia, industry, and government and remains dedicated to positively impacting public health. For more information, please visit

Oslo Cancer Cluster NCE is a biotech cluster organization that is committed to improving the lives of cancer patients by accelerating the development of new cancer diagnostics and medicines. The cluster gained the status of Norwegian Centre of Expertise in 2007, and long term governmental co-funding. The cluster builds on Norway's unique infrastructure, from biobanks to extensive patient registries, that accelerates translational cancer research. In June 2008, Genome Technology named Oslo (along with North Carolina) as one of the 20 best places for biotech in the world.

Ryal Curtis Richard Hayhurst
MMI Public Relations Schwartz Communications
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