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SPARK Norway project lays the foundation for a new biotech company

Recently the new biotech company Tribune Therapeutics was established based on research conducted by Ole Jørgen Kaasbøll and Håvard Attramadal. Ole Jørgen Kaasbøll was admitted to UiO:Life Science’ innovation programme SPARK Norway in 2019 and will now assume the role of Chief Scientific Officer in the new company where Georg Vo Beiske, HealthCap has been appointed Chief Executive Officer. Tribune Therapeutics aims to develop a treatment for fibrosis.

Bildet kan inneholde: jobb, forskning.
Håvard Attramadal (left) and Ole Jørgen Kaasbøll (right). Photo: Piritta Nyberg, Oslo University Hospital.

Kaasbøll is a researcher at Insitute of Clinical Medicine, University of Oslo (UiO) and Institute for Surgical Research, Oslo University Hospital (OUS) and is leading of the SPARK Norway project «A biologic therapeutic for pulmonary fibrosis». Together with Håvard Attramadal, also from Insitute of Clinical Medicine, University of Oslo (UiO) and Institute for Surgical Research, Oslo University Hospital (OUS) and team member of the SPARK Norway project, he has elucidated how a key signaling molecule in the development of fibrosis is activated. By using this insight, they have designed and produced new molecules that can treat fibrosis in the body's organs. The results of their research will now be commercialized through the newly established fibrosis company. The tech transfer office Inven2, which is owned by UiO and OUS, has negotiated the license agreement for the company.

- In SPARK Norway, we got the opportunity to engage with a mentor that has extensive biotech experience. Among other things, this led us to plan for more aggressive timelines in the project than we first anticipated. More aggressive timelines made everyone involved in the project more focused  on the implementation. For our project, it was also very important that SPARK Norway facilitated our participation in an industry conference, NLSDays, where we had the opportunity to make contact and get feedback from both Big Pharma representatives and early-stage venture capital funds. Here we met Georg Vo Beiske from HealthCap, which turned out to be crucial in order to establish the company and start the work of developing the project from an academic setting to clinical use, says Ole Jørgen Kaasbøll.

- It is very rewarding to see that Kassbøll and Attramadal's project has resulted in establishment of the company Tribune Therapeutics. Ole has utilized the help SPARK Norway can offer to the full and he has in a remarkable way developed the innovation potential in his research. It is stimulating to see what a brilliant researcher, like Ole, can achieve with help and advice from experts with relevant innovation and industry experience. This is exactly what the SPARK programme is all about, says Morten Egeberg, leader of SPARK Norway.

The largest investors behind the newly established company are HealthCap and Novo Seeds. Read the press release Tribune Therapeutics Launches to Develop Novel Medicines Targeting a Wide Range of Fibrotic Diseases (PR Newswire)

SPARK Norway

The innovation programme is led by UiO:Life Science and will contribute to the further development of ideas in health-related life sciences for the benefit of patients and society.  The innovation program is two years and aims to get more innovation out of basic research. The projects in the innovation programme receive advice and guidance from mentors as well as milestone-based funding. Read more about SPARK Norway

Published June 3, 2021 1:50 PM - Last modified June 3, 2021 3:37 PM