Norway at Bio 2010

Norwegian companies in the Scandinavian Pavilion at premier Biotech Conference

John Erik Stacy, Norwegian American Weekly, May 28, 2010

Photo: John Erik Stacy

Photo: John Erik Stacy

“Bio” is the simple title adorning the premier conference for the biotech industry. This year the conference was held in Chicago in the first week of May and attracted thousands of delegates and exhibitors from nations around the world. Norway was represented under the auspices of the Scandinavian Pavilion with a large roster of companies and organizations. The Bio Conference is an opportunity to seek customers, build connections and learn about directions in the industry. Participants can schedule direct meetings between company representatives as well as present their company through demos, talks and displays on the exhibition floor.

The Scandinavian Pavilion consolidated the exhibition resources of biotech groups from Norway along side like-minded exhibitors from Sweden, Denmark and Finland. Innovation Norway’s Knut Larsen organized Norwegian participation in the pavilion (as he has now for several years running). Knut works closely with Susanne Werner of Oslo Teknopol as well as Jonas Einarsson of the Oslo Cancer Cluster to bring together the displays of individual companies under a unified theme. Stylistically, the pavilion is tastefully Scandinavian, with a marine coastal image on its elevated banner and simple, sleek lines in the exhibition furnishings. The effect is a welcoming venue occupying about 1000 sq ft that is notable even on the vast exhibition floor of the Bio conference.

ABBA’s “Money, Money, Money!” boomed from the pavilion on the final full day of the conference, attracting Bio mavens to gather round in front of a talented cover band to rub shoulders and boogie with their Scandinavian counterparts. The live ABBA music promo stunt came hot on the heals of a serious presentation on “bio-banking” by Prof. Kristian Hveem of HUNT Biosciences. Biobanking is the archiving of materials and data that can be used in epidemiological studies as well as in studies to elucidate disease causes and identify drug targets. Hveem eloquently described the HUNT Databank that stores whole blood and DNA from 200,000 individuals.

Some of the Norwegian organizations represented at Bio this year were: BergenBIO AS – interfering RNA technologies; Bergen TTO – technology transfer; BMI – consultants to biotech startups; Biomolex radionuclide detection and imaging; Birkeland Innovasjon – developers of intellectual property rights; DiaGenic – advanced diagnostic systems; Genetic Analysis – screening systems for intestinal microbiota; HUNT Biosciences – data and biobank; iSentio bacterial diagnostics from mixed DNA sequences; Lytix Biopharma – peptides for therapy in cancer and infectious disease; MedCoast Scandinavia – Norwegian/Swedish networking organization; Medinnova – consultants to life science business development;  Norwegian Institute of Public Health – biopharmaceutical production; Oslo Cancer Cluster – umbrella organization facilitating development in member companies; PCI biotech – cancer therapies using photo-dynamic drug delivery; Photocure – photo-dynamic therapy systems; PubGene –search engine and data processing for life-sciences; siRNAsense interfering RNA therapeutics; Stricent – consultants on regulatory issues; Vaccibody – “enhanced” vaccine technology; UniTargetingResearch – technologies for protein production in mammalian cells.

This article was originally published in the May 28, 2010 issue of the Norwegian American Weekly. For more information about the Norwegian American Weekly or to subscribe, call us toll free (800) 305-0217 or email

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