The BIOTEK2021 programme is the Research Council of Norways most comprehensive research initiative in the field of biotechnology and will run from 2012 through 2021. The programme board has now granted support to five large projects, covering all relevant thematic fields, and are expected to boost the development of commercial biotechnology in Norway.
One of the carefully selected projects is entitled "A national research and innovation platform for personalized cancer medicine", and is led by Ola Myklebost (photo) from the Department of Tumor Biology at OUS.
The Research Council of Norway received 67 application outlines within the closing date of March 15th 2012. 26 of these were modified into final applications within the deadline of May 30th. Five of these have now been granted support:
|Project title||Project leader||Institution|
|The aqua genome project||Kjetill Jacobsen||UiO|
|Enzymatic modification and upgrading of marine polysaccharides||Gudmund Skjåk-Bræk||NTNU|
|Enzyme development for Norwegian biomass - mining Norwegian biodiversity for seizing Norwegian opportunities in the bio-based economy||Vincent Eijsink||UMB|
|A national research and innovation platform for personalized cancer medicine||Ola Myklebost||OUS|
|Sterile salmon by targeting factors involved in germ cell survival: novel vaccination strategies for sustainable fish farming.||Geir Lasse Taranger||Inst. Marine Res.|
The project headed by Ola Myklebost, entitled A national research and innovation platform for personalized cancer medicine, will receive 40 mill. NOK over a period of four years. It represents an extension of the already ongoing project funded by the research council earlier this year (see the project web site).
The main cancer centres in all health regions are partners, as are the universities and the Norwegian Cancre Registry. Important partners in the new project phase is Oslo Cancer Cluster , representing Norwegian and international industries, and the Norwegian biotech and pharma companies Pubgene, Clavis Pharma, BergenBio and Arctic Pharma. Furthermore there is a societal component, including the University of Oslo Ethics Centre, the Biotechnology Advisory Board, and the Norwegian Cancer Society.
The main focus is to establish routines and infrastructure for the large-scale sequencing of all genes in tumor DNA from thousands of patients, identification of mutations by comparison with the sequences from matched patient blood samples, and evaluating the use for guidance of targeted therapies across cancer types. As part of the project a national tumour mutation database will be established. The will connect with the initiative of the Collaboration Group for Medical and Health Research, which has stated this topic as a national priority, and will support an extended network to disseminate and consider clnical use of such genome data.
About BIOTEK 2021:
The BIOTEK21 programme succeeds the Programme on Functional Genomics in Norway (FUGE), which was concluded in 2011. In many ways the current project builds on the strong efforts by OUS under the FUGE programme, which for 10 years funded a strong national infrastructure in genomics and bioinformatics, now maintained as Helse SørØst core facilities, and a number of research projects in cancer genomics.
About the five new projects (in Norwegian): Fem store, næringsrelevante prosjekter i bioteknologi