Norway leading the pack in cancer


With a bold approach, including next-generation DNA sequencing (NGS) and state-of-the-art biobanking systems, Norway is pushing forward personalised cancer treatments in its national health care system. Clinical-quality genome sequencing still isn’t widely used yet, but the country has already begun tracking every patient diagnosed with carcinoma. In mid-February, the Research Council of Norway launched a new programme to couple analysis results with data from health surveys and registers. “The main objective of the programme is to develop research-based knowledge about human health and disease through better use of human biobanks and health data as unique resources,” said Rolf Bergen, who chairs the programme. Norway has a head start in using NGS to look for tumour mutations in the clinic. Projects underway in the UK and elsewhere still use conventional genetic testing, but that might change soon. China’s BGI, the world’s largest genomics centre, has opened its first European Genome Research subsidiary in Copenhagen (Denmark). Kicked off at the beginning of February, the institute is the cornerstone of a collaboration between BGI and top Danish research institutes. “The vision is to create the best facilities in the field for genomics and bioinformatics,” said Thomas Bjønholm from the University of Copenhagen, who wants to begin development on a vaccine against cancer.

Politics / Law


London – The European Medicines Agency (EMA) will publish information about all drugs under review, beginning on March 1. On a monthly basis the company will issue a list disclosing the international non-proprietary name and...

Politics / Law


Brussels – The European Commission has adopted a strategy to set the European economy on a biological base. "Europe needs to make the transition to a post-petroleum economy", said Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science...

Politics / Law


Brusssels/Manila - The acreage of GM crops is on the rise worldwide - even in Europe. Roughly 160 million hectares were planted with biotech crops in 2011, up 8 per cent from 2010, the International Service for the Acquisition of...

Politics / Law


London/Brussels - The exodus of plant biotechnology out of Europe seems to have accelerated. Just three weeks ago, BASF Plant Science announced it would leave Europe as an R&D location for developing its GM plants. But now,...

Politics / Law


Brussels – Predicting the future is often not more than a guessing game. But two signs recently appeared on the horizon which indicate that the biotechnology industry will play a dominant role in the dynamics of EU economics in...



Innsbruck/Brussels - Twelve institutions in seven countries are working together to learn more about how one of the deadliest cancers interacts with its environment. The consortium OPTATIO (OPtimizing TArgets and Therapeutics In...

Tech Review


After years of strong double-digit value growth, the biologics market has recently stuttered, seeing year-on-year growth fall below 10%. As product space grows increasingly crowded, future success will depend on opening up the...

Tech Review


Until a decade ago, the United States was the undisputed leader in bioscience industry development. Global competition within the industry has dramatically increased – fueled in large part by low-cost labor, the speed of...

Politics / Law


London – The EMA has proposed revising its guidelines for biosimilar products. In mid-November the Agency said that the current “conceptual” guidelines – which date back to 2005, when no bio­similar products were marketed in the...

Tech Review


Denmark’s tradition of successful pharmaceutical companies and clinical trials stretches back more than a century, and over the past decade the country has emerged as a major global player in the field of biotech research.Denmark...

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