SPARK Norway project lays 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 in 2019 admitted to UiO:Life Science’ innovation programme SPARK Norway and will 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 researcher at Insitute of Clinical Medicine, University of Oslo (UiO) and Institute for Surgical Research, Oslo University Hospital (OUS) and is leader 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, has he elucidated how a key signaling molecule in the development of fibrosis. 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 had the opportunity to consult with a mentor with biotech experience, which among other things led us to plan for more aggressive timelines in the project than we had otherwise done. More aggressive timelines meant that all those involved in the project focused better 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. That was where we first met Georg Vo Beiske from HealthCap, which turned out to be crucial in order to start the company and start the work of taking the project from academia to clinical treatment, says Ole Jørgen Kaasbøll.

– It is very gratifying to see that Kassbøll and Attramadal’s project has resulted in financing and the establishment of the company Tribune Therapeutics. Ole has utilized the help SPARK Norway can offer to the full and 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. It was actually Ole himself who initiated the collaboration we now see the result of, when he through SPARK Norway participated in the industry conference NLSDays in 2019 and met Georg Vo Beiske for the first time at a partnering meeting. This is exactly what the SPARK programme is 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
/University of Oslo Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here.