Category: AmCham News
Beads for Life: 30 years ago, Norwegian civil engineer, John Ugelstad invented what would later became known as Dynabeads. Several years later, those beads still play a vital role in research, diagnosis and cancer treatment.
Formerly Dynal Biotech and Life Technologies, now a part of the worldwide Thermo Fisher Scientific conglomerate, are one of Norway’s most profitable and leading biotech companies. Quite uniquely for a Norwegian company, approximately 99, 5% of the company’s income comes from export, with the US and the EU the main markets.
Thermo Fisher Scientific is one of Norway’s most profitable and leading biotech companies. Approximately 99.5% of the company’s income comes from export, with their main product — the life-saving Dynabeads—still the backbone of the production.
They produce enough beads to be used in approximately four billion diagnostic analysis globally each year.
Inspired by the invention of magnetic bead-based separation technology, the beads are used frequently as their versatility has proved to be invaluable.
“We normally focuses on three aspects, research; tests and technology as well as immune therapy,” Geir Hetland, CFO, Thermo Fisher Scientific in Norway says.
“One example of what the beads are used for, in terms of immune therapy, is best exemplified by the story of Emily (10), who was suffering from acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a type of cancer affecting children, but didn’t respond to chemotherapy.
“Mostly this treatment is offered to the children when the chemotherapy didn’t work, or the cancer reappears after treatment.
“The method of treatment is based on retracting the patient’s own immune cells, which are subsequently modified to recognize and attach the infected cells when transferred back into the patient’s body.
“The dynabeads plays an absolutely essential in this method,” Hetland says.
Thermo Fisher Scientific, one of Norway’s leading biotech companies, moved in 2016 their management team, production team and parts of the R&D team into the Oslo Cancer Cluster Incubator.
The incubator’s aim to contribute to an increased number of companies are successful with their development of cancer treatments.
“We are delighted to move in here,” Hetland says.
“There are many excellent research projects and researchers in these facilities and the presence of a global and experienced actor is nothing but positive for the continued development. Sharing the same location with other companies committed to R&D can prove vital for growth and innovation,” Hetland says.
Thermo Fisher Scientific has been an AmCham Norway member since 2011.