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Norway Considering National Biosample Company

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The government of Norway is considering forming a national company to commercialize biomaterials assets from the nation's collection of human samples and related information, Oslo-based Hunt Biosciences said today.

A government task force has suggested creating one company modeled on Hunt, the firm said.

The company provides pharmaceutical and healthcare companies with biomarker discovery and validation services using biosamples, as well as phenotype and environmental data, collected over 25 years from over 250,000 people in the Nord-Trøndelag region.

Hunt said that its strengths for biomedical research are in public health areas such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obstructive lung disease, osteoporosis, and mental health.

The Hunt study includes over 3,000 clinical variables including 800 environmental exposure variables that have been collected since the early 1980s. That resource is part of the Faculty of Medicine at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim and is based in a new National Biobank building.

NTNU Professor and Hunt Chairman Astrid Laegreid said in a statement that Hunt "provides an efficient and accountable vehicle for industry to access data on major disease areas such as type II diabetes, osteoporosis, cancer, cardiovascular, kidney and lung disease, and can lead to the development of new diagnostics and therapeutics for the benefit of both Norwegian and international healthcare systems."

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