We want to transform unique innovations and technologies into excellent businesses in the health care sector.



Birk Venture guest in “Podcast Radium”, discussing investments in the Norwegian biotech sector
Targovax announces encouraging top line two-year survival data from TG01 clinical trial in resected pancreatic cancer patients




The company
Birk Venture is a privately held Norwegian based Investment Company exclusively focusing on the life science sector. The company was founded by Hans Ivar Robinson in 2010. Our vision is to transform unique innovations and technologies into excellent businesses in the health care sector. We offer capital to young companies with significant growth prospects, and we take an active role in the development of our early stage investments.  Our approach is always to take a long term view in our strategic investment decisions which are based on broad industrial experience from the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry.


 –  Why life science? The accelerating need for health care services is met by tremendous efforts in research and development from both the governmental and private sectors. New innovative technologies in life science are being developed with high speed. People with medical and health care needs will increasingly benefit from new and improved treatment options. New treatment options create improved quality of life and reduced mortality for people around the world. Our focus is to identify great entrepreneurs and companies with unique technologies with the potential to bring new important health care products to the life science market. By partnering up with entrepreneurs as well as co-investors, we can exploit the market potential offered by new technologies.

How we invest

Birk Venture is a private evergreen investment company with a long term and flexible investment approach. We can invest in life science companies both in early stage as well as companies in more developed stage.

We want to build a diversified portfolio of companies in the life science sector. There are some important characteristics and elements that needs to be in place before we invest in a company:

  • Innovative technology addressing a clear global medical need.
  • The technology or product has achieved proof of concept and/or has a strong acceptance in the international scientific environment.
  • Management and Founders represent an excellent platform for development and commercialization of the technology or company.
  • A robust financial plan among investors in order to secure medium to long term funding.

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bullet1 Pharmaceuticals
bullet2 Biotechnology
bullet3 Diagnostics
bullet4 Medical devices and instruments
bullet5 Consumer Health


Birk Venture has a rich deal flow. Our deal flow is coming from various sources such as Universities, start-ups or spin-offs from private sector and from co-investors (Private Investment Consortium).

Who we are

Hans Ivar Robinson


Hans Ivar Robinson has 25 years professional experience in the pharmaceutical and biotech industry including 7 years with capital investments in the life science sector. He has held several leading international positions in AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Pronova Biopharma and several chairman and non-executive positions in smaller biotech companies. His experience covers a broad specter in the pharmaceutical and biotech industry. This includes top management, marketing, sales, business development, licensing, regulatory affairs and broad experience in start-up and development of biotech companies from early pre-clincal to clinical stages. He has extensive experience working with investors and investment banks including capital raising, private placements, mergers and IPOs. He founded Birk Venture in 2010 and holds a M.Sc. from Norwegian School of Economics (NHH).


Per-Oluf Olsen

Co-investor and external partner

Per-Oluf has 27 years experience in the Pharmaceutical and Biotech industry. He has Top management experience from both small and large organization within Pfizer e.g. Country Manager in Norway /Denmark and Italy, Regional Executive Director for Central and Eastern European Region. Last year he has held the position as CEO of Pronova BioPharma AS.

His experience covers all areas of the business from R&D to running a large organization in one of Europe’s biggest market.

Investment Consortium
A Private Investment Consortium has been established with The Norwegian Radium Hospital Research Foundation, Sarsia Seed and Birk Venture. The main objectives with the Private Investment Consortium are to strengthen and coordinate management resources, secure long term funding to portfolio companies and increase total deal flow.


  • RO Invest
  • Norsk Innovasjonskapital
  • Investinor
  • Sundt AS
  • Olsen C&C
It begins with competence – Competence is the basis for understanding the market, the technology and the organisation.

Take the long view – It takes hard work and patience to build great companies. There are no short cuts to success. It takes time for markets to emerge and organisations to develop and mature.

Partnership is fundamental – Strong partnership and involvement with people, organisations and stakeholders is essential to succeed with a company.

Courage to take risk – Decisions should be made based on competence and a clear and consistent strategy. A good business proposal should not be hampered by the risk of failing.

Enjoy the journey – The journey to success will not be smooth and easy. To handle the ups and downs, it is important to work with people that share the same values, business ideas and trust each other. It very often comes down to chemistry between people and having fun working together.

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BerGenBio is a privately-held clinical stage biotech company built on proprietary screening technology used for the research and pre-clinical development of novel drug targets and associated biomarkers. Based on this novel technology the company is developing first in class therapeutics for the treatment of cancer, with lead programs against metastatic drug resistant solid tumors, EMT and drug resistance. The lead candidate has entered clinical phase 1/2 in multiple indications. Birk Venture made the first investment in 2011. Birk Venture had one seat in the Board of Directors from 2011 to 2015. Go to website Back to menu
Nordic Nanovector AS is a privately held company established in 2009. The company develops novel anticancer therapeutics based on The Norwegian Radium Hospital and Nordic Nanovector's own innovative research on tumor targeted antibody based nanovector. By applying a beta-particle emitting radionuclide conjugated to a tumor seeking carrier, malignant metastasized tumors can be irradiated with minimal damage to nearby healthy normal tissue. This technology aims to prolong survival and improve the quality of life of people who suffer from hematologic cancer in particular non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. Compared with current antibody based therapies on non-Hodgkin Lymphoma which uses the antigen CD20 as the target, Nordic Nanovector' lead compound Betalutin targets the CD37 antigen that is expressed on almost all B-cell in non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. Thus, the large number of patients who eventually fail CD20 directed therapies could benefit from CD37 directed therapies. The leading candidate, Betalutin is currently in clinical phase 2 and is planning to start pivotal phase 2 at the end of 2017. Nordic Nanovector was listed in 2015 at the Oslo Stock Exchange. Birk Venture made the first investment in the company in 2010. Go to website Back to menu

APIM Therapeutics is a biotechnology company dedicated to the development of novel-cancer agents targeting DNA repair and cell cycle control. The Company is developing a pipeline of peptide compounds that inhibit PCNA-dependent DNA repair in cancer cells. The lead compound, ATX-101, has shown proof-of-concept in multiple preclinical in vitro and in vivo cancer models.

Birk Venture made the first investment in 2011 and has one seat in the board of Directors of the company.

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Nextera is a biotechnology company based on a proprietary new phage display technology. The company develops pharmaceuticals targeting autoimmune, cancer and infection diseases through unique new drug targets. Nextera utilizes the pVII capsid protein of filamentous bacteriophages as a scaffold for display of peptides and proteins. The technology fosters easy display of two different proteins on the very same phage particle, thus gaining new functionality to existing phage display systems. Nextera is based on technology from the inventor Geir Åge Løset who has been part of the internationally renowned group of Professor Inger Sandlie at the University of Oslo. Sandlie’s group is one of the pioneers in the field of antibody engineering with articles in highly rated journals such as Nature, Nature reviews in drug discovery and PNAS etc. The company has the vision to be a leading source of new drug targets and drug candidates for autoimmune and cancer diseases. In 2015 Nextera made a R&D collaboration agreement with Jansen within rheumatoid arthritis. Birk Venture made the first investment in 2010 and is chairing the Board of the Directors of the Company. Go to website Back to menu
Zelluna Immunotherapy was founded in 2016 and is a cell based spin off from the Norwegian Radium Hospital. Zelluna is backed on technology developed by the inventors Gunnar Kvalheim, Else Marit Suso, Sébastien Wälchli and Gustav Gaudernack at the Norwegian Radium Hospital. The Company has access to a panel of TCRs and has multiple TCRs in pre-clinical development targeting several important cancer antigenes. The investors in the Company are RadForsk, Birk Venture, Ro Invest, Inven2 and Prieta.

coming soon...

Targovax was established in 2010 and is developing peptide based active immunotherapy in the form of cancer vaccines. The technology is based on extensive research from Radiumhospitalet and Norsk Hydro. In 2015 Targovax merged with Oncos Therapeutics a company developing oncolytic viruses for cancer treatment . Targovax was listed in 2016 at Oslo Stock Exchange. The lead candidate TG01 is in clinical phase 2 in resectable pancreas cancer as first indication. Birk Venture made the first investment in 2012 and exited in 2017. Birk Venture had one seat in the Board of Directors from 2012 to 2015. Go to website Back to menu
Algeta is an oncology company developing treatments for bone metastases and disseminated tumor types. The company's lead product Alpharadin is targeting bone metastases which occur frequently in major cancers including hormone-refractory prostate cancer, breast, lung, kidney and thyroid. The treatment of bone metastases represents an area of high unmet medical need. Algeta's pipeline is built on world-leading, proprietary technology. Algeta is developing new, targeted cancer alpha-pharmaceuticals that harness the unique characteristics of alpha particle emitters to destroy cancer cells. Alpha particle emitters are potent, well tolerated and convenient to use. The first investment from Birk Venture/Investment was made in 2007. Go to Website Back to menu

Cortendo AB is a biopharmaceutical company headquartered in Göteborg, Sweden. Its stock is publicly traded on the NOTC-A-list (OTC) in Norway. Cortendo is a pioneer in the field of cortisol inhibition and has completed early clinical trials in patients with Type 2 diabetes. The lead drug candidate NormoCort™, the 2S,4R-enantiomer of ketoconazole, is expected to enter into a Phase 3 study during Q4’2013 for Cushing’s Syndrome. The company’s strategy is to focus its resources to opportunities where the path to commercialization or partnership is clear and relatively near-term. Strategically, Cortendo’s business model is to commercialize relevant opportunities in the United States while partnering its assets ex-US. Backed by a highly experienced leadership team Cortendo has plans to continue to implement its pipeline expansion efforts in osteoarthritis and diabetes, as well as other near term revenue opportunities.

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PCI Biotech® (*exited) has developed a unique and patented photochemical drug delivery technology for use in cancer therapy and other diseases.

PCI (PhotoChemical Internalisation) is a technology for light-directed drug delivery by triggered endosomal release and was developed to introduce therapeutic molecules in a biologically active form specifically into diseased cells. The company’s lead candidate drug is the proprietary photosensitiser Amphinex®.

PCI Biotech® has an ongoing clinical phase I/II study at University College Hospital in London. In this study Amphinex® is combined with the cytotoxic agent bleomycin. The study is primarily enrolling patients with Head & Neck cancer, a disease with local control issues that the PCI technology could potentially contribute to solve.

The company has initiated pre-clinical trials for the use of PCI in the treatment of bladder cancer. Bladder cancer has the highest average per-patient life-time cost of all cancers, mainly due to a high recurrence rate. The currently used chemotherapeutic drugs have limited effect on recurrence and progression, and there is a large unmet therapeutic need. Screening studies indicate that the effect of several of these chemotherapeutic drugs may be significantly enhanced by PCI. The pre-clinical trials will be performed at Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands and at The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim, Norway.

PCI Biotech® collaborates closely with The Norwegian Radium Hospital in Oslo, Norway and receives substantial funding on several projects from both the Norwegian Research Council and the EU. The company has an extensive international collaboration network with recognised drug delivery expert groups.

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Birk Venture guest in “Podcast Radium”, discussing investments in the Norwegian biotech sector
BerGenBio with successful IPO
Targovax announces encouraging top line two-year survival data from TG01 clinical trial in resected pancreatic cancer patients
Zelluna Immunotherapy granted BIA funding
Zelluna Immunotherapy – An immuno-oncology TCR spin off from the Norwegian Radium Hospital
Nextera granted BIA funding for novel targeted therapy for treating leukemia
Nextera AS announces research collaboration with Johnson & Johnson Innovation
Targovax and Oncos Therapeutics creating a Nordic leader in immuno-oncology
Nordic Nanovector with successful IPO at Oslo Børs
Birk Venture in media
Cortendo AB Raises up to $27,5M in Additional Private Placement with Leading U.S. and EU Healthcare Investors
BerGenBio completes NOK 90 million fundraising
Nordic Nanovector presented phase I study data reporting promising clinical activity in patients with relapsed non-Hodgkin lymphoma at ASH
Cortendo Announces HealthCap Leads $11M (NOK 73.4M) Private Placement
Targovax appoints Gunnar Gårdemyr as new CEO
BerGenBio announces first patient dosed in BGB324 AML trial
Targovax has reached primary endpoint for ongoing phase I/II clinical trial.
Nordic Nanovector third quarter report 2014
Nordic Nanovector has successfully completed a 250 MNOK pre-IPO private placement
Targovax successfully completes a 70 MNOK financing
Targovax TG01 immunotherapy reaches phase 2A in operable pancreatic patients
BerGenBio completes 12,5 MUSD in a private placement
Nextera secures 4 MNOK in an internal financing round.
Birk Venture is making an investment in Cortendo AB.
BerGenBio secures additional $6 million as first in class AXL kinase 0 Inhibitor BGB324 approaches clinic
Nordic Nanovector har gjennomført en vellykket emisjon på over NOK 60 millioner
Targovax: Første pasient inkludert i fase I/II klinisk studie med den terapeutiske kreftvaksinen TG01 i operabel bukspyttkjertelkreft.
Thomas Andersen from Pronova Biopharma to become Nextera`s new CEO.
APIM Therapeutics secures venture funding.
Birk Venture is making a second follow up investment in Nextera AS.
Birk Venture joined the Oslo Cancer Cluster last year
Birk Venture is delighted to announce a new investment in the Norwegian based oncology company Targovax
APIM Therapeutics is chosen to present at the Bio-Europe Spring 2012
Capital funding of BerGenBio in Norwegian media
Birk Venture is increasing its engagement in oncology with a new investment in APIM Therapeutics.
Birk Venture invests in BerGenBio
Algeta announced 6. June 2011 positive outcome of Interim Analysis of the pivotal Alpharadin study
New investments in Nextera AS
Birk Venture invests in Nextera AS
Birk Venture is a new member of Oslo Medtech
Birk Venture invests in Nordic Nanovector AS
Birk Venture is the first venture capital company to become a member of Oslo Cancer Cluster.

Birk Venture guest in “Podcast Radium”, discussing investments in the Norwegian biotech sector

Hans Ivar Robinson was together with Anders Tuv guests in “Podcast Radium”, discussing investments and company establishments in the Norwegian biotech sector. https://soundcloud.com/user-972208711/radium-episode-13