Kerstin Jakobsson has been appointed CEO to our member the Norwegian medtech company Kongsberg Beam Technology.
Kongsberg Beam Technology develops an advanced steering system able to deliver personalised proton therapy with better precision and less damage to healthy tissue. Proton therapy is an accepted and established cancer treatment and compared to traditional radiation therapy it focuses the energy on the tumour itself with less radiation to surrounding healthy tissue.
Kerstin Jakobsson has over thirty years of experience in the commercialisation of new technologies in the life science sector, with responsibility for international strategic and operational leadership. Jakobsson has been part of the management team of Medicon Village since the start and CEO for the last three years and has developed it into one of Scandinavia’s leading life science innovation parks.
Oslo Cancer Cluster Incubator has worked closely with Kongsberg Beam Technology for several years to develop the company through its SIVA-sponsored programme. Bjørn Klem, general manager, and Thomas Andersson, senior advisor business development, have taken a hands-on approach, which is what attracted Jakobsson to the position as CEO.
“I am familiar with Oslo Cancer Cluster because the organisation covers areas of interest with Medicon Village. I have known Bjørn for many years through the NOME network and Thomas introduced Kongsberg Beam Technology to me,” Jakobsson explained.
Jakobsson has worked with many different start-ups and public listed companies throughout the years. For instance, Jakobsson was CEO for the two successful medtech companies Spectracure and Ortoma – both are now listed on the Swedish stock exchange.
“I am an entrepreneur at heart, and I feel at home in start-ups.”
“I am an entrepreneur at heart, and I feel at home in start-ups. I prefer a good mix of strategy and implementation, which is possible in smaller organisations. To build and develop a company is very rewarding. I am also familiar with the challenges in taking on this role. I benefit from my contacts in the extensive life science network that I have built over the years,” Jakobsson commented.
Focus on personalised healthcare
Kongsberg Beam Technology is a company focused on improving proton therapy in oncology. There are 20 million cancer cases every year and many cancer patients benefit from radiation therapy. The disadvantage is that radiation therapy has several side effects on healthy tissue. Proton therapy allows more control as to exactly where the energy from the particles is released, without damaging healthy tissue surrounding the tumour.
“With proton therapy, the dosage is delivered to a more specific target, the tumour. The dosage is considerably less in the surrounding healthy areas, which can make a noticeable difference for the occurrence of side effects,” said Jakobsson.
“Using artificial intelligence and digital twins, it will be possible to control the proton beam in real-time during treatment.”
Kongsberg Beam Technology develops a steering system called MAMA-K that will make proton therapy even more personalised and precise, and with MAMA-K the full potential of proton therapy can be achieved. Using artificial intelligence and digital twins, it will be possible to control the proton beam in real-time during treatment, even when the patients or their organs are inadvertently moving.
“Kongsberg Beam Technology is an interesting company, because the technology is highly advanced, and the management are extremely skilled and experienced. There is a solid market need, with a large potential for growth, and there is a long-term vision connected to the construction of two new proton therapy facilities in Norway,” Jakobsson explained.
The future for proton therapy
Proton therapy is emerging as a critical treatment method against cancer, which is why Norway are building two proton centres. The centres are planned to be completed in 2024 and are located at the Radium Hospital in Oslo and Haukeland University Hospital in Bergen. Kongsberg Beam Technology already has a collaboration agreement with the Radium Hospital, which is a part of Oslo University Hospital (a comprehensive cancer centre), to use the prospective facilities to test the MAMA-K system.
“The unique thing about Kongsberg Beam Technology is the strong collaboration between the Kongsberg industry, Oslo Cancer Cluster, Oslo University Hospital and the university.”
“The unique thing about Kongsberg Beam Technology is the strong collaboration between the Kongsberg industry, Oslo Cancer Cluster, Oslo University Hospital and the university. Spearhead knowledge from the Kongsberg industry is the basis for the technology. Oslo Cancer Cluster has provided a network in oncology which has made it possible to take the patented ideas further. We are essentially identifying the bottle necks in proton therapy to deliver solutions for the treatment centres,” said Jakobsson.
The plan for 2021 was to attract NOK 10 million in private placements. Less than two days after the first investor presentation, the emission was oversubscribed to NOK 13 million. Now, the company’s focus is to deliver a proof of concept within the next 12 months. The Norwegian Research Council is already supporting the company during this development phase with NOK 23 million.
Do you want to learn more?
Get in touch with Kerstin Jakobsson at firstname.lastname@example.org
Listen to Jakobsson’s guest appearance in the Radium podcast: Episode 161 by Radforsk Investeringsstiftelse (in Norwegian/Swedish only)
Read about Kongsberg Beam Technology in the following news articles: (in Norwegian only)
- Hentet in 13 millioner på to dager (Laagendalsposten, 9 February 2021)
- Sikter på kreftceller med teknologi fra våpenindustrien (Finansavisen, 23 January 2021)
- Skal drepe kreftceller mer effektivt med industriell ammunisjon (Teknisk Ukeblad, 5 September 2020)