BioMedVic signs a joint statement on Health R&D

BioMedVic’s CEO, Prof Jan Tennent, has signed a joint industry pre-election statement on health research and development (R&D). The statement defends the need for industry-driven R&D and urges that the R&D Tax Incentive be preserved for the sector in order to reverse the declining trend of R&D investment in Australia.

Development of the joint statement was led by AusBiotech and has been signed, together with BioMedVic, by the CEOs of AusBiotech, Medicines Australia, MTAA, ARCS Australia, BioMelbourne Network and Research Australia.

Read the Media Release here.

BioMedVic and Osaka University collaborate on an innovative PhD program

Established in 2014, the partnership between BioMedVic and Osaka University (OU) continues to strengthen with the recent signing of a MoA to collaborate on OU’s new doctoral program, the “Transdisciplinary Program for Biomedical Entrepreneurship and Innovation” (TPBEI). The first of its kind in Japan, this innovative program involves over 20 organisations including four OU Graduate Schools, Osaka University Hospitals, the Osaka Prefecture Government, the Japanese Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency, the Japan Patent Office, and industry partners such as Pfizer, Novartis Pharma and Shionogi.

A delegation from Osaka University visited Melbourne on March 25th to meet with Jan Tennent, BioMedVic’s CEO, and Núria Saladié, BioMedVic’s Engagement Manager, and sign a Memorandum of Agreement. The delegation included Prof Eiichi Morii (Dean, Graduate School of Medicine), Prof Yoshikatsu Kanai (TPBEI coordinator, Graduate School of Medicine), Prof Yasushi Okamura (Graduate School of Medicine), A/Prof Kyoko Hombo (Co-ordinator, TPBEI) and Ms Noriko Inoue (Assistant Director, Partnering Manager Global Health Initiative Graduate School of Medicine and Osaka University Hospital). The meeting was also attended by Ms Shelley Jackson, Assistant General Manager, Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade).

In the afternoon, the delegation was hosted at the Melbourne Town Hall by Mr Shane Mcilroy, Senior Business Development Coordinator, International and Civic Services Branch, who gave a short briefing on the ongoing importance of the sister city relationship between Osaka and Melbourne now in its 41st year!

The TPBEI aims to develop professionals with the dual ability to create innovative solutions to real-life challenges through world-leading academic research and apply those research outcomes to the benefit of society, while also developing their skills as entrepreneurs. BioMedVic is honoured to be the only TPBEI partner from Australia and will contribute to the curriculum and internationalisation of the program, with a focus on how cooperation between industry, academia and government nurtures entrepreneurial “knowledge professionals”.

More information on the “Transdisciplinary Program for Biomedical Entrepreneurship and Innovation” is here.

A delegation from Osaka University last visited BioMedVic in 2016; details about that visit can be found here.

Prof Jan Tennent and Prof Eiichi Morii after the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement

The Lowitja Institute International Indigenous Health and Wellbeing Conference

On 18-20 June 2019, the Lowitja Institute International Indigenous Health and Wellbeing Conference will take place on Darwin, Australia. The Conference will be an Indigenous space built on First Nations knowledges and values, where the Lowitja Institute will promote a conversation about the futures that Indigenous people want.

BioMedVic celebrates the Conference and is excited to see its amazing draft program, which includes a speaker line-up with Marcia Langton, Tahu Kukutai, Abhay Bang, and many more.

Note that Earlybird registration closes on 29 March 2019!

You can find more information here.

Promoting the connections of Melbourne: A City of Science and Innovation

BioMedVic has extended its partnership with Springer Nature as sponsor of the Nature Index Melbourne Collaboration Map. An online, interactive and updateable research network tool powered by the Nature Index, the map shows output and collaboration in high quality research between institutions located in the greater Melbourne region.

Ranking #31 in the recently published Nature Index Top 200 Science Cities of 2018, Melbourne continues to demonstrate that it is a key epicentre of science and innovation in the Asia Pacific region. BioMedVic’s focus on enabling the collective capability of the health and medical research precincts across metropolitan and regional centres to grow and prosper will help propel Victoria to stand equal amongst the innovation and life sciences hotspots of the world.

A quick guide to the features of the collaboration map plus more information can be found here.


New course “Osteosarcopenia: Preventing falls and fractures in older persons”

Have you seen the new course “Osteosarcopenia: Preventing falls and fractures in older persons“?

Specifically designed for medical practitioners, the course provides a comprehensive education on osteoporosis, sarcopenia and the newer condition ‘osteosarcopenia’ in older people.

We are happy to raise awareness of this initiative from the Australian Institute for Musculoskeletal Science (AIMSS), a BioMedVic member. AIMSS is a collaborative institute of three main stakeholders: University of Melbourne and Western Health (both BioMedVic members) and Victoria University.

More information and registration details are available via this flyer:

Cancer Therapeutics CRC signs agreement with global pharma heavyweight Pfizer

Cancer Therapeutics CRC (CTx) has signed a two-year research partnership and licensing deal with Pfizer. With this agreement, the global pharmaceutical gains the rights to two novel pre-clinical cancer programs that focus on proteins closely linked to the growth of solid and blood cancer. Exploring these programs could lead to new cancer treatments.

For these two programs, CTx received a signature payment of AUD$20M with the potential for up to AUD$648M for development and sales milestones, plus royalties on sales if program outcomes are commercialized.

“This deal, together with the three prior deals for CTX technology, has the potential to return a billion dollars to Australia. Funds that will help support the biomedical sector and that can be ploughed into new drug discovery programs”, said Brett Carter, CEO of CTx.

This partnership between the Melbourne-based CTx and NY-based Pfizer is the second significant preclinical licensing deal that CTx has completed with a major pharmaceutical company and adds significantly to the already impressive list of commercial achievements by CTx in recent years. The previous license with MSD (Merck in North America) was signed in January 2016.

BioMedVic congratulates its member CTx for reaching this agreement with Pfizer. BioMedVic’s Board is currently Chaired by Dr Warwick Tong, who until April 2018 was the CEO of CTx. Dr Tong is now CTx’s Advisor and Chair of its spin-out company CTx One. BioMedVic’s Board past Chair, Dr George Mortsyn, is also an Independent Director on the CTx Board.

More information can be found in the press release by Cancer Therapeutics CRC, and in the article published last Friday by the Australian Financial Review.

Launch – J&J Innovation Partnering Office at Monash

Innovation in Victoria is set to flourish as Johnson & Johnson, in collaboration with the Victorian Government and Monash University, launched a Victorian office for identifying, nurturing and accelerating the commercial development of early stage health care solutions sourced from research organisations across the state.

BioMedVic CEO Jan Tennent was delighted to be in attendance when the new Johnson & Johnson Innovation Partnering Office at Monash (JJIPO@MONASH) was officially opened on 15 February by Victorian Minister for Health Jill Hennessy MP.

JJIPO@MONASH will enable greater access by Victorian researchers and companies to the global expertise in the scientist research, investment, and commercialisation arms of the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies, which span pharmaceuticals, medical devices and consumer products.

The commitment from Johnson & Johnson is a testament to the world-class health and medical research capability in Victoria.

With a focus on generating healthcare solutions through partnerships, Johnson & Johnson Innovation already has research collaborations with a number of BioMedVic member organisations including Monash University, the University of Melbourne, RMIT University and St Vincent’s Institute. Building on these connections, the JJIPO@MONASH will act as a hub to “coordinate and upskill the Victorian life science community and to develop programs which will facilitate greater connectivity at both a state and global level,” said Pro Vice-Chancellor of Monash University (Enterprise) Sarah Newton.

Jan Tennent said the long term commitment was “great for research, great for industry, and great for Victorians and for people everywhere.”

Victorian Government Vouchers are Back!

BioMedVic welcomes today’s news that the Victorian Government is investing in the future of Victorian businesses with $14.5 million in new funding to help businesses grow.

Under the Boost Your Business program, Victorian businesses will be able to apply for vouchers to access targeted services from January 2018. The vouchers will provide funding for businesses to engage registered service providers to undertake activities such as developing new products, improving business processes and systems, identifying new export markets, undertaking research and development or gaining certification.

The vouchers will be available under four different streams:

The first round opens on 29 January 2018 and more information is available here.

The Regenerative Medicine Industry Interface (RMI2)

BioMedVic is pleased to be a founding partner of the Regenerative Medicine Industry Interface (RMI2).

This consortium brings together

  • Basic and applied research capability (Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute at Monash University, CSIRO, The University of Melbourne) together with industry and networking associations (BioMelbourne Network, BioMedVic, AusBiotech) and an international technology transfer hub in partnership with the regenerative medicine industry.
  • Access to high calibre research students through the Monash University Graduate Research Industry Program (GRIP) for PhD students and Monash University Business School for Executive MBA students.
  • Commercialisation expertise and international access through a satellite hub of the Centre for Commercialisation of Regenerative Medicine (CCRM).

RMI2 is an initiative of the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute (ARMI) in partnership with Monash and Melbourne Universities, the BioMelbourne Network and Industry Partners, to progress opportunities in Australia through research excellence, highly skilled workforce and a globally connected platform for commercialisation and investment.

RMI2 is offering two industry-led PhD programs for potential students interested in working in regenerative medicine. See the ARMI website for more information.

Spotlight on Melbourne’s life science collaboration

As we reflect on the year that was, BioMedVic warmly invites you to explore the key connections that are at the heart of Melbourne’s reputation as a City of Science and Innovation. We are excited to announce a new spotlight on life science research!

BioMedVic’s partner, Springer Nature, recently updated the Nature Index Melbourne Collaboration Map, by adding subject filters for life science, earth and environmental science, chemistry and physical science.

What exactly is the Nature Index Melbourne Collaboration Map?

The Nature Index Melbourne Collaboration Map is an online, interactive, updateable research network map which is powered by the Nature Index and sponsored by BioMedVic. It shows output and collaboration in high quality research between institutions in the greater Melbourne region.

The Nature Index tracks high-quality research and collaborations by measuring the contribution of institutions to a set of high-quality journals in the natural sciences. An institution’s contribution to these journals is its fractional count (FC), while article count (AC) is the number of an institution’s journal articles that appear in the Nature Index. Institutions are represented in their locations by circles on the map, with the size and colour of the circle representative of the institution’s FC.

When evaluating the collaborative effort between two institutions, a bilateral collaboration score (CS) is derived. This is sum of the FCs from articles with authors from both institutions. Local bilateral collaborations between institutions within the greater city area are represented by the lines on the map with the line thickness and colour representative of the strength of the collaboration, while the top international bilateral collaborations are listed in the popup box for each institution. The collaborations of child institutions that are part of a larger institution are shown as dashed lines. In most instances, only the primary location of an institution is mapped.

Not your average map

Confused at first glance? Below is a quick guide to help you find your way around the information presented on the Melbourne Collaboration Map.

All in the numbers

The Melbourne Collaboration Map puts publication data tracked by the Nature Index right at your fingertips. Here is what you can learn about your organisation:

Time to see how your organisation tracks! Explore the Melbourne Collaboration Map here.