Fund to stimulate investment in promising health and medical discoveries

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Media release

3 August 2016

Bill Ferris AC, Chair of Innovation and Science Australia, today welcomed the Government’s new Biomedical Translation Fund (BTF). The $500 million fund will accelerate the development and translation of Australian biomedical discoveries.

“This is a welcome shot in the arm for the nation’s biotechnology and medical technology innovators, entrepreneurs and investors,” Mr Ferris said.

“It will help our world-renowned medical researchers and clinicians commercialise more of their ground-breaking discoveries.

“Australian health and medical research is ranked in the top five worldwide, but we have a far less impressive record when it comes to translating our discoveries,” Mr Ferris said.

He said a major obstacle to getting research out of the laboratory and into the marketplace was the lengthy, yet critical, commercialisation process.

“The clinical trials, regulatory and marketing approvals that must take place can require hundreds of millions of dollars, and can take up to a decade or more,” he said.

The BTF is designed help push through this bottleneck by stimulating private-sector investment during the early stages of many Australian biomedical companies’ commercialisation journeys.

“This will accelerate the translation of more of Australia’s great medical discoveries,” Mr Ferris said.

The BTF is part of the National Innovation and Science Agenda and will comprise a $250 million investment by the Government, to be matched by an additional $250 million in private-sector investment.

Applications are open for private-sector life sciences fund managers seeking to participate. 

“It’s crucial that we leverage Australia’s strong and deep infrastructure and expertise in the health and medical research and entrepreneurship sector – and this initiative will help us do exactly that,” Mr Ferris said.

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