Global biotherapeutics company CSL has thrown its support behind QIMR Berghofer to help turn the Institute’s scientific discoveries into innovative new medical technologies.
In a new agreement between the two organisations, CSL will advise and support QIMR Berghofer on the key steps that need to be taken to commercialise its research, and the commercial opportunities that exist in promising research.
QIMR Berghofer’s Director and CEO, Professor Frank Gannon, said the goal was to move the research towards commercialisation faster.
“CSL’s input and expert advice will support the translation of QIMR Berghofer’s research, and will help to ensure these projects answer the critical commercial questions, accelerating their path towards commercialisation,” Professor Gannon said.
“CSL are making this contribution as part of their ongoing support of research commercialisation in Australia. QIMR Berghofer will maintain the rights to any subsequent intellectual property.
“At QIMR Berghofer, our priority is to take our research from the laboratory bench, to the biotech lab, to the hospital bedside so it can benefit the community. We call that our B2B2B plan. This financial assistance and commercial input from CSL will help us to do that.
“In doing so, it will also support jobs and investment in Queensland and Australia.”
CSL’s Chief Scientific Officer, Dr Andrew Cuthbertson, said CSL’s collaboration with academia was important in improving the rates of early stage research translated into the clinic and ultimately to patients.
“In our Centenary year, CSL is especially committed to furthering excellence in Australian research. Our partnership with QIMR Berghofer is one of a number of new initiatives – such as the launch of our $25 million CSL Centenary Fellowship program – designed to support the brightest minds in biomedical research and continue our support of Australian medical discovery,” Dr Cuthbertson said.
The move is one of several strategies QIMR Berghofer has adopted to help translate more of its scientific research into new treatments and diagnostics.
“QIMR Berghofer has repeatedly shown its excellence at making scientific discoveries. But we want to turn even more of those discoveries into practical outcomes that will benefit the community and encourage innovation and investment in Queensland,” Professor Gannon said.
To help achieve this, QIMR Berghofer will give researchers the opportunity to take a leave of absence for up to two years to work in the biotechnology sector. The researchers will retain entitlements at the Institute.
“This initiative will allow our researchers to get experience in the commercial sector and follow their innovations through to the commercial stage, then return to the Institute with significant new skills,” Professor Gannon said.
QIMR Berghofer has also established a new initiative known as The SEEDBox® (Scientific Exploitation and Entrepreneurial Development), which will provide investment and expertise to prepare qualified project for commercialisation.
The SEEDBox® will be run by managers with industry experience and will be supported by international advisors, including CEOs and entrepreneurs.
“These expert advisors will help our scientists to get their research ready to start attracting investment,” Professor Gannon said.