Left to right: Starpharma Pty Ltd Development & Regulatory Affairs VP Dr Jeremy Paull; UniQuest BTB Project Manager Cécile Francis; Cincera Therapeutics Pty Ltd CEO Associate Professor Bernard Flynn (mentored by BioCurate); Dimerix R&D Director Dr Robert Shepherd; UniQuest QEDDI Director of Chemistry Dr Brian Dymock; AdAlta Ltd CEO and Managing Director Dr Tim Oldham; The University of Adelaide Viral Immunology Group Head Associate Professor Branka Grubor-Bauk. Image Edoardo Capriotti


The successful Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) funded Biomedical Translation Bridge (BTB) Program has successfully concluded after supporting 21 therapeutic and medical device projects towards commercialisation.

UniQuest has been a proud venture partner, mentor and supporter of the MRFF’s three-year initiative, which was launched in 2019.  Together with its BTB partners, MTPConnect, BioCurate and the Medical Device Partnering Program (MDPP), UniQuest worked closely with the program’s applicants to support the commercialisation of their biomedical innovations.

The recent finale event in Sydney highlighted the success of the program which has been widely acknowledged to have achieved its key objective of nurturing, de-risking and developing competitive ventures that are attractive to further funding and commercialisation opportunities.”

During the program, UniQuest’s BTB Project Manager and Operational Committee Representative Cecile Francis was able to share her substantial therapeutic and commercial knowledge in her role and was actively engaged in the translation of health and medical research into commercial outcomes during this time.

“The BTB Program has been an invaluable experience for me, as well as providing a unique opportunity to be part of a program which supported 29 new technologies, seven new product launches and saw 56 new jobs created,” Ms Francis said.

UniQuest was a key architect of the initial design of the BTB Program and provided ongoing mentoring to the BTB applicants and support to the value-adding focus of the program’s aims and activities.

The final event included showcases from the program and highlighted the breadth of successful outcomes from an anti-viral nasal spray now marketed in 30 countries, to progressing a zika virus vaccine clinical candidate and potential treatments for prostate cancer, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and pulmonary fibrosis.

UniQuest Executive Director Intellectual Property Commercialisation and BTB Program Steering Committee Representative Dr Mark Ashton said the program has been an invaluable resource for the biomedical research sector in order to support commercialisation.

“The BTB Program has led the way for future similar initiatives and has kept translation at the forefront.

“I would like to congratulate our UniQuest mentees Starpharma, AdAlta, the University of Adelaide, Dimerix and QEDDI for the fantastic drive and commercial successes which have resulted from being part of the program.

“I would particularly like to acknowledge Starpharma Pty Ltd for winning the BTB’s Most Significant Commercial Outcome Award,” Dr Ashton said.

The outcomes of the program can be found in the BTB Impact Report.

You can also read more about the UniQuest project – Developing first-in-class oral, small molecule inhibitors to treat prostate and other cancers – led by QEDDI during the BTB Program on page 45 of the BTB Impact Report.

Above: UniQuest’s Cécile Francis convenes a showcase presentation session at the BTB Program finale – image Edoardo Capriotti.

Media: UniQuest, Esther Haskell, e.haskell@uniquest.com.au, +61 (0)409 767 199.