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UniQuest has welcomed the Federal Government’s announcement today that the commercialisation company’s partnership with MTPConnect, BioCurate and the Medical Device Partnering Program will operate the $22.3 million Biomedical Translation Bridge (BTB) program.

The BTB program forms part of the Federal Government’s Medical Research Future Fund and aims to help early stage health and medical research ventures reach proof-of-concept stage.

UniQuest CEO Dr Dean Moss said today’s announcement was an acknowledgement of UniQuest’s reputation and the expertise of its academic drug discovery accelerator QEDDI, based at The University of Queensland.

“This announcement recognises UniQuest’s unsurpassed track record in the translation of Australian biomedical research and the world leading biomedical research of The University of Queensland, which includes the cervical cancer vaccine Gardasil™ and Spinifex Pharmaceuticals – the subject of one of Australia’s largest ever biotech acquisitions,” he said.

Dr Moss acknowledged the vision of the Queensland Government and The University of Queensland in supporting the establishment of QEDDI.

“UniQuest identified a need to address the translation of academic biomedical research and established our academic drug discovery initiative, QEDDI, as a solution.  With support from UQ and the Queensland Government’s Advance Queensland Initiative, QEDDI has quickly become a world class drug discovery capability integrated with our commercialisation activities,” Dr Moss said. 

Through the BTB partnership, UniQuest and BioCurate - a technology accelerator founded by Monash University and The University of Melbourne - will assess and recommend eligible ventures for funding in the area of therapeutics, and MDPP will do the same for medical devices.  UniQuest will leverage the drug discovery expertise of QEDDI.

MTPConnect, a not-for-profit organisation formed to accelerate the growth of Australia’s medical technology, biotechnology and pharmaceutical sector, will administer the program.

“In this partnership with MTPConnect and BioCurate we’ll draw on our commercialisation and drug discovery expertise to help develop Australian technologies to the stage where they can attract further capital and support, bridging the funding gap and giving the country’s ground-breaking medical research the best opportunity to create change in the lives of people in Australia and around the world,” Dr Moss said.

MTPConnect CEO Dr Dan Grant said the partners bring decades of industry-based experience and an enviable track record in research translation to the program.

“By joining forces with BioCurate, MDPP and UniQuest to deliver the BTB program, we’ve created a powerful partnership venture that brings national reach, industry capabilities and expertise and commercial know-how and results to the task of boosting translation of Australia’s healthtech research,” Dr Grant said.

BioCurate CEO Dr Glenn Begley said the partnership with MTPConnect and UniQuest is an exciting development.

“BioCurate brings together the research strength of the University of Melbourne and Monash University, placed in the top 5 globally in pharmacology, metabolism, and immunology, and in the top 10 in paediatrics, neurosciences, and cardiology. We look forward to sharing our industry and commercialisation expertise as part of the program,” Dr Begley said.