International collaboration to advance medical technologies and treatments for patients in Australia

  • The collaboration will promote academic and industry collaboration in Australia and internationally to advance the field of regenerative medicine, and cell and gene therapies
  • Stem Cells Australia brings together Australia’s premier life scientists, with a sophisticated national network of over 300 researchers across Australia
  • CCRM Australia, modelled on and working with the successful CCRM, based in Canada, aims to bridge the commercialisation gap by tackling significant bottlenecks in the industry

Stem Cells Australia, the Canadian-based Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine (CCRM) and CCRM Australia have agreed to collaborate to advance the field of regenerative medicine and cell and gene therapies in Australia, signing a three-way Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) following the recent AusBiotech National Conference in Brisbane, Australia.

The MOU has been put in place to promote academic and industry collaboration between Australia, Canada and other international partners to advance the field. The collaboration aims to bring together the sophisticated national network of over 300 researchers that Stem Cells Australia has developed, with the access to critical infrastructure, novel technology, specialised expertise and targeted funding that CCRM and CCRM Australia are primed to provide. This will support the translation of cell and gene therapies into clinical and commercial uses and acknowledge our commitment to address government policy, regulation and legal and ethical issues.

“By working together, our three organisations will foster new opportunities to support research, translation and commercialisation of regenerative medicine technologies, helping us at an international and national level to address current barriers to delivering innovative cell and gene therapies,” said Melissa Little, Program Leader, Stem Cells Australia.

“CCRM’s international strategy involves partnering with leading academic and industry organizations in locations where there is excellent regenerative medicine science and a growing or thriving industry, and Australia has those criteria,” says Michael May, President and CEO, CCRM. “CCRM Australia is a testament to our commitment in Australia and our eagerness to collaborate. We are very pleased to extend this collaboration to Stem Cells Australia and its network of researchers.”

CCRM Australia CEO, Silvio Tiziani, said the collaboration exemplifies the emerging and vital mindset shift that is taking place in the commercialisation space. “We are delighted to be joining with Stem Cells Australia to foster stronger relationships between academia and industry. With this, we bridge a gap that has hampered not only regenerative medicine, but also research more generally,” commented Silvio.

Regenerative medicine, including cell and gene therapy, harnesses the power of stem cells, other types of cells, biomaterials and technologies such as genetic modification to repair, regenerate or replace a patient’s diseased or damaged cells and tissue. This approach is disrupting the traditional biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, and potentially future healthcare, with the promise of innovative treatments for devastating and costly conditions such as heart disease, blindness and neurological conditions.

The recent Regenerative Medicine – Opportunities for Australia Report[1], released by MTPConnect on 31 October 2018 at the AusBiotech Conference, noted that the global market for regenerative medicine is forecast to grow to AU$120B by 2035 and that if Australia were to capture a five per cent share, this would represent AU$6B in annual revenue and create around 6,000 jobs.

The report identified commercialisation know-how, regulatory policy and collaborative networks as key impediments to developing regenerative medicine in Australia.

This new agreement paves the way for Australian researchers and industry to remain at the forefront of translating research discoveries into tomorrow’s medicine.

About Stem Cells Australia www.stemcellsaustralia.edu.au

Stem Cells Australia was established in 2011 with the support of the Australian Government through the Australian Research Council’s Special Research Initiatives scheme, with the objective of discovering how to regulate stem cells. Based on the research performed to date, Stem Cells Australia is now using this understanding to harness the potential of stem cells for diagnostic, therapeutic and biotechnological purposes. The consortium links over 300 experts in bioengineering, nanotechnology, stem cell biology, advanced molecular analysis and clinical research across Australian universities and research institutes.

Stem Cells Australia was instigated by The University of Melbourne, University of Queensland, Monash University, University of NSW, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute for Medical Research, Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute, The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation. The Murdoch Children’s Research Institute joined the initiative in 2016 and The University of Sydney, Western Sydney University, University of Wollongong, University of Tasmania and University of Western Australia joined in 2018. The University of Melbourne is the administering organisation.

About CCRM – ccrm.ca

CCRM, a Canadian not-for-profit organization funded by the Government of Canada, the Province of Ontario, and leading academic and industry partners, supports the development of regenerative medicines and associated enabling technologies, with a specific focus on cell and gene therapy. A network of researchers, leading companies, investors and entrepreneurs, CCRM aims to accelerate the translation of scientific discovery into new companies and marketable products for patients, with specialized teams, dedicated funding, and unique infrastructure. CCRM is the commercialization partner of the Ontario Institute for Regenerative Medicine and the University of Toronto’s Medicine by Design. CCRM is hosted by the University of Toronto.

About CCRM Australia ccrmaustralia.com.au/

CCRM Australia is an Australian not-for-profit organisation supporting the development of foundational technologies to accelerate the commercialisation of regenerative medicine products and therapies. CCRM Australia’s focus is to bridge the commercialisation gap through a network of scientists, entrepreneurs, academic institutions and industry partners and address bottlenecks in the industry. CCRM Australia is modelled on the highly successful CCRM in Canada and is legally separate to CCRM. As a member of the Global CCRM network, CCRM Australia is a partner to a leading edge industry consortium. CCRM Australia is supported by MTPConnect and the Victorian State Government.

Twitter: @ccrm_au

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/ccrm-australia/

 

For more information, please contact:
Stem Cells Australia:  Megan Munsie  +61 417 585 621   megan.munsie@unimelb.edu.au

CCRM:  Stacey Johnson  +1 416 946 8869   stacey.johnson@ccrm.ca

CCRM Australia:  Silvio Tiziani  +61 41853 6209   silvio.tiziani@monash.edu

 

[1] Regenerative Medicine – Opportunities for Australia (2018) MTPConnect, released 31 Oct 2018