CCRM Australia connects emerging researchers with business training

Participants at Summer by Design 2019

CCRM Australia has been helping early career researchers and high-achieving PhD candidates to gain the skills needed to commercialise and translate their regenerative medicine research into thriving business ventures.

This year, CCRM Australia supported PhD candidate Mr Jason Limnios (Clem Jones Centre for Regenerative Medicine, Bond University) to attend Summer By Design to translate their stem cell research from the lab to the clinic, through commercialisation.

The annual Summer By Design workshop was held recently at the University of Toronto, hosted by Medicine By Design and Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, bringing together 21 high-performing post-docs and PhD students from around the world into an accelerated program taught by industry and academic experts on the commercialisation of gene and cell therapies.

During the intensive program, participants learned the fundamentals of taking research from the idea stage through to the NASDAQ. The workshop covered the key aspects of commercial research strategies, intellectual property, market analysis, regulatory affairs, GMP manufacturing, clinical trials, company formation and investment of this rapidly expanding market.

Engagement in the program came at a critical time for Mr Limnios and his team, who were looking for more information and guidance on the regulation aspect of commercialisation. “Summer by Design exceeded all expectations in delivering a comprehensive overview of the commercialisation process. The quality of content and teaching was extremely high, and the network we’ve developed will be invaluable for the future of our research.”

Participants at a Summer by Design workshop

Unlike the pharmaceutical industry, the rapidly emerging field of stem cell based regenerative medicine is filled with academics with excellent research, but little experience in clinical translational and commercialisation. The program taught participants that the key to the commercialisation journey is actually in understanding the landscape of their area, developing an effective solution to unanswered problems, and developing relationships with stakeholders.

Jason said “Summer by Design has helped us understand stakeholder priorities at various stages of the commercialisation process. Now, when I interact with potential partners I have a much better idea of what they are looking for. This means that I’m thinking about how to build a compelling case for partnership, be that in the problems our research might address, the IP portfolio needed to attract partners, and even affects how I prioritise my experiments and their design.”

By working with others who faced the same challenges as themselves, participants were able to engage deeply in current issues facing those commercialising their work and build secure international networks in complementary areas.

Jason anticipates that the skills, knowledge and networks gained through the program will help the Clem Jones Centre for Regenerative Medicine translate their pluripotent stem cell technologies out of the lab and towards clinical treatment for Age-related Macular Degeneration.

CCRM Australia’s support paid for Mr Limnios’s travel, visa and insurance costs to attend the program hosted by the Medicine By Design centre and Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto. The Center for Commercialization Canada (whom CCRM Australia is modelled on) is a Summer By Design Partner.

About CCRM Australia:

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.

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