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Recent Initiatives in Australia and New Zealand

Recent Initiatives in Australia and New Zealand


Gabrielle O’Sullivan PhD MPH
Executive Officer, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital Institutional
Biosafety Committee, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital

Giulia Giunti PhD
Quality Manager, Malaghan Institute of Medical Research
Wellington, New Zealand


Major investments by the New South Wales Government into biomedical research

The NSW Government has announced a $270.3 million investment in biomedical research in the 2022-23 NSW Budget. This includes $143.3 million for the Sydney Biomedical Accelerator (SBA) Complex at Camperdown over four years; $51.8 million over four years to accelerate NSW’s commercial scale viral vector products for research and clinical trials; $49.6 million to build a commercially viable Viral Vector Manufacturing Facility (VVMF) at Westmead; and $25.6 million for 2022-23 for gene-based therapies such as CART-cell therapy. The SBA is a co-funded partnership between NSW Health, Sydney Local Health District and the University of Sydney to develop a state-of-the-art biomedical research complex within the Tech Central precinct spanning the University and the Health District’s Royal Prince Alfred Hospital.

The above is in addition to $119.1 million being invested over 10 years into RNA R&D in the 2022-23 Budget, and the $95.8 million RNA Pilot Manufacturing Facility announced in October 2021. [1, 2]


New funding for the MTPConnect REDI Fellowship program

MTPConnect is a not-for-profit organisation that aims to accelerate the growth of medical technologies, biotechnologies and pharmaceuticals, achieve greater commercialisation, and establish Australia as an Asia-Pacific hub for MTP companies. It was formed in November 2015 as part of the Federal Government’s Industry Growth Centres Initiative. It has a Researcher Exchange and Development within Industry (REDI) fellowship program that provides industry fellowships up to $250,000 per fellow per annum. The program has had a high uptake and its budget was committed earlier than expected. However, new funding from the Australian Government and a $1 million contribution from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) means the program can provide new fellowships. Applications for fellowships close 27 July 2022 [3]

Researchers from the Children’s Medical Research Institute (CMRI) at Westmead have published a functional transduction-based method for rapid identification of novel AAV variants that can be modified for optimal cell-type-specific expression. The method is based on AAV capsid mRNA expression in target cells. [4]

The ISCT Australia & New Zealand (ISCT ANZ) will hold its 2022 Regional Meeting from Thursday 4th to Friday 5th August 2022 at the Brisbane Convention Center. The scientific program on day one will focus on the latest developments in emerging technologies, preclinical research and clinical trials. Day two will feature workshops and panel discussions with particular attention to quality, regulatory affairs, education, training, commercialisation and clinical practice. The abstract submission deadline is 15th July 2022. [5]



[1] NSW Government, media release, released by The Premier, Treasurer, Minister for Health, Minister for Skills and Training, Science, Innovation and Technology. $270 million to accelerate med tech innovation,, published 17 Jun 2022, accessed 21 June 2022

[2] Sydney Research e-Update, published 20 June 2022 and accessed 20 June 2022

[3] CSIRO Contributes $1M to REDI Fellowship Program,, published 10 June 2022, accessed 20 June 2022

[4] A Westhaus, M Cabanes-Creus, T Jonker, E Sallard, R Gale Navarro, E Zhu, G Baltazar Torres, S Lee, P Wilmott, A Gonzalez-Cordero, G Santilli, A.J. Thrasher, I.E. Alexander, and L Lisowski (2022) AAV-p40 Bioengineering Platform for Variant Selection Based on Transgene Expression. Human Gene Therapy, 33 (11-12): June 10, 2022. 664-682.

 [5] ISCT ANZ 2022 Regional Meeting, 4-5 August, 2022, Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre, Brisbane, QLD, Australia,



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