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Recent Initiatives in the Australia and New Zealand region

  

Recent Initiatives in the Australia and New Zealand Region

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

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

 ISCT ANZ REGIONAL MEETING


ISCT Australia & New Zealand region (ISCT ANZ) held a very successful Regional Meeting from Thursday 4th to Friday 5th August 2022 at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre. Day one focused on the latest developments in emerging technologies, preclinical research and clinical applications. Day two featured presentations on regulatory updates, quality systems, workforce development and training, commercialization and clinical practice. There was strong representation by Early Stage Professionals (ESP), and the ISCT ESP Committee was very proactive in connecting with ESPs at the meeting. The workforce development and training discussions focused on resolving the skilled workforce shortage affecting cell and gene therapy. The way the meeting was organized made it very easy to connect with colleagues and meet new colleagues. [1]

TIA SURVEY OF THE CELL AND GENE THERAPY RESEARCH COMMUNITY

Therapeutic Innovation Australia (TIA) is conducting a survey to help understand the evolving needs of the cell and gene therapy community. The survey aims to provide insights to help shape TIA’s cell and gene therapy capability. TIA is a consortium that comprises a national network of translational research infrastructures across three capabilities - Biologics & Vaccines, Cell & Gene Therapies and Small Molecule Pharmaceuticals. It provides access to expertise and services to assist researchers and SMEs in the development of new therapeutic products. It has a voucher program to enable researchers and developers to gain access to expertise and services. [2]

AUSTRALIA’S CELL & GENE THERAPY CATALYST

Australia’s Cell and Gene Therapy Catalyst has established its inaugural Steering Group and is now recruiting.  The Steering Group is comprised of AusBiotech, Medicines Australia, CSL Behring, Novartis, Pfizer, Therapeutic Innovation Australia and Cell Therapies. The Catalyst aims to realize the strategic goals of the “Regenerative Medicines in Australia: A Strategic Roadmap for the Regenerative Medicines Sector” by providing leadership, advice and support. It aims to create an end-to-end world-class value chain that can discover, develop, manufacture, and distribute cell and gene therapies to Australian patients while creating jobs, commercializing research, and exporting Australian therapies globally. It is funded through MTPConnect’s Growth Centre Project Fund Program, an Australian Government initiative supported by the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources. The program is a competitive matched funding program that aims to invest in ideas to boost the innovation, productivity and competitiveness of Australia’s MTP sector. Six consortium members are providing matched funding. [3, 4]  

VICEBIO LTD LAUNCHED TO ADVANCE MOLECULAR CLAMP TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPED AT UNIVERSITY OF QUEENSLAND

Vicebio Ltd, a biopharmaceutical company, has been launched to advance the development of the Molecular Clamp technology that was originally developed at the University of Queensland. The company will use the technology to develop novel vaccines against life-threatening respiratory infections. The technology is a platform approach that can be used to develop vaccines for a range of diseases. [5]

STEM CELL AND ORGANOID SERVICE FACILITY FUNDED BY THE LUMINESCE ALLIANCE

The Stem Cell and Organoid Service Facility, funded by the Luminesce Alliance, is a new facility for producing models of human organs. The Alliance – established with the support of an initial $20 million NSW Government grant – brings together the Children’s Cancer Institute, Children’s Medical Research Institute, Randwick and Westmead campuses of the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network, and the University of New South Wales and University of Sydney as one of Australia’s largest paediatric research entities, heralding exciting new opportunities for further international collaboration. [6, 7]

STANDING GLOSSARY


Therapeutic Innovation Australia (TIA): TIA is a consortium that comprises a national network of leading translational research infrastructures across three capabilities - Biologics & Vaccines, Cell & Gene Therapies and Small Molecule Pharmaceuticals. It provides access to expertise and services to assist researchers and SMEs in the development of new therapeutic products. https://www.therapeuticinnovation.com.au/

MTPConnect: MTPConnect is a not-for-profit organization that aims to accelerate the growth of medical technologies, biotechnologies and pharmaceuticals, achieve greater commercialization, 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. https://www.mtpconnect.org.au/

REFERENCES

[1] ISCT ANZ 2022 Regional Meeting, 4-5 August, 2022, Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre, Brisbane, QLD, Australia, https://www.isctglobal.org/events/event-description?CalendarEventKey=ebba2402-6d56-4f75-9503-fee24b253e2a&Home=%2Fhome

[2] Therapeutic Innovation Australia, https://www.therapeuticinnovation.com.au/cell-and-gene-therapies, accessed 10 August 2022

[3] Australia’s Cell and Gene Catalyst moves ahead, https://biotechdispatch.com.au/news/australias-cell-and-gene-catalyst-moves-ahead, published 2 August 2022, accessed 10 August 2022

[4] Regenerative Medicine in Australia – A Strategic Roadmap for the Regenerative Medicine Sector Prepared by Research Strategies Australia, https://www.ausbiotech.org/documents/item/677, completed September 2021, accessed 11 August 2022

[5] Vicebio launched by medicxi to advance the Molecular Clamp technology and develop next generation RSV vaccine, https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/vicebio-launched-by-medicxi-to-advance-the-molecular-clamp-technology-and-develop-next-generation-rsv-vaccine-301590335.html, published 21July 2022, accessed 11 August 2022

[6] Tiny models promise large returns, https://www.medicalresearch.nsw.gov.au/tiny-models-promise-large-returns/?goback=true, updated 9 August 2022, accessed 11 August 2022

[7] An alliance to revolutionise paediatric care, https://www.medicalresearch.nsw.gov.au/an-alliance-to-revolutionise-paediatric-care/?goback=true, updated 9 August 2022, accessed 11 August 2022


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