Australia, in particular the state of Victoria, is internationally recognised for its excellence in biomedical research. This provides a compelling opportunity for drug discovery and biomedical science translation.
Two of Australia’s top biomedical research universities, Monash University and the University of Melbourne, with support from the State of Victoria, established BioCurate Pty Ltd in 2016 to propel important discoveries out of the lab to generate new therapies. BioCurate specifically addresses the barriers that limit the translation and commercialisation of early stage research, thereby increasing the quantity and quality of discovery projects progressing to a new drug therapy and providing benefits to patients. This is a new model for these two Universities and one of only a small number of similar initiatives globally.
As an independent ‘venture catalyst’ and technology accelerator, BioCurate operates in the under-resourced, yet critical early phases of new drug development – a period often referred to as the ‘valley of death’ due to the high rate of project attrition. BioCurate provides the commercial focus, expertise and funding necessary to address these barriers to success, and drive early decisions, with the intent of boosting the successful development of new medicines. Strong and collaborative linkages are well progressed with the Universities and other key partners in health, research and industry in Australia and internationally.
This historic collaboration to form BioCurate and to synergistically combine exceptional biomedical research strengths from both founding Universities is already unlocking new opportunities and enabling new discoveries to be translated more rapidly towards potential new medicines. The impact will be profound and far-reaching – transforming people’s lives, generating commercial returns and driving the innovation economy.
The Company’s model has been heralded as ‘ground-breaking’ and innovative, and has provided a tangible example of what can be achieved when a collaborative, bold approach is taken to a well-recognised, entrenched problem. This leadership shown by Victoria is broadly recognised as providing a critical step to drive the early phases of drug development, and to build scale within the Australian biomedical sector, as evidenced by BioCurate’s role as a key partner in the MRFF Biomedical Translation Program awarded in early 2019. Further, it is a model that other institutions are now eager to adopt or access.
BioCurate’s overarching, long-term goals are to:
- Improve the understanding of translational research within the sector, thereby creating a more robust, focused and internationally relevant biopharma ecosystem;
- Increase the level and speed of successful translation and commercialisation of drug discoveries in conjunction with global venture capital funds and biopharma customers, and;
- Become financially self-sustaining in the longer term.