New Staff Appointment – Dr Christopher Chan

BioCurate is very pleased to announce Dr Christopher Chan’s appointment as Project Leader.

BioCurate is focused on turning discoveries into therapeutics, and is building a team of highly-experienced individuals capable of working collaboratively to ensure the company’s success.

Dr Chan brings specialised expertise in a fast growing field of research and therapeutic development, with experience in therapeutic antibody development, immuno-oncology, inflammation, innate myeloid and lymphocyte biology, and T cell biology. With this, Chris brings a complementary and highly valuable skill-set to the BioCurate team as the company progresses to expand its involvement in new projects. Together with his colleagues, Chris will manage the development of the BioCurate portfolio from initial academic interaction through delivery of specific project milestones and assist with building the understanding of, and capability in, translational research and the process of early commercial drug development. 

Dr Chan has worked in both start-up and small biotechnology companies in San Francisco, and has experience working in science and technology accelerators, incubators, and leading drug development programs that have led to successful venture capital investments. Chris has led first-in-class antibody development programs from target discovery through to IND-enabling activities, which has culminated in IND approvals by the US FDA, and the submission and granting of numerous patents.

We are delighted that he has decided to join the BioCurate team!

Dr Christopher Chan will commence in his new role on 25 March 2019.

Inosi Therapeutics launched to tackle fibrosis, based on science from Monash University and support from IP Group and BioCurate

Inosi Therapeutics, a company based on research at Monash University, has launched with an investment from IP Group and BioCurate.

The company has been founded to develop therapies to address fibrosis, a condition associated with many chronic diseases where tissue damage leads to scarring and a loss of organ function. Inosi recognises the importance of close and early engagement between academic researchers and industry partners to ensure new therapy development programs are informed and aligned with addressing unmet patient and market needs.

Inosi’s technology is based on collaborative research from a team at Monash University led by Assoc Professor Siew Chai, Dr Tracey Gaspari, Professor Robert Widdop from Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute and Professor Philip Thompson from the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, with Monash Innovation leading the deal. The drug development program originated from a collaboration with St Vincent’s Institute of Medical Research and the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, both University of Melbourne affiliates, and since progressed with the fibrosis group at Monash.

“Fibrosis is closely associated with tissue injury and scarring that occurs with chronic diseases and is responsible for a large proportion of healthcare costs and mortality in developed countries, which is only projected to increase as the population ages” said Assoc Professor Siew Chai. “There is a huge unmet need for therapies that can prevent or reverse fibrosis to modify disease progression, and we are excited to be advancing our work one step further towards improving the lives of patients” commented Professor Robert Widdop.

“BioCurate is delighted to be investing alongside IP Group. This is a great example of new approaches and models that are translating research at Australia’s leading universities into products with the potential to improve lives” said Dr C. Glenn Begley, CEO of BioCurate.

Michael Molinari, Managing Director of IP Group Australia, said “Inosi Therapeutics is a great example of the quality technology from university research that IP Group specialises in backing. We’re delighted to have made this investment and look forward to working with BioCurate and the team to develop these therapies towards the clinic.”

“This is Monash’s first investment with IP Group, and combined with investment from our strategic partner BioCurate, this is a tremendous boost to the program, providing funding and expertise to rapidly translate our research outcomes into much needed new treatments” said Dr Alastair Hick, Senior Director Monash Innovation.

Inosi Therapeutics Media Contact:
info@biocurate.com

About IP Group

IP Group is a leading intellectual property commercialisation company focused on evolving great ideas from its partner universities into world-changing businesses. The Group pioneered a unique approach to developing these ideas and the resulting businesses by providing access to business building expertise, capital, scientific insight and the supporting infrastructure. In Australia and New Zealand, IP Group works in close partnership with the Go8 Universities and the University of Auckland to identify ground breaking technologies, rooted in hard science, which have the most promising commercial potential.

IP Group, which is listed on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange under the symbol IPO, has a strong track record of success and its portfolio comprises holdings in early-stage to mature businesses across life sciences and technology.

About BioCurate

BioCurate Pty Ltd was formed jointly in June 2016 by The University of Melbourne and Monash University, with support from the Victorian State Government to accelerate early phases of new drug development. BioCurate is seeking to address the key challenges in early stage drug development and to increase the number, quality and rate of translation of new drug discoveries into medically sound projects that are attractive for investment via commercial or public-good routes. The Company’s vision is to be a recognised global leader in the translation of basic medical research into human therapeutics. For more information, please visit http://www.biocurate.com

Twitter: @biocurate

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/biocurate/

About Monash University

Monash University is Australia’s largest and most international university. Its extensive educational offering, delivered across 10 faculties, includes undergraduate, postgraduate and research courses. Monash is a research-intensive university, known for some significant and lasting discoveries that have delivered impact beyond the academic community.

The university is home to a range of world-leading facilities and technologies, giving it wide-ranging capabilities across many fields, sectors and industries. Monash works with a variety of industry, government and community groups, allowing its researchers to share their discoveries with the world.

Monash is a truly global institution, with four Australian campuses, a campus in Malaysia, a joint graduate school in China, a learning centre in Italy, a research centre in India and over 100 international partners.

Discover more at monash.edu.au

About the University of Melbourne

Established in 1853, the University of Melbourne is Australia’s leading research and teaching university. It is a founding member of the Group of Eight – Australia’s leading research-intensive universities – and consistently ranked among the leading universities in the world for research and teaching, with international rankings as number 1 in Australia and number 32 in the world (Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2017-2018). In Australia, The University’s research expenditure is second only to that of CSIRO. With over 100 research centres and institutes, over 8,000 staff and over 60,000 students we bring together expertise from across the University and connect with thought leaders around the world to tackle society’s complex problems in innovative ways.

The University is deeply committed to fostering health and wellbeing and delivering impact from its medical research.

Discover more at https://www.unimelb.edu.au/

New BioCurate partnership set to bridge the biomedical translation gap

BioCurate  has welcomed the Federal Government’s announcement today that the company’s partnership with MTPConnect, UniQuest, and the Medical Device Partnering Program (MDPP) will operate the $22.3 million Biomedical Translation Bridge (BTB) Program.

The BTB program forms part of the Federal Government’s Medical Research Future Fund and aims to help early stage health and medical research ventures reach proof-of-concept stage.

BioCurate CEO Dr Glenn Begley said today’s announcement was an acknowledgement of the leadership and vision demonstrated by Monash University and the University of Melbourne, and the long-term support by the Victorian State Government. Their shared goal was to build research-translation and early commercialisation capability. It also recognises BioCurate’s deep industry-experience in drug development.

Through the BTB partnership, BioCurate and UniQuest – the University of Queensland’s expert translational facility - will together assess and recommend eligible ventures for funding in the area of therapeutics, and MDPP will do the same for medical devices. 

A key feature of the Program is the provision of expert advice, education and mentoring to those preparing applications and those awarded funding. Successful applicants will receive hands-on guidance, mentoring and project management advice throughout the life of the Program, leveraging the industry and commercialisation experience of BioCurate and our partners. 

MTPConnect, a not-for-profit organisation formed to accelerate the growth of Australia’s medical technology, biotechnology and pharmaceutical sector, will administer the program.

Dr Moss, CEO of UniQuest said, “In this partnership with MTPConnect and BioCurate we’ll draw on UniQuest’s commercialisation and drug discovery expertise to help develop Australian technologies to the stage where they can attract further capital and support, bridging the funding gap and giving the country’s ground-breaking medical research the best opportunity to create change in the lives of people in Australia and around the world.”

“BioCurate’s focus is working closely with researchers to address the barriers that limit the translation and commercialisation of their early stage research. The BioCurate team brings extensive ‘hands on’ international industry experience and we look forward to sharing our scientific and commercial expertise as part of the BTB Program” Dr Begley said.   

 ENDS

Media inquiries:

Linda Peterson – l.peterson@biocurate.com / +61 419 320 435

About BioCurate

BioCurate is an independently operated joint venture of the University of Melbourne and Monash University, supported by the Victorian State Government. The Board is independently chaired by The Hon John Brumby AO with CEO Dr C. Glenn Begley leading a team of industry-experienced commercial scientists and professional staff. Announced in June 2016, BioCurate’s founding universities are placed in the world’s top ten in the therapeutic areas of immunology, oncology, paediatrics, neurosciences, and infectious diseases.

 BioCurate aims to be a recognised global leader in the translation of basic medical research into human therapeutics. The Company offers a new model, designed to address the key challenges that limit the translation and commercialisation of biomedical and pharmaceutical research everywhere. Its purpose is to increase the clinical impact and patient benefit from research, regardless of whether or not there is any genuine commercial opportunity.

For more information, please visit http://www.biocurate.com, Twitter: @biocurate, LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/biocurate/

 

'BioCurate strikes MOU with Novartis, eyes more 'Big Pharma deals'

by Ben Potter
Australian Financial Review

BioCurate, a joint venture of Monash and Melbourne universities for early stage commercialisation of pharmaceutical research, has struck an agreement with global pharmaceuticals giant Novartis to share research and accelerate discoveries of new drugs. 

Glenn Begley, chief executive of BioCurate, said the memorandum of understanding would cover a full range of research from the two universities, which snare more than 40 per cent of federal biomedical research grants between them, with an emphasis on areas of special interest to Novartis, such as oncology drugs.

Dr Begley, who started at BioCurate in January after 20 years in the US, said the deal was not exclusive and BioCurate would be free to strike similar arrangements with other pharma giants who are approaching the organisation. 

"One of the things that's been really exciting about BioCurate is the interest that has come from international pharmaceutical companies and VC firms around the world," he told The Australian Financial Review

Read more here:  https://www.afr.com/news/biocurate-strikes-mou-with-novartis-eyes-more-big-pharma-deals-20181031-h17cjk

Novartis and BioCurate announce first collaboration to accelerate early stage drug discovery

Novartis is the first global biopharma to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with BioCurate Pty Ltd to collaborate on early stage drug discovery projects with a view to provide expert industry-focused scientific advice and expertise to BioCurate

  • The collaboration provides a valuable opportunity to identify and translate innovative research from two of the world’s top ranked1 universities for biological sciences – Monash University and the University of Melbourne

  •  While Novartis is Australia’s largest sponsor of clinical trials2, the MoU with BioCurate emphasises an additional focus of identifying early stage innovation and academic research which addresses unmet patient needs

Melbourne, October 31, 2018 The Australian biomedical research company BioCurate Pty Ltd and Novartis today announced that they will collaborate on early stage drug discovery projects that have potential to address an unmet need.

This collaboration marks BioCurate’s first with the global pharmaceutical industry.

Head of Strategic Partnerships at Novartis, Brett Roberts, said the collaboration with BioCurate is a unique opportunity to work with Monash University and the University of Melbourne on new innovative medicines.

“We are very excited to be able to bring together the global scientific and technical expertise of researchers at the Novartis Institute of Biomedical Research (NIBR) with BioCurate’s expertise in curating and translating early stage science into development ready Australian research projects,” said Mr Roberts.

BioCurate CEO, Dr C. Glenn Begley said the company recognised the importance of early engagement with a range of leading industry partners to ensure new drug development programs are informed and aligned with addressing unmet patient and market needs.

“We are delighted to collaborate with Novartis – a first-class innovator with considerable expertise and infrastructure that can potentially support Australia’s drug discovery and development capabilities,” Dr Begley said.

“We are hopeful this collaboration will ultimately lead to better health outcomes for the global community and continue to build Australia’s expanding innovation economy.”

Dr Begley said the collaboration with Novartis marks the first in a number of similar arrangements currently under discussion with other potential industry partners.

BioCurate, a joint venture of Monash University and the University of Melbourne, supported by the Victorian State Government, operates independently and is housed in the internationally renowned ‘Parkville Precinct’ in Melbourne, a cluster of 30 world-class hospitals, research institutes, teaching and biotech organisations employing approximately 10,000 researchers.

“BioCurate is uniquely positioned to lead the establishment of a number of international industry experts who are able to provide invaluable scientific advice, commercial insight and partnering opportunities to BioCurate and Australia’s medical research sector,” Dr Begley said.

Novartis Australia Chief Scientific Officer, Dr Simon Fisher, said it was a unique opportunity to leverage an internationally experienced team dedicated to rigorous analysis of local science to address unmet patient needs as well as commercial potential.

“This collaboration opens the door to overcome barriers that limit the translation and commercialisation of early stage research progressing to new medicines and providing benefits to patients,” Dr Fisher said.

“We know the research undertaken in Australia is as good as anything globally, so this is an opportunity to help advance the outputs of Australian science. We hope that collaborations of this kind will benefit Australian science and patients.”

Whilst the therapy focus areas of the BioCurate/Novartis partnership are yet to be confirmed, the focus will be to triage and prioritise the highest quality early stage research opportunities from BioCurate’s review of a promising portfolio of projects.

References

  1. The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2018 (Life Sciences) https://www.timeshighereducation.com/world-university-rankings/2018/subject-ranking/life-sciences#!/page/0/length/25/subjects/3051/sort_by/rank/sort_order/asc/cols/stats (Accessed 24 October 2018)

  2. AusTrade Clinical Trials Capability Report 2018 https://www.austrade.gov.au/news/latest-from-austrade/2018/new-report-spotlights-australias-capability-in-clinical-trials (Accessed 24 October 2018)

-ends-

About BioCurate

BioCurate Pty Ltd was formed jointly in June 2016 by The University of Melbourne and Monash University, with support from the Victorian State Government to accelerate early phases of new drug development.  BioCurate is seeking to address the key challenges in early stage drug development and to increase the number, quality and rate of translation of new drug discoveries into medically sound projects that are attractive for investment via commercial or public good routes. The Company’s vision is to be a recognised global leader in the translation of basic medical research into human therapeutics. For more information, please visit http://www.biocurate.com
Twitter: @biocurate
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/biocurate/

 

About Novartis

Novartis provides innovative healthcare solutions that address the evolving needs of patients and societies. Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Novartis offers a diversified portfolio to best meet these needs: innovative medicines, cost-saving generic and biosimilar pharmaceuticals and eye care. Novartis has leading positions globally in each of these areas. In 2017, the Group achieved net sales of USD 49.1 billion, while R&D throughout the Group amounted to approximately USD 9.0 billion. Novartis Group companies employ approximately 122,000 full-time-equivalent associates. Novartis products are sold in approximately 155 countries around the world. For more information, please visit http://www.novartis.com.

Novartis is on Twitter. Sign up to follow @Novartis at http://twitter.com/novartis
For Novartis multimedia content, please visit www.novartis.com/news/media-library

For questions about the site or required registration, please contact media.relations@novartis.com

About Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research

The Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research (NIBR) is the global pharmaceutical research organisation of Novartis. With an ongoing focus on diseases for which medical needs remain unmet, scientists and physicians at NIBR are dedicated to ensuring that Novartis maintains its strong pipeline. NIBR has sites in Basel, Switzerland; Shanghai, China; Cambridge, Massachusetts; and three other US locations.

# # #

BioCurate Pty Ltd Media Contact:

Linda Peterson
Chief Operating Officer
M: +61 419 320 435
E: l.peterson@biocurate.com

Novartis Australia/NZ Media Contact:

Peter Murphy
Director, Public Affairs and Communications
M: 0423 444897
peter.murphy@novartis.com

New Staff Appointment - Dr Lorna Mitchell

BioCurate is very pleased to announce Dr Lorna Mitchell’s appointment as Senior Project Leader. 

BioCurate is focused on turning discoveries into therapeutics, and is building a team of highly-experienced individuals capable of working collaboratively to ensure the company’s success.

Dr Mitchell brings a depth and breadth of scientific expertise and 17 years of international drug discovery experience in the biotech and pharmaceutical industry.  With particular strengths in medicinal chemistry, Lorna brings a complementary and highly valuable skill-set to the BioCurate team as the company progresses the development plans for its first projects.  Together with her colleagues, Lorna will lead and manage the development of the BioCurate project portfolio from initial academic interaction through oversight and delivery of specific project milestones.  As Senior Project Leader she will work closely with the inventors, support the Universities to help build their capability in translational research and liaise closely with other key players required for the successful commercial development of projects.

Dr Mitchell has experience across multiple therapeutic areas including dermatology, antivirals, CNS and oncology.  She has had responsibility for leadership of diverse chemistry & cross-­disciplinary teams.  Lorna has been directly involved in delivery of 9 drug candidates to the clinic and in validation, or timely no-­go decisions, on multiple new targets and projects.

We are delighted that she has decided to join the BioCurate team!

Dr Lorna Mitchell will commence in her new role on 22 October 2018.

The Academic Insider – Stories from Flirting with the 'Dark Side'

Dark side (noun): the missing link between academic research and achieving impact

‘I think academic researchers are mindful of the fact that they need to translate their discoveries. But how to actually go about doing that remains somewhat of a black box,’ says Dr Natalie Borg. This sentiment is shared by many biomedical researchers and reflects the knowledge and experience gap that exists between a basic discovery and translation of research into something that has real impact.

In the academic environment, because of the lack of expertise and funding, this gap is known as "the valley of death." Yet this valley is routinely traversed within industry. It is therefore essential to demystify this process, and provide the resources and know-how that exists within industry to bridge this gap if we are to realise the full potential of academic scientific discoveries.

The challenge, however, facing the translation of academic science to achieve impact for human health is demonstrated by the increasing cost of drug development over recent years. According to the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development, during the 1990s, the development of a new drug took an average of 8 years with costs up to $USD802 million. Today, that figure stands at 15 years and $USD2.6 billion, in spite of dramatic advancements in knowledge and technology. This quantifiable inflation in cost and time has driven a greater outward research focus of industry as it seeks to harness academic advances. BioCurate was specifically created to foster a stronger understanding and collaboration between academia and industry - to bridge the academic valley of death.

Professor Dale Godfrey and Dr Natalie Borg, two researchers who have maintained long-running conversations about their respective projects with the BioCurate team, understand this problem all too well. Professor Dale Godfrey is currently an NHMRC SPRF in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Melbourne and Immunology Theme Leader at the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity; and Dr Natalie Borg is an ARC Future Fellow and lab head based in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Monash University. While each are at different stages of their career and commercialisation journeys, both have come to realise they no longer need to view their research and achieving its commercial potential as separate endeavours.

With the uncertain path to commercialisation and the publish or perish mentality firmly entrenched in academia, "research-translation" can simply become an empty cliché. Both Dale and Natalie have had indirect interactions with the world of commercialisation throughout their academic careers. Dale completed his postdoctoral research in the United States, in an academic environment that was funded by industry. He recalls, ‘there was a friendly lawyer who would wander around the labs, asking about any new findings that could be patentable.’ He has also consulted for and embarked on small collaborations with several companies. Natalie undertook her PhD in a lab and at an institute that was heavily involved in the development of the influenza drug, Relenza®. This exposed her to the research path that led to commercialisation. ‘Through absorption, I learnt a lot and found the process quite inspiring,’ says Natalie.

In spite of this early exposure, for both Dale and Natalie, working in the highly competitive research grant-funded academic environment in Australia meant that the need to present and publish research has taken priority over advancing research in collaboration with

industry. Combined with limited information and few examples, it has been difficult for researchers to seriously contemplate commercialisation. Buzzwords such as commercialise and translate are often bandied about, but tangible means to progress such aspirations are limited. Today, advice on how to pursue this pathway is increasingly accessible and opportunities are becoming more apparent, sparking a shift in the mindset of many academic scientists.

BioCurate was designed to help facilitate this change in attitudes through education and true partnership, allowing academic scientists to explore the potential avenues to effect impact on human health. ‘It just wasn’t standard thinking. When faced with exciting results, I would think about how good it will be to present them at an upcoming conference, how to turn them into a publication or how I’ll use them for a grant application,’ states Dale. Things are beginning to change. ‘Now I’m also thinking about whether new results we have in the lab might have commercial and clinical potential by way of industry engagement.’ The guidance BioCurate has provided to Dale has given him a clearer view of the industrial therapeutic landscape, the opportunities and options therein, and the potential courses of action. It has helped him understand the best way to navigate sensitive areas of confidentiality and how this path can be managed in the context of other academic pressures.

For Natalie, who co-leads one of the six drug discovery projects that were selected for BioCurate’s first round of project investments, the application process was, in and of itself, enlightening. ‘It was the first time I really had to think about my research assets, who am I competing with, what is on the market?’ said Natalie. Currently, BioCurate’s support has mobilised her science, providing her the resources to push forward, as well as advice on finding the balance between publishing data and maintaining the commercial viability of her research. Not only that, but Natalie has found the chance to tap into the expertise of the BioCurate team to be hugely beneficial, educational - and enjoyable! Through this, she is learning a new vocabulary - one that is aiding her in conversing with industry. Her deeper understanding of the complexities and nuances of commercialisation is facilitating this journey.

BioCurate operates in the under-resourced yet highly critical early phases of new drug development. This phase represents an unmissable opportunity to grow greater links and collaboration between academia and industry and by doing so, will improve the development of potential treatments, for small molecules and biologics, across different therapeutic areas. BioCurate bridges this gap by providing the critical ‘missing link’ – industry experience and clear commercial focus; targeted funding and project management; mentoring and support – that will enable researchers to maximise the impact of their research

BioCurate Launches First Round of Project Investments

BioCurate Pty Ltd has achieved an important milestone with investments in six early drug discovery projects from research groups at The University of Melbourne and Monash University announced today. These projects represent the first tranche of investments for BioCurate.  

BioCurate’s CEO, Dr Glenn Begley said “I am delighted that BioCurate has taken this important next step. We are building on the combined research strength of these two outstanding Australian universities, accelerating and strategically guiding these high value projects to give them the best possible chance of commercial and clinical success.”

All of the projects have compelling clinical and commercial reasons to support their early investment and development. Each addresses an important unmet clinical need, adopts a novel approach and targets potential global markets.

BioCurate is pleased to have formally commenced its core business of targeting the critical early phases of drug development. The Company will take on several more projects throughout 2018 and will work across different therapeutic areas and modalities including small molecules, biologics and antibodies. Collaboration, cooperation and commercial rigour to achieve scale at the international level, will be the hallmarks of the Company’s approach

The development plan for each project identifies key ‘Go/No-Go’ gates with an early and consistent focus on ensuring the essential commercial imperatives of reproducible data and a clear intellectual property position.

Working closely and collaboratively with each of the project’s investigators and University colleagues, BioCurate is providing ‘on the ground’ expertise and mentoring in drug development and commercialisation, funding and project management. This, coupled with BioCurate’s extensive international industry experience in drug development and biopharmaceutical and investment networks, will boost the opportunity for these, and future, projects to undergo successful translation.

The successful investigator’s and their inaugural projects to enter BioCurate’s project pipeline are:

  • Dr Glen Carter and Prof Jonathan Baell - A novel class of antibiotics

  • Dr Natalie Borg and Prof David Jans - A new target for both viral infection and cancer

  • Profs Charles Mackay, Dr Remy Roberts and Prof Mark Sleeman - A novel therapeutic for cancer

  • Prof Rob Widdop, Prof Mibel Aguilar and Dr Mark Del Borgo - Anti-fibrotic therapy

  • Prof Ray Norton - A new treatment for autoimmune diseases

  • Dr Sheena McGowan and Prof Peter Scammells - Novel therapeutics for infection and cancer

About BioCurate Pty Ltd

BioCurate is a joint venture of the University of Melbourne and Monash University, supported by the Victorian State Government. Announced in June 2016, its founding universities are placed in the world’s top ten in the therapeutic areas of immunology, oncology, paediatrics, neurosciences, and infectious diseases.

BioCurate aims to be a recognised global leader in the translation of basic medical research into human therapeutics.            

The Company offers a new model, designed to address the key challenges in early stage drug development, and will focus on those stages of development before a project is attractive to the biomedical industry or venture capital funds. Its purpose is to increase the number, quality and rate of translation of new drug discoveries into medically sound and commercially attractive, investable projects.

BioCurate is also committed to helping develop the broader ecosystem and growing the local pipeline of high quality preclinical candidates for the bio-pharmaceutical industry. Increasing the number of ‘investment-ready’ projects will grow the Victorian and Australian biotech sector by attracting global interest in partnering and investment

BioCurate is owned jointly by the Universities and is independently governed and operated with the Hon John Brumby AO as Chair and Dr C.Glenn Begley as CEO.

Quotes from Monash University and the University of Melbourne:

Monash University’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Enterprise), Ken Sloan, welcomed the announcement. “BioCurate’s critical role as a catalyst across Universities, government and industry helps to accelerate improvements to the health of the community” Mr Sloan said. “We are delighted therefore to see the first cohort of research projects enter BioCurate’s pipeline for investment and development.”

Doron Ben-Meir, Vice-Principal (Enterprise) at the University of Melbourne, said “The unprecedented vision of BioCurate – to combine seasoned pharmaceutical industry professionals with our world class research substrate – is realising its first steps. It’s very exciting to see the first cohort of projects. We look forward to their continued development and to seeing many more promising candidates emerge from our growing pipeline of exceptional research.”

Quote from the Victorian Government Minister for Innovation and the Digital Economy, Philip Dalidakis:

Minster for Innovation and the Digital Economy Philip Dalidakis said “The Victorian Government is proud to support the early-stage drug development research lead by Melbourne and Monash Universities, whose combined expertise in the areas of pharmacology, immunology, neurosciences, and cardiology see them ranked among the world’s best. Congratulations to the successful researchers, whose projects have the potential to cure terrible diseases and improve patient care both across Victoria and around the world.”

ENDS

For more information on BioCurate: www.biocurate.com

Dr Begley is available for interviews.

For media enquiries please contact:
Linda Peterson
Chief Operating Officer and Company Secretary
Tel:  +61 419 320 435
E:  l.peterson@biocurate.com

Twitter: @biocurate
LinkedIn:https://www.linkedin.com/company/biocurate/

New Staff Appointments

Dr Glenn Begley is very pleased to advise of the following senior appointments to the positions of Chief Operating Officer and Senior Project Leader (two appointments).

These appointments signal the very important next stage for BioCurate. The Company has now established its operations and will soon be taking on its first projects. BioCurate will provide the management, commercial focus, international expertise and funding necessary to boost their successful translation and commercialisation.

Chief Operating Officer and Company Secretary
Linda Peterson has extensive experience across the academic, not for profit and corporate life sciences sector and has held positions in medical research, R&D, business management and executive leadership. Linda has been the Interim Chief Operating Officer and Company Secretary for BioCurate since July 2016. Working closely with the Board and University partners, Linda has been responsible for leading and managing all aspects of the set-up and independent operations of the company, including establishing the office facilities and back-office support arrangements, governance processes, operational systems and policies, communications and the recruitment of key staff. Immediately prior to joining BioCurate, Linda was the Executive Manager for the Bionics Institute and CEO of Bionic Enterprises Pty Ltd. Linda’s qualifications include a Bachelor of Science and post graduate qualifications in business administration.
Linda commenced in her new position of Chief Operating Officer and Company Secretary on 1 October, 2017.

Senior Project Leaders
Two outstanding and highly experienced professionals, Dr Catherine Drinkwater and Dr Eric Hayes have been appointed to the positions of Senior Project Leader. Their combined breadth of scientific expertise and project management experience bring valuable skills to the company as it prepares to take on its first projects. Drs Drinkwater and Hayes will lead and manage the development of the BioCurate project portfolio from initial academic interaction through oversight and delivery of specific project milestones. The Senior Project Leaders will work closely with the inventors, support the Universities to help build their capability in translational research and liaise closely with other key players required for the successful commercial development of projects.

Dr Catherine Drinkwater has extensive experience in both academic research and industry drug development. Following completion of her PhD at the Howard Florey Institute, Cathy went on to postdoctoral fellowships at Stanford University School of Medicine (California) and the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research. Since then she has worked in the commercial sector, as Principal Scientist at AMRAD Corporation (later Zenyth Therapeutics) and Project Manager at CSL, and at the research/industry/education “interface” with the Cancer Therapeutics CRC. During that time, she was responsible for leading and managing several early discovery and development projects, working with research teams to enhance their collaborative efforts and facilitate the timely delivery of their outcomes. Cathy has experience in a range of therapeutic areas including endocrinology, neurobiology, oncology, immunology and inflammation. Dr Drinkwater will commence in her new role on 13 November, 2017.

Dr Eric Hayes has academic, commercial drug development and pharmaceutical R&D support services experience, spanning over 25 years, in Europe, North America, Asia and Australia. Eric completed undergraduate and post-graduate studies in medical pharmacology at the University of British Columbia and the National University of Singapore. As a scientist, Eric has deep experience in preclinical drug development and supportive assay/model development. He has a breadth of therapeutic area experience including CNS, respiratory, metabolic, infectious diseases, cardiovascular and genitourinary diseases. As an entrepreneur, he has assisted academic and commercial individuals and institutions with discovery, development and commercialization of a variety of life-sciences technologies with a strong focus on human therapeutics development.  Dr Hayes will commence in his new role in early January, 2018.

BioCurate CEO Dr Glenn Begley presents at Harvard and Stony Brook Universities

Dr Glenn Begley gave a presentation at Harvard Medical School on 27 June. Around 200 students, postdocs and senior members of the Faculty attended Dr Begley's thought provoking and entertaining talk on the problems with reproducibility in science. Afterwards, a group joined Dr Begley for a Q&A over lunch.

Dr Begley was also the keynote speaker at the US National Directors of Graduate Studies in Pharmacology and Physiology (NDOGS) at Stony Brook University on 29 June 2017.  This is the annual meeting of the Directors and members of the FDA.  Following the presentation Dr Begley participated in a panel to continue discussions on what should be encompassed in their training programs with one of the NIH attendees.

 

 

BioCurate enters into a commercial services relationship with The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research (WEHI)

BioCurate is a joint venture of the University of Melbourne and Monash University, supported by the Victorian State Government. This bold and important collaboration underpins BioCurate’s aim to address the key challenges in early stage drug development and to increase the number, quality and rate of translation of new drug discoveries into medically sound, commercially attractive, investable projects.

Last month Dr C. Glenn Begley returned from the USA to Melbourne and commenced as BioCurate’s CEO, building on a distinguished career as haematologist, oncologist and biotech CSO. Last week BioCurate officially opened its new premises at 407 Royal Parade.

BioCurate brings a commercial skill-set and extensive global industry experience to this joint venture. It is recognized that in order to achieve sector-wide change, scale and international partnering, there will be a need, over time, to engage more broadly with the commercial development of Melbourne’s life-sciences sector.

BioCurate is pleased to announce that as a first step towards this broader sector engagement, BioCurate has entered into a Commercial Services Agreement with WEHI, the Department of Medical Biology in the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences at the University of Melbourne.

This Agreement covers the provision by BioCurate to WEHI for some specialist commercialization advice and contains all the standard commercial clauses relating to confidentiality and conflict of interest. The Board has determined that this advice will be provided by BioCurate’s CEO and will comprise around 2-4 days per month.

Dr Begley is a full-time employee of BioCurate with the requirements of the Company and its University Shareholders being his highest priority. Building on Dr Begley’s appointment, the Company will attract additional capability and continue to build expertise specifically targeted at early drug development.

BioCurate is committed to building on the combined research strengths of its University Shareholders to make transformational drug candidates become a reality.

CEO Appointed

An outstanding industry leader with exceptional national and global experience in successfully propelling important biomedical discoveries out of the lab and into the market has been appointed inaugural CEO of BioCurate Pty Ltd.  This AUD $80 million venture was launched last year by Monash University and the University of Melbourne and supported by the Victorian Government. The appointment is the result of an extensive international and national search.

Chair of BioCurate and former Premier of Victoria (2007-2010) the Hon. John Brumby AO today announced the appointment of Dr C. Glenn Begley as the CEO. Dr Begley has held senior academic positions in Australia, and worked in small biotech and large pharmaceutical companies. Most recently he was the Chief Scientific Officer of a privately-funded biotech company Akriveia Therapeutics, in California.

“I’m delighted to welcome Dr Begley back to Australia and into a pivotal role within this new enterprise,” Mr. Brumby said.

“Dr Begley brings an extraordinary combination of commercial, academic and clinical insight to this significant venture – the first of this scope and scale in Australia - whose ambition is to unlock the exceptional research capabilities of the University of Melbourne and Monash University and their partners in hospitals, medical institutes and industry, enabling significant new discoveries to be translated more rapidly into new medicines. The social and economic implications for Victoria and Australia are profound.”

A clinical haematologist and medical oncologist, whose academic and commercial roles include board level and senior positions in Australia, the USA and the UK, Dr Begley said he was looking forward to playing a leading role in shaping the strategic direction and operations of BioCurate Pty Ltd:

“I am delighted to be joining BioCurate at this important moment in its development,” Dr Begley said.

“Now more than ever it’s critical that important medical discoveries make it from the lab into new medicines and that the clinical and commercial benefits accrue to Australia. I am confident that BioCurate, building on the combined research strength of these two outstanding universities will ensure transformational drug candidates become a reality.”

Dr Begley will commence his appointment on 22 May 2017.

About BioCurate Pty Ltd

BioCurate is a joint venture of the University of Melbourne and Monash University, supported by the Victorian State Government. Announced in June 2016, its founding universities are placed in the world’s top ten in the therapeutic areas of immunology, oncology, paediatrics, neurosciences, and infectious diseases.

BioCurate offers a new model, designed to address the key challenges in early stage drug development, and will focus on those stages of development before a project is attractive to big pharma or venture capital funds. Its purpose is to increase the number, quality and rate of translation of new drug discoveries into medically sound and commercially attractive, investable projects.

BioCurate is owned jointly by the universities but is independently governed with the Hon. John Brumby as Chair and Dr. C. Glenn Begley as CEO.  

Quotes from Monash University and the University of Melbourne

Monash University’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Enterprise), Ken Sloan, welcomed the appointment of Dr Begley to the position of CEO of BioCurate Pty Ltd:

“It is fantastic that a leading scientific innovator like Dr Begley, with his wealth of international commercial and research expertise, has been attracted back to Australia to lead this remarkable venture,” Mr Sloan said.

“Dr Begley’s appointment is a strong indicator of Victoria’s and Australia’s growing global presence in the field of drug discovery and commercialization, catalyzed by the groundbreaking partnership between two world-leading universities.”

Doron Ben-Meir, Vice-Principal (Enterprise) at the University of Melbourne, welcomed the appointment of Dr C. Glenn Begley to lead BioCurate.

“Dr Begley brings exceptional knowledge and expertise in the scientific field and biotech industry and will lead us into an exciting new era of commercialisation via this enterprise, bringing together the world renowned expertise of Australia’s leading research universities of Melbourne and Monash,” Mr Ben-Meir said.

Quote from the Victorian Government Minister for Industry and Employment, Wade Noonan:

“Melbourne is quickly cementing its place as a world-leader in medical technologies and pharmaceuticals, and we’re attracting the world’s best and brightest minds to help the sector grow and create jobs.

BioCurate will facilitate strong growth for Victoria’s pharmaceutical sector. The collaboration is expected to generate about $360 million in activity over the next 10 years, supporting the creation of new companies, investment opportunities, exports, and more highly skilled jobs for this vital industry.” 

Dr C. Glenn Begley – biography

Most recently Dr C. Glenn Begley was Chief Scientific Officer at Akriveia Therapeutics, a Californian biotech company focused on discovering and developing the next generation of cancer immunotherapies. He was also a non-Executive Director for UK-based Oxford BioTherapeutics.

His previous roles include:

  • Chief Scientific Officer and Senior Vice-President, TetraLogic Pharmaceuticals (Pennsylvania)

  • Vice-President and Global Head, Hematology and Oncology Research, Amgen (California)

  • Executive Director, Western Australian Institute of Medical Research (Perth)

  • Senior Principal Research Fellow and Professor of Medicine, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, University of Melbourne

Dr Begley studied Medicine at undergraduate and postgraduate level at The University of Melbourne.

ENDS

Mr Brumby and Dr Begley are available for interviews.

For media enquiries please contact:

Linda Peterson
Chief Operating Officer (Interim)
Tel:  +61 419 320 435
E:  l.peterson@biocurate.com.au

Historic university collaboration launched to discover new medicines

A newly launched $80 million enterprise marks a unique collaboration between Monash University and the University of Melbourne in the field of biomedical research.

A first for Australia, and one of a small number of similar initiatives globally, the enterprise taps into the outstanding and complementary biomedical research capabilities and successful pharmaceutical outcomes of the University of Melbourne and Monash University with their associated Medical Research Institutes and hospitals. Both universities rank in the top 50 universities worldwide for Medicine, Pharmacy and Pharmacology according to the latest QS rankings. When the research strengths of these universities are combined in selected therapeutic areas they would be placed in the top 10 institutions globally, so combining their capabilities produces a global scale venture.

Read more.

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