New Deal To Fight Diseases And Cancers

09 November 2015

The leadership and excellence of Melbourne's medical research institutions has helped to secure major investment for world leading discovery into life-saving breakthroughs for rare diseases and cancers.

The Australian Genomics Health Alliance, led by researchers from The Murdoch Children's Research Institute, has been awarded $25 million by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) to promote the integration of genomic medicine in healthcare across Australia, and has leveraged this grant to more than $125 million through Victorian and interstate partnerships.

The grant, the second largest in NHMRC history, will support the work of the Australian Genomics Health Alliance, a national network of 47 partner organisations, led by Professors Kathryn North and Andrew Sinclair of the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute.

Parliamentary Secretary for Medical Research, Frank McGuire, said the grant builds on the Andrews Labor Government’s $25 million investment in the 2015-16 Victorian Budget to develop a state-wide genomic sequencing program, which will speed up the diagnosis and treatment of rare conditions and inherited diseases.

Currently, children with rare and undiagnosed conditions undergo invasive and expensive clinical tests, treatments and surgeries over months and years to determine the cause of their illness, placing families under tremendous stress.

The Labor Government’s investment in the ground-breaking work of the Melbourne Genomics Health Alliance has helped build a foundation for further investment in genomic medicine that will not only benefit the Victorian healthcare system, but will enable Australia to become a global leader in genomic medicine.

The Melbourne Genomic Health Alliance brings Melbourne’s world-class leading research institutes and hospitals – including Murdoch Children’s Research Institute – together to develop this new gene sequencing.

The Labor Government’s investment will see up to 2500 children and adults receive early diagnoses of their conditions, enabling them to receive treatment earlier and improve their health outcomes.

It will also mean Victorians with hereditary diseases will have greater understanding about how their genetic condition might impact them and their families in the future.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Health, Jill Hennessy

“Today demonstrates that Victoria is at the forefront of genomic sequencing technology in Australia and that we play a critical role in bringing together national expertise to lead in this field.”

“This is an outstanding result that will help save lives and improve the quality of life for children and adults suffering rare diseases and cancers in Australia and around the world.”

Quotes attributable to Parliamentary Secretary for Medical Research, Frank McGuire

“This is proof of the Labor Government's strategy of collaboration and coordination to maximise results and highlights the value of our $25 million investment in this year’s budget to develop a state-wide genomic sequencing program to accelerate diagnosis and treatment.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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