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Victorian Research Centre Signs Major Global Pharma Deal

28 January 2016

Victoria’s reputation as Australia’s biotech, pharmaceutical and medical research hub has been strengthened this week with one of the largest preclinical deals in Australia – worth $700 million.

Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade Philip Dalidakis said the deal highlights the state’s leading cancer research capacity.

Parkville-based Australian Cancer Therapeutics Cooperative Research Centre (CTx), their UK based research and commercialisation partner Cancer Research Technology and global pharmaceutical giant MSD, known as Merck in the US and Canada, have signed a licensing agreement for the development and commercialisation of drugs arising from the PRMT5 inhibitor program.

This could significantly improve treatment for patients with cancer and blood disorders such as sickle cell disease and thalassemia.

Headquartered in Melbourne’s Parkville Precinct, the CTx is focused on the discovery of novel  small molecule  cancer drugs for children and adults. It has 17 partner organisations including many of Australia’s top cancer research institutes and universities.

The PRMT5 inhibitor drug program is the result of research by Professor Stephen Jane (Monash University/Alfred Health) and a collaboration with CTx research participants and partners. The program has taken advantage of the excellent facilities available in Victoria including the Australian Synchrotron.

Victoria’s medical technologies and pharmaceuticals is a key growth sector in the Andrews Labor Government’s Back to Work Plan to boost local high-skill jobs.

The sector now employs more than 20,000 people and generates more than $10 billion for the state.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade, Philip Dalidakis

“I’m thrilled that Victoria’s ground-breaking research was chosen for this major investment – it’s a significant vote of confidence in Victoria’s dominant medtech sector.”

“This announcement reinforces our reputation as leaders in developing innovative new drugs, products and devices and attracting investors from across the globe.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Health, Jill Hennessy

“With more than 180 biotech companies, 10 major medical research institutes, 10 teaching hospitals and nine universities here in Victoria, we’re leading the nation when it comes to medical research and development.”

“This announcement is a great example of what we can achieve by working with the private sector to deliver better outcomes, care and treatment for Victorians.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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