Applicantions open for 2019 Bridge Program

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Four participants in the industry-backed Bridge Program have spent recent days in the US visiting the headquarters of three major pharmaceutical companies following a competitive pitching competition.

The four Bridge Program participants, Derek Richard (QUT), Danny Bosch (Microba), Lilly Bojarski (Bio-Link) and Benjamin Buckley (University of Wollongong), were awarded the scholarship and visits to MSD, Amgen and AbbVie as a result of their successful pitches presented as part of the Bridge Program Pitch Competition.

“We have had over 30 meetings with scientists, senior executives and vice-presidents, providing us with a rare opportunity to build face-to-face relationships with stakeholders you normally do not have an opportunity to meet," said Microba's Danny Bosch.

QUT's Derek Richard, who is also from CARP pharmaceuticals, secured his participation in the scholarship by pitching an innovative cancer therapy.

“I enrolled in the Bridge Program to literally 'Bridge the Gap' in my knowledge so that I could better understand the pathway and hurdles that we would face as we progressed our drug towards patients. I went into the program with high expectations, having spoken to the previous year’s participants, and these expectations were met and exceeded,” he said.

The scholarship comes at the end of the second offering of this highly competitive course on the commercialisation of new pharmaceuticals.

This year, 98 researchers, entrepreneurs and industry professionals participated in the course that involved comprehensive online training modules, an occasional seminar series and a 3-day residential training program which saw talks from over 25 leaders in the pharmaceutical industry including national and international speakers.

The Bridge Program consortium includes 15 companies, universities and industry groups.

It will be holding the closing event of this calendar year later this week at QUT's Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation.

Applications for the next offering of the program and now open and close on 1 March 2019. More information is available online.