CSL announces new translation hub for Melbourne

Company News

CSL will house its new Global Research and Translational Medicine Hub at the University of Melbourne’s Bio21 Molecular Science and Biotechnology Institute.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull anncouned the company's decision yesterday after touring the facility in the Melbourne biotech precinct in Parkville.

CSL has partnered with Bio21 since 2007.

Mr Turnbull highlighted CSL's decision as an example of the industry-academia collaboration his government is committed to encouraging.

The lack of collaboration between industry and researchers has been consistently highlighted by successive governments as a barrier to Australia enjoying the full economic benefit of its significant investment in R&D.

The university will invest $36.4 million in the substantial expansion of the Bio21 Institute.

It will be home to the CSL Global Hub for Research and Translational Medicine. The company said it expects to more than double the presence of its research scientists, from 75 to around 150.

Work on the new building will commence this year and the expansion is expected to be completed during 2017.

“This is an important industry-university partnership that will enable greater knowledge and technology transfer, drive innovation and ensure Australian research is translated into positive health outcomes around the world,” said University of Melbourne Vice-Chancellor, Professor Glyn Davis.

“The National Innovation and Science Agenda recognises that universities, government and industry are crucial partners in building and enhancing Australia’s innovation ecosystems. Our successful partnership with CSL – and the support Bio21 has received from all levels of government - is proof of this,” he added.

“CSL is committed to fostering excellence in Australian research. R&D is our past and our future. The increased presence at Bio21 will allow CSL to increase its collaborations with University researchers, plus other research institutes and hospitals. It will also provide an expanded base for new national and international collaborations,” said Dr Andrew Cuthbertson, CSL Chief Scientific Officer and R&D Director.

“This expansion makes business sense and is very exciting scientifically. Our research scientists find Bio21 an attractive and intellectually stimulating place to work, and the cross-cultivation  of ideas from academia to commercial helps translate science into life-saving medicines,” added Dr Cuthbertson.

“The co-location of a large multinational with the University is a fundamental aspect to its success and will generate an environment in which other start ups and small businesses can thrive," said Professor Davis.

CSL also announced that the FDA has approved IDELVION (Coagulation Factor IX (Recombinant), Albumin Fusion Protein) for patients with haemophilia B.

The positive FDA outcome follows a similar recommendation in Europe. IDELVION reduces the number of times haemophilia B sufferers require injections from two or three times a week to weekly or fortnightly.