Government launches roadmap for stem cell therapies mission

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The federal government has released the draft roadmap for its $150 million Stem Cell Therapies Mission.

The mission is being funded through the Medical Research Future Fund's $20 billion endowment.

The draft roadmap describes the mission as using "stem cells to develop innovative, safe and effective treatments accessible to all Australians who need them".

Its vision is for an "Australia with a world-leading translational stem cell sector developing and delivering innovative, safe and effective stem cell treatments that improve health outcomes in partnership with patients and carers".

It focuses significant attention on translation and the commercialisation of research.

The funding principles say it should support research that targets the "development of innovative, safe and effective treatments.

"Long term outcomes should improve clinical delivery and commercial development of innovative, safe and effective treatments," it says, with two of the six funding priorities listed as "clinical translation" and "commercialisation".

It says, "Opportunities exist within the MRFF, including within this Mission, to increase collaboration across the value chain thereby accelerating the development of world-leading treatments for export. This in turn will generate jobs.

"Commercialisation activities may be funded via the Mission, other programs under the MRFF, or other Government initiatives, including the Biomedical Translation Fund. Leveraged support may also be sought from private capital, including philanthropy and the commercial sector."

The 12-member panel includes a number of Australia's leading medical researchers, patient representatives, and an ANU professor who is also the founder and CEO of WearOptimo. The company, which is developing wearable technologies, was recently spun-out of the ANU.

The panel also includes MTPConnect CEO Dan Grant, who used to lead industry engagement at La Trobe University, and previously worked in external R&D innovation with Pfizer.