Melbourne hosts 2019 Bridge Symposium

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Melbourne is currently hosting the 2019 Bridge Symposium over three days as the collaboration works to support researchers and entrepreneurs build the knowledge, skills and networks focussed on the commercialisation of new pharmaceuticals.

The industry-backed Bridge Program, which launched in 2017, selects 100 participants annually from across Australia to take part in face-to-face and online training in the various components that contribute to the commercialisation of new medicines.

The symposium with around 100 participants will feature over 30 speakers who are sharing their experience of taking new drug discoveries through the rigorous process of commercialisation.

The speakers include representatives of pharmaceutical companies such as Novartis, Pfizer, Amgen and AbbVie, along with venture capital companies, startups, media representatives, legal and regulatory bodies and government groups.

A feature of the symposium is the 'Partnering Experience' where participants work in teams on an activity where they design an elevator pitch with the aim of securing funding from a pharmaceutical company.

Participants receive specific and practical feedback from members of the Bridge Consortium (11 pharmaceutical companies, universities and the government body MTPConnect).

New data from Bridge Program participants from 2017 and 2018 reflects its potential, with increased involvement in commercial partnerships, patents and licensing.

The Bridge Program consortium is led by QUT and supported by MTPConnect’s Biomedical Translation Bridge Fund with industry matched funding from Amgen, AbbVie, CSL, Johnson & Johnson, Medicines Australia, Macquarie University, MSD, Novartis and Pfizer.