Minister announces new $5m fund

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Health minister Greg Hunt has announced $5.2 million to support multi-disciplinary research teams and SMEs to deliver innovative health and medical breakthroughs.

Mr Hunt made the announcement at the Brisbane-based Translational Research Institute. The funding from the Medical Research Future Fund will be used for the Biotech Horizons program – a new program aiming to boost Australia’s ability to move cutting edge ideas and breakthrough discoveries towards proof-of-concept.

The Biotech Horizon fund will complement the $500 million Biomedical Translation Fund that provides co-investment to progress ideas past the second ‘valley of death’ to a commercialised output.

"Turning great research into a commercial success can be incredibly challenging, particularly for health and medical products of research," said minister Hunt.

"Often a lack of funding can mean great discoveries don’t reach the proof-of-concept stage – the first step towards clinical trials and commercialisation.

"We don’t want great medical discoveries to remain stuck in the lab and never actually benefit patients.

"That’s why we’re investing to help break down the barriers facing Australian health and medical innovations and improve their chances of success, both here and overseas," added the minister.

MTPConnect CEO Sue MacLeman welcomed the announcement.

“The Biotech Horizons program will provide much-needed support for new, innovative and life-changing discoveries, addressing the pre-clinical ‘valley of death’ that is a key barrier to growth for the Australian medtech, biotech and pharma sector. We welcome the announcement and look forward to working with the sector in taking advantage of the support it provides,” she said.