Participants gather for Bridge Program conference

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The Bridge Program has progressed with a three-day conference attended by 101 participants from 62 companies and universities from across Australia.

The program is a collaboration between industry, venture capital firms and universities to support commercialisation.

It was one of 14 projects funded by MTPConnect - the Medical Technologies and Pharmaceuticals Industry Growth Centre - with $7.4 million over two years. It is being implemented by QUT. 

The collaboration is comprised of AbbVie, Amgen, Australian Private Equity and Venture Capital Association, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Boehringer Ingelheim, Celgene, CSL, Johnson & Johnson, Macquarie University, the Medical Research Commercialisation Fund, Medicines Australia, MSD, Mundipharma, Novartis, Pfizer and QUT.

Professor Lyn Griffiths, executive director of the QUT Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation (IHBI) and director of the Bridge Program, said Australia was punching above its weight in biomedical science and medical research.

“But we are not very good at translating our science into products that can enhance health and wellbeing,” said Professor Griffiths.

“This program helps fill the big gaps in taking biomedical research out of the lab and into healthcare by equipping participants with the knowledge and skills to navigate the complex regulatory, financial, scientific and intellectual property issues involved in bringing new medicines to market.”

The three-day program follows the four-month online course participants have completed since the program’s June launch. The program is covering how global pharmaceutical companies discover, develop and commercialise new drugs, intellectual property, raising capital, pitching and crafting a deal, navigating regulatory approval, and regulatory requirements for commercialisation.

Participants include mid-career and senior researchers and scientists, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, IP lawyers, business development managers and university technology transfer staff and government agency representatives.

“It is a great networking opportunity for Australia’s researchers and scientists to meet with key representatives from these global companies,” said Professor Griffiths said.

“It will contribute to the Bridge Program goal of assisting Australia’s bioscience sector to reach its full potential and create additional high-value translational jobs by 2025.”