Australia’s newest biotech incubator is calling for innovative early-stage Australian biotechnology companies to take up residency in its new Melbourne-based facility.
The 'Jumar Bioincubator' will be supported by cash and in-kind contributions of approximately $45 million over ten years from its founding partners - CSL, WEHI, and The University of Melbourne, as well as an initial investment of $25 million from Breakthrough Victoria.
The incubator aims to connect early-stage and scaling biotechnology ventures with new facilities, infrastructure, and support to progress discoveries towards real-world treatments.
The incubator's name was inspired by the word 'jumar'. It refers to a mountaineering technique by which climbers receive the support necessary to scale and speedily ascend challenging mountains efficiently.
The incubator cost $30 million to build. It will facilitate research commercialisation and innovation translation by providing biomedical scientists and researchers with the knowledge and skills needed to run successful biomed and biotech companies.
Jumar is Australia’s first and only biotechnology incubator co-located with a leading biopharmaceutical company in a world-class biomedical precinct.
It offers a range of facilities, including self-contained laboratories enclosed in physical containment wet-labs and support facilities, office spaces, and access to bulk purchasing power to enable savings on laboratory consumables.
They also offer preferential access to the unique platform technologies of WEHI and the University of Melbourne, and the ability for biotechnology companies to retain 100 per cent of their intellectual property.
Jumar will be located across two floors of CSL’s new global headquarters and centre for R&D in the Melbourne Biomedical Precinct when it opens in September. It will be led by a newly-appointed general manager, Camille Shanahan.
Cicada Innovations CEO Sally-Ann Williams said, “By supporting young and maturing biotech companies to succeed, Jumar can be a catalyst nationally for growth in commercial biotech outcomes for Australia. Camille’s passion for growing Australia’s biotechnology industry has been evident throughout her career. Her experience and networks will contribute to building a thriving community - both inside Jumar, and connected to a thriving biotech ecosystem nationally.”
Dr Andrew Nash, the chief scientific officer and the head of research, said, “To transition from a biotech start-up to a commercial success requires shifts in capabilities, processes, mindset as well as access to capital. Jumar Bioincubator residents, based at CSL’s Global Headquarters and Centre for R&D, will receive hands-on support and work near a large and focused CSL R&D team. Aligned to our promise to patients, we are looking forward to supporting the resident biotech start-ups as they navigate the translation of their promising medical research into new treatments and therapies.”