Bridge Program Participants visit US headquarters of AbbVie, Amgen and Merck

10 December 2018

Pictured: Left to Right: Bridge Program Pitch Competition winners Danny Bosch; Derek Richard; Lilly Bojarski; and Benjamin Buckley.

QUT’s the Bridge Program has awarded four participants in this year’s cohort a travel scholarship to the US headquarters of three major pharmaceutical companies following a competitive pitching competition.

The travel scholarship took the 4 participants across the US on a tour to AbbVie, Amgen and Merck where they received exclusive tours and met with some of the world’s pharmaceutical leaders.

The four Bridge Program participants, Derek Richard (QUT), Danny Bosch (Microba), Lilly Bojarski (Bio-Link), & Benjamin Buckley (University of Wollongong) were awarded this highly exclusive scholarship as a result of their successful pitches presented as part of the Bridge Program Pitch Competition.

Danny Bosch from Microba shared his experience visiting the industry leaders; “We have had over 30 meetings with scientists, senior executives and vice-presidents, providing us with a rare opportunity to build face-to-face relationships with stakeholders you normally do not have an opportunity to meet”.

Derek Richard from CARP pharmaceuticals and QUT pitched a cancer therapy which awarded him one of the 4 travel scholarships and said in regard to the program in general, “I enrolled in the Bridge Program to literally “Bridge the Gap” in my knowledge, so that I could better understand the pathway and hurdles that we would face as we progressed our drug towards patients. I went into the program with high expectations, having spoken to the previous year’s participants, and these expectations were met and exceeded.”

The scholarship comes at the end of the second offering of this highly competitive course on the commercialisation of new pharmaceuticals.

This year, 98 researchers, entrepreneurs and industry professionals participated in the course which involved comprehensive online training modules, an occasional seminar series and a 3-day residential training program which saw talks from over 25 leaders in the pharmaceutical industry including national and international speakers.

With the support of the 15 companies, universities and industry groups involved in the Bridge Program Consortium, the tour to the US headquarters of 3 pharmaceutical giants was made possible.

The Bridge Program consortium includes:

AbbVie; Amgen; Australian Private Equity and Venture Capital Association; Bristol-Myers Squibb; Boehringer Ingelheim; Celgene; CSL; Janssen-Cilag; Macquarie University; Medicines Australia; Medical Research Commercialisation Fund; MSD; Mundipharma; Novartis Pharmaceuticals; and Pfizer

The Bridge Program will be holding the closing event of this calendar year on December 13th at the Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, QUT to conclude another successful year.

Applications for the next offering of the program will commence later this month with the EOI portal opening on December 13th and closing next year on March 1st 2019.