MedChem Australia launches to help translate research into new medicines

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08 November 2023

Pictured: MTPConnect's Lisa Dubé with MIPS Prof Chris Porter, WEHI's Prof Guillaume Lessene, MCA's Prof Brendan Monahan and MTPConnect's Dr Amelia Vom.

Monash University's Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, together with WEHI and the University of Sydney, today launched MedChem Australia, a first-of-its-kind national initiative to help guide drug discovery projects towards clinical trials and, ultimately, create new therapies for a broad range of diseases.

Through a collaboration model, MedChem Australia will provide expert medicinal chemistry capability and mentorship to enhance, accelerate, and enable the development of home grown, high quality medicines. 

MTPConnect's Chief Operating Officer Lisa Dubé and Director Health and Biosecurity Strategy Dr Amelia Vom attended the launch of this new drug discovery initiative in Parkville, which was officially opened by Hon Ged Kearney MP, Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care. Victoria's lead scientist Dr Amanda Caples and representatives from the sector were in attendance.

Director of MedChem Australia, Professor Brendon Monahan explained that it will help fill a critical gap in Australia’s drug discovery pipeline and strengthen sovereign capability with the development of homegrown, high quality medicines.

“Australia has no shortage of projects to create new therapeutic options to treat human disease which are highly innovative but short on resources, especially in medicinal chemistry. MedChem Australia will provide the brightest projects with medicinal chemistry expertise and capability to accelerate progression, enhance success, and maximise value and impact.

“By bringing together Monash University, WEHI and the University of Sydney, and with funding support from the Commonwealth Government’s Medical Research Future Fund and Therapeutic Innovation Australia, MedChem Australia will deliver preclinical candidates, increase opportunities for new biomed spin-outs, and engage actively with industry to drive investment and generate new jobs.”

MedChem Australia will be making the first call for project applications from across Australia following a roadshow in November and December of information sessions being held around Australia. Projects to receive subsidised support will be selected through a competitive and independent application process. Researchers from Australian Universities, Medical Research Institutes, and SMEs will be eligible to apply. Follow on LinkedIn for more information.

This initiative has been made possible through the support of the Federal Government’s Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) and Therapeutic Innovation Australia (TIA).