Pictured: The BTB Finale Event was held at the iconic Luna Park amusement park in Sydney in August 2021, with presentations from each BTB awardee project. Pictured, on the last day of the Finale Event, are the BTB team with BTB awardees, partners and stakeholders for a group photo to celebrate the success of the BTB Program.
The $22.3 million Biomedical Translation Bridge (BTB) program is an initiative of the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) delivered by MTPConnect to nurture the translation of new therapies, technologies and medical devices through to the proof-of-concept stage, with expert industry support and mentoring. The program provided funding of between $100,000 and $1 million to projects for up to two years to accelerate the development of their innovation.
By bringing key organisations together, the BTB program formed an Australian-wide initiative with partners including BioCurate (joint venture between the University of Melbourne and Monash University), UniQuest (through QEDDI, the Queensland Emory Drug Discovery Initiative, a business unit of UniQuest, the commercialisation company of the University of Queensland) and Medical Device Partnering Program (MDPP, led by Flinders University). The BTB program’s education partners, the Bridge and BridgeTech programs, coordinated by the Queensland University of Technology ensured hundreds of early career researchers gained the critical skills needed to translate and commercialise their research outputs.
Launched in May 2019
The BTB program was launched in May 2019 with a series of information sessions conducted in capital cities and major regional centres around Australia, reaching 1,100 individuals to promote the program and engage with the sector ahead of calls for projects. An information session was also released as a podcast episode to broaden national reach and impact.
It has delivered three funding rounds, including a specific COVID-19 round set up swiftly in early 2020 as the pandemic took hold. MTPConnect mobilised resources across its organisation to support this crucial pivot for this unprecedented national health emergency. In what could not be a more challenging time to carry out health and medical research, 19 of the 21 projects successfully completed the program in the two-year timeframe.
The BTB program successfully achieved its key objective to “nurture, de-risk and develop competitive ventures that are attractive for further funding opportunities”. Projects advanced through the BTB program, with regular mentoring, commercialisation advice and project management. Opportunities were given to project teams to participate in the Bridge and BridgeTech Program delivered by QUT, to enhance their commercialisation knowledge, skills, capabilities and build their network.
A Bridge to Commercialisation – the BTB Program’s real and successful project outcomes
Through a series of case studies, the Biomedical Translation Bridge Impact Report highlights the many successes the BTB funded projects have had developing new therapies, technologies and medical devices – from an anti-viral nasal spray already on sale in 30 countries and a “smart” human-grade bionic implant that treats the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, to identifying a novel preclinical development candidate for the treatment of prostate cancer and developing and manufacturing a patient isolation hood for use in hospitals for COVID-19 and infectious diseases.
The BTB program successfully achieved its key objective to “nurture, de-risk and develop competitive ventures that are attractive for further funding opportunities” and delivered real outcomes:
- 29 new technologies invented or progressed
- seven new products launched
- 56 new jobs created
Through the $22.3 million BTB program, and with industry contributions and substantial amounts of external development capital raised, a total of $156.4 million has been injected into Australia’s MTP sector.
For further details re: the BTB program and the individual project case studies, please see the BTB Impact Report below:
BioCurate is a bold, collaborative venture, dedicated to delivering benefits to the community by helping to advance Australian research and innovation globally. Jointly formed by the University of Melbourne and Monash University, with support from the Victorian State Government, BioCurate was specifically created to invest in, manage and commercialise innovative Australian medical research. We provide a critical bridge between academia and industry by identifying promising research and accelerating its development for real-world clinical impact, while ensuring scientific and commercial rigour. Our multi-disciplinary team has an extensive global network and a proven track record in producing commercially successful therapies, positioning BioCurate well to drive the most feasible commercial pathway forward and improve people’s lives.”
Visit Biocurate for more information.
UniQuest is a leading university-based commercialisation company, managing the intellectual property (IP) of The University of Queensland (UQ). UniQuest has facilitated more than 100 start-up companies built on UQ IP, a milestone unsurpassed by any other Australian university. These companies have gone on to raise more than $776M to take UQ technologies to market. The Queensland Emory Drug Discovery Initiative (QEDDI), a division of UniQuest, is a small molecule drug discovery and development facility translating The University of Queensland and collaborator’s biomedical research into new medicines to deliver faster health benefits. UniQuest is a partner on the MRFF Targeted Translation Research Accelerator (TTRA) Program with MTPConnect.
Visit UniQuest for more information.
Medical Device Partnering Program (MDPP)
The Medical Device Partnering Program, led by Flinders University, runs an ideas incubator driving entrepreneurial culture within the medtech sector. The Program fosters collaborations between researchers, industry, end-users and government and develops novel medical devices with global market potential. It forms the essential links between clinical need and knowledge with technical expertise and industry know-how. MDPP is also a partner on the MRFF Targeted Translation Research Accelerator (TTRA) Program and the Researcher Exchange and Development within Industry (REDI) initiative with MTPConnect.
Visit MDPP for more information.
Bridge and BridgeTech programs (Queensland University of Technology)
The Bridge Program provides commercialisation training focused on the development of new pharmaceuticals in collaboration with a number of partners including universities and leading pharmaceutical companies. Similarly, the BridgeTech Program provides commercialisation training for researchers and entrepreneurs with a focus on the medtech sector in partnership with Australian universities, medtech companies and industry partners. The BridgeTech and Bridge Program, now in their fourth and fifth year respectively, select up to 100 participants annually from around Australia to take part in these fully-supported training programs. The Bridge and BridgeTech Program is also a partner on the MRFF Researcher Exchange and Development within Industry (REDI) initiative with MTPConnect.
Visit the Bridge Program to learn more about pharmaceutical commercialisation.
Visit the BridgeTech Program for more information about medtech commercialisation.
- 13 September 2022 - A Bridge to Commercialisation - Part 2 from the BTB Finale with MycRx, Starpharma, the Biocurate team and BridgeTech’s Professor Lyn Griffiths
- 6 September 2022 - A Bridge to Commercialisation - Part 1 from the BTB Finale with Chair Sue MacLeman, the Hon. Robyn Preston MP and some of the team behind the Medihood McMonty
- 31 May 2022 - Dimerix investigates new treatment for COVID-19 complications with Dimerix Bioscience's Dr Robert Shepherd
- 22 November 2021 - LBT Innovations’ Technology Aims to Speed Up Detection of Antimicrobial Resistance with LBT Innovations' Brent Barnes (for World AMR Awareness Week 2021)
- 5 March 2021 - Spotlight: Starpharma’s COVID-19 Nasal Spray for UK & Europe with Starpharma's Dr Jackie Fairley
- 13 August 2020 - South Australia’s Novel Response to Coronavirus with Vaxine's Professor Nikolai Petrovsky
- 7 February 2020 - Funding on Offer Through the Biomedical Translation Bridge Program - Live Round 2 Information Session at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre
- 14 June 2019 - The Lowdown – everything you need to know about the Biomedical Translation Bridge program - Live Round 1 Information Session at the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre (VCCC) in Melbourne
BTB Case Studies:
- Modernising Pain Management with 3D Drug Discovery Technology 30 September 2022
- Pioneering Australian Technology is keeping hospitals COVID-safe 30 March 2022
- New drug treatment in development for patients living with liver disease 28 February 2022
- Shining a light on collaboration to accelerate anti-cancer drug discovery 15 December 2021