The Biomedical Translation Fund will fund three medical breakthroughs, as announced jointly by The Hon Greg Hunt MP, Health and Sports Minister and Senator The Hon Arthur Sinodinos, Minister for Industry, Innovation ad Science.
The investments are being made for the BTF by one of its three fund managers, BioScience Managers:
$5 million in Rex Bionics to develop a hands-free robotic device to help people with severe
disability to walk, exercise and rehabilitate;
$3.3 million to Saluda Medical for neuromodulation technologies for people suffering from
chronic back pain and other debilitating conditions;
$5 million to CHARM Informatics for data aggregation and commercialisation services for
makers of ‘smart’ medical devices.
A joint venture between the Australian Government and private sector investors, further investments are yet to be made, with a total of $500 million available.
Flying Blind is a series of three reports dedicated to uncovering the acute levels of data fragmentation existing at all levels of Australia’s health landscape.
CMCRC in collaboration with Research Australia is currently working on the second report which examines Australia’s health and medical research data environment and traces the difficulties that Australian researchers face at each stage of their journey as they attempt to access research data. Volume One dived into consumers and digital health through the patient journey, service fragmentation, health data silos, legislation, regulation and policy and consumer concerns and perceptions.
As we write Volume Two: Researchers and the Health Data Maze, we’ll be publishing regular blog posts of interest to this topic. The blog is updated regularly by members of the CMCRC’s Health Market Quality program and Research Australia. If you would like to be a guest blogger please email Lucy Clynes with your expressions of interest.
This week, the Prime Minister announced that the Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457 visa) will be abolished and replaced with the completely new Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa in March 2018.
The TSS visa program will be comprised of a Short-Term stream of up to two years and a Medium-Term stream of up to four years and will support businesses ‘in addressing genuine skill shortages in their workforce and will contain a number of safeguards which prioritise Australian workers.’ Continue reading “Temporary Work (Skilled) visa subclass 457 scrapped”
Joint statement on the Research & Development Tax Incentive
Don’t rip the guts out of Australian medical research commercialisation
Commercialisation of Australian medical research is under serious threat if the package of measures put by the ‘Ferris, Finkel, Fraser’ Review of the Research & Development (R&D) Tax Incentive is adopted and Australia’s medical technology, biotechnology, and pharmaceutical (MTP) sector is urging the Federal Government not to devastate Australia’s most innovative industry.
The R&D Tax Incentive is the most critical centre-piece program in the translation of Australia’s world-class research into treatments, cures, diagnostics, medical devices and vaccines. The program has been successful in helping attract more investment in R&D and fostering a strong Australian life sciences clinical trials and R&D sector. Continue reading “Research & Development Tax Incentive”
CRCs have played a key role in the translation of Australian health and medical research. Research Australia’s response to the Government’s consultation on Themes and Priorities for the CRC Programme took the opportunity to advocate for the reinstatement of Public Good CRCs, which are specifically excluded by the most recent Guidelines for the CRC Programme.
We are delighted to share with you the Summer Issue of Research Australia’s quarterly publication – INSPIRE.
It is has been such a busy year in the health and medical research industry and what a better way to celebrate the contribution our Members have had than through Research Australia’s annual Awards; GSK Award for Research Excellence; Bupa Health Foundation Emerging Health Researcher Award and Sax Institute’s annual Research Action Awards. Enjoy reading about the recipients of these awards and lives they are changing. Continue reading “INSPIRE Magazine”
Health & Medical Research Awards
2015 Peter Wills Medal
The Peter Wills Medal was created in 2011 to mark research Australia’s 10th anniversary. It recognises an Australian who has made an outstanding contribution to building Australia’s international reputation in the area of health & medical research, and for harnessing government, research, industry and philanthropic collaborations to promote better health
Sharon Lewin is the inaugural director of the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, a joint venture between the University of Melbourne and Royal Melbourne Hospital; Professor of Medicine, The University of Melbourne; consultant infectious diseases physician, Alfred Hospital, Melbourne, Australia; and an Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Practitioner Fellow. She is an infectious diseases physician and basic scientist.
Sharon completed her medical training (MB., BS (Hons) 1986) and her PhD (1996) in Microbiology at Monash University, Melbourne Australia. She was trained in clinical infectious diseases in Melbourne (FRACP 1996) and did her post-doctoral fellowship with Professor David Ho at the Aaron Diamond Research Centre at the Rockefeller University, New York (1997-1999). David Ho was named Time Man of the Year in 1996 for his major contribution to discovering successful antiviral therapy for HIV. She was Director, Department of Infectious Diseases, Alfred Hospital and Monash University (2003-2014) and co-head of the Centre for Biomedical Research at the Burnet Institute (2011-2014), Melbourne, Australia.
She leads a large multi-disciplinary research team that focuses on understanding why HIV persists on treatment and developing clinical trials aimed at ultimately finding a cure for HIV infection. Her other research and clinical interests include understanding how the immune system recovers following treatment of HIV and the interaction between HIV and other important co-infections including hepatitis B virus. She is widely recognized for her innovative work in understanding how HIV hides on treatment using novel laboratory models and leading several early phase clinical trials of cancer drugs that alter HIV genes. Her clinical trial program is part of a close collaboration with the Department of Infectious Diseases, Alfred Hospital and Monash University.
She has published over 200 publications and her laboratory receives funding from the NHMRC, the National Institutes for Health (NIH), the Wellcome Trust and the American Foundation for AIDS Research. She has extensive collaborations in Asia including Thailand, Malaysia, China and India as well as collaborations with investigators throughout the US and Europe. She is a co-principal investigator for the Delaney AIDS Research Enterprise to find a Cure – a $25million NIH funded program grant of over 30 investigators working on immunological interventions to develop a cure for HIV.
She was the local co-chair of the XXth International AIDS Conference (AIDS2014) which was held in Melbourne July 2015, which attracted over 14,000 participants and was the largest health conference ever held in Australia. In 2015, she became a member of the council of the NHMRC and chairs the newly established NHMRC Health Translation Advisory Committee.
In 2014 she was named Melburnian of the Year. This is an award made each year by the City of Melbourne to an inspirational role model who has made an outstanding contribution to the city in their chosen field. This was the first time the award was made to a physician or scientist.
Sharon is married to Bob Milstein, a health lawyer. They have two adult sons, Alex and Max who are mad Essendon supporters. She is a passionate Melburnian!
Health & Medical Research Awards
2015 Victorian Government Health
Services Research Award
This Award is for an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the field, provided research leadership, undertaken research that has led to a significant improvement in healthcare, and/or has championed the development of the health services research field
Prof Jeffrey Braithwaite
Foundation Director, Australian Institute
Of Health Innovation, Macquarie University
Professor Jeffrey Braithwaite, BA, MIR (Hons), MBA, DipLR, PhD, FAIM, FCHSM, FFPH RCP (UK) is Foundation Director, Australian Institute of Health Innovation, Director, Centre for Healthcare Resilience and Implementation Science, and Professor of Health Systems Research, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Macquarie University, Australia. His research examines the changing nature of health systems, particularly patient safety, standards and accreditation, leadership and management, the structure and culture of organisations and their network characteristics, attracting funding of more than AUD$59 million.
Professor Braithwaite has published extensively (over 600 total publications) and he has presented at international and national conferences on more than 780 occasions, including over 75 keynote addresses. His research appears in journals such as British Medical Journal, The Lancet, Social Science & Medicine, BMJ Quality and Safety, International Journal of Quality in Health Care, Journal of Managerial Psychology, Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, and many other prestigious journals. Professor Braithwaite has received numerous national and international awards for his teaching and research. Further details are available at his Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeffrey_Braithwaite.
He has conducted large-scale research over two decades on clinical and organizational performance, health systems improvement and patient safety. Professor Braithwaite was author of a major study into health care inquiries, Patient safety: a comparative analysis of eight inquiries in six countries, UNSW, 2006 and another on the appropriateness of care in Australia (BMJ Open, 2012 and Medical Journal of Australia, 2012).
Professor Braithwaite recently co-edited a book with Professors Erik Hollnagel in Denmark and Bob Wears in the United States (Resilient Health Care, Ashgate, 2013), which proposes new models for tackling patient safety in acute settings and a second book in the series, The Resilience of Everyday Clinical Work, was published in 2015. His book on health reform in 30 countries with Professors Julie Johnson in Australia, Yukihiro Matsuyama in Japan and Russell Mannion in the UK was also published in 2015. A new book discussing sociological perspectives on patient safety with Professors Davina Allen at Cardiff University, Jane Sandall at King’s College, London and Justin Waring at Nottingham University.
Noteworthy projects in recent times include the CareTrack study, which found that 57% of care delivered to Australians is in line with level 1 evidence or consensus based guidelines. This was described by the editor of the Medical Journal of Australia when it was published in 2012 as the most important publication in that journal for the last 10 years. This study has been very influential amongst policy makers, managers, clinicians and patient groups in Australia and internationally. Another key project is the work he did with 30 countries, culminating in a book published in 2015. He included low, middle income and rich countries, looking at their reform activities and their quality and safety
initiatives. This work shows that reform is not an episodic activity. Every health system is continuously reforming and attempting to improve the care that is delivered. This work suggests that insufficient resources are allocated to evaluating reform measures and improvement activities. .
Gandel Philanthropy is one of Australia’s largest independent family philanthropic funds. Gandel Philanthropy has been the vehicle for charitable giving by the extended Gandel family since its formation as the Gandel Charitable Trust back in 1978.
John Gandel AO and Pauline Gandel are actively involved in the philanthropic work and they are universally recognised for their generosity and commitment to both Jewish and general Australian causes. Through Gandel Philanthropy, over the years they channeled tens of millions of dollars towards supporting various charitable causes in the community.
While they provide support for a range of programs and fields, including arts, education, Jewish identity and leadership, youth at risk and Indigenous programs, their support for health and medical research has always been one of the strongest interests.
The statistics on granting done by Gandel Philanthropy over the past three years showed that Health and Medical Research category was, in fact, by far the biggest recipient of funds, registering 38% in funding in 2012/13, 49% in 2013/14 and 32% in 2014/15 of all funds distributed. In each of the above years the amount provided in this category exceeded $2 million.
While direct financial support for research and other medical programs has always been important, both John and Pauline have over the years also been passionate advocates for the sector, taking a hands-on approach to a range of initiatives.
One such activity was the Alfred Hospital Appeal, which John Gandel chaired from 1987 to 1991, raising nearly $6 million to establish the William Buckland Radiotherapy centre. John also served on the hospital Board of Management for several years. Subsequently in 2002, on the 10th anniversary of the centre and the opening of the new $93 million research centre, John was appointed Life Governor of the Alfred Hospital.
John also served on the Board of the Australian Drug Foundation for a number of years and was appointed the Life Governor for the organisation.
Pauline, on the other hand, has been the Patron of Emmy Monash Aged Care for many years and more recently she supported The Women’s Hospital with the establishment of the Pauline Gandel Women’s Imaging Centre which at the time helped revolutionise care for women and newborn babies.
Most recent support for medical research projects includes some innovative and cross-sectoral partnerships aimed at tackling complex medical conditions or challenges.
A recent example of this is the grant awarded to Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA), for the research project titled “A Multifaceted Intervention Using iPad Technology to Prevent Falls, Reduce Fear of Falling and Increase Physical Activity in Older People: a Double-blind, Randomised Controlled Trial”.
This was a “challenge grant” for the trial stage, allowing NeuRA to raise the remainder of the funds from other donors, as well as help build a case for support from government.
Another innovative example is the funding for the proof-of-concept study, initiated by Vision Australia and in collaboration with Alzheimer’s Victoria and Deakin University. The study is looking at the viability of using guide dogs to support people with Young Onset Alzheimer’s Disease.
Together John and Pauline have supported a whole range of research projects and initiatives that span different medical fields and conditions, including but not limited to diabetes, ageing-related research, mental health, Crohn’s and Colitis, cancer-related research and allergies. .