BioTech Incubator Raises $3M in CSIRO Support

Australia’s National Science Agency has pledged $3 million to support Melbourne-based BioTech incubator CUREator and to launch a new health security stream through the program.

CUREator’s new health security stream will award $1 million over three years to projects in areas such as research into emerging infectious diseases and pandemics, and therapies that target chemical, biological and radiological threats.

Health Security is the fifth funding stream available under CUREator, alongside Preclinical Drugs or Medical Innovation, Clinical Phase Drug Opportunities, Medical Devices, and Digital Health.

CUREator was founded in 2021 with nearly $40 million from the federal government’s $80 million Medical Research Commercialization Initiative under the long-term fund for medical research of the future. The incubator program is managed by Brandon BioCatalyst.

Federal funding has been allocated over three years with $19.75 million for preclinical medical research or innovation with commercial potential, and the remaining $19.75 million to support the early clinical development of new drugs or new applications with commercial potential.

Brandon BioCatalyst, formerly known as Brandon Capital’s Medical Research Commercialization Fund, is a collaboration of 50 medical research institutes, investors, pension funds and government to focus on advancing new medical therapies and technologies.

It is the largest scientific investment partnership in Australia and New Zealand. Life sciences venture capital firm Brandon Capital manages Brandon BioCatalyst and also has teams in the United States and the United Kingdom.

The second round of the incubator program will begin accepting expressions of interest later this month. When the round is open, registrations can be made submitted here† All Australian researchers in the preclinical stage of biomedical innovation are eligible to apply.

The successful applicants through the first round of the program, who were the preclinical drug or medical innovation stream, are expected to be notified from December 15. Successful applicants through the Biocatalyst may also have opportunities to apply for funding through Brandon Capital. The venture capital firm has invested in more than 40 BioTech companies during its lifetime.

dr. Chris Nave, CEO of Brandon BioCatalyst, said the partnership with CSIRO has helped expand the group’s support for innovative translation.

“With CUREator, our goal is to increase the available capital and expertise to bring more of our brilliant research discoveries from the lab to the clinic, and ultimately to life-saving new therapies. The CSIRO funding will specifically target technologies that have the potential to protect Australians from future pandemics and health threats,” said Dr Nave.

“CSIRO has a long and successful track record of using science to create solutions to challenges and opportunities facing our country; so this funding targeting national health security projects is a natural extension of these efforts.”

Anita van der Meer, CSIRO’s director of business development, health and biosecurity, said the agency looked forward to supporting the development of Australia’s health security capability.

“CSIRO brings an incredible wealth of opportunities in pandemics, biomedical research, vaccine development and biomanufacturing. CUREator will play an important role in bridging the gap between where research funding ends and seed funding, and CSIRO is excited to support proprietary discoveries in the field of health security,” said Ms. Van der Meer.

Do you know more? Contact James Riley at E-mail

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