Queensland is poised to become a major international hub for the development of groundbreaking vaccines as part of a partnership with a leading US college.
The University of Queensland has struck the critical deal with Atlanta’s Emory University.
Emory is a private research university and healthcare system operator that works alongside the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to manage the world’s deadliest disease outbreaks.
“This partnership will make Brisbane a centre for the Asia-Pacific region and a significant player in the burgeoning global biomedical industry,” UQ vice-chancellor Deborah Terry said.
“The focus will be on rapid progression to clinical trial of a scaled-up number of vaccine candidates for the treatment of Asia-Pacific region viruses and infectious diseases, along with pandemic preparedness.”
The agreement builds on a decade-long collaboration in drug discovery between Emory University, UQ and QIMR Berghofer through the Queensland Emory Development Alliance, which has been renewed for the next 10 years.
“Biotech companies from around the world will be able to come to Brisbane to take advantage of the facilities already established and work with the 300-plus researchers associated with the Emory and UQ partnership,” Prof Terry said.
The partnership follows the Queensland Government’s agreement with global vaccine manufacturer Sanofi to establish a Brisbane-based $280 million Translational Science Hub with UQ and Griffith University.
“This is a crucial step in getting new vaccine candidates from the lab to the community in the shortest possible time,” Professor Terry said.
Deputy Premier Steven Miles said that the partnership would allow Queensland to take a more significant share in the world’s multibillion-dollar biomedical sector.
“Partnerships like this one are why Queensland is fast becoming a global research and innovation hub, driving the development of groundbreaking new vaccines and healthcare solutions,” he said during a trade mission to the US.
(Australian Associated Press)