2021-08-27| Asia-Pacific

Australia to Create the Country’s First National Biotech Incubator

by Tyler Chen
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Australia is investing $40 million to establish the country’s first national biotech incubator, and it will be managed by the Medical Research Commercialisation Fund (MRCF), Australia’s largest life science investment fund.


The goal of the Biotech Incubator

The incubator is expected to support local biotechs, turning clinical studies into approved therapies and bringing more jobs and business opportunities to the biotech industry.

MRCF said the goal is to diminish the gap between “where research grant funding finishes and before a technology is at a stage that it can attract its first seed investment” and also back biotechs that are deficient in funding to develop or commercialize late-stage clinical products.

“Up to 96 percent of applications seeking funding from the MRCF are declined due to being too early in development or lacking key supporting data. Yet many of these research discoveries have significant potential and this new incubator provides a mechanism for researchers to get their research innovations to a point where they are attractive to investors and partners,” said Dr. Chris Nave, CEO, and co-founder of the MRCF.


Who Can Apply?

Australian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and life science researchers at an Australian university or research institutes are qualified to apply.

The incubator will first identify high potential preclinical biomedical technologies and put in $20 million on funding and guiding firms to prepare for seed investment.

Next, it will use $20 million to push the clinical development of promising therapies. MRCF said, “opportunities that successfully receive funding through this stream will benefit from matching capital from the MRCF.” Thus, there will be more than $60 million invested in the Australian biotech industry.


Opportunities for SMEs

The incubator will pick 20 to 25 Australian SMEs to help them develop their preclinical biomedical assets with up to $1 million per project. In addition, 10 to 12 SMEs with clinical-stage products would be given $1.5 million from the incubator and another $1.5 million per project from MRCF to accelerate the clinical progress.

SMEs that finished the incubator program is then able to gain access to MRCF’s $700 million life sciences fund.

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