Helping the medicine go down

Both the University of Melbourne and Monash University rank in the top 50 universities worldwide for medicine, pharmacy and pharmacology*. If they combined their exceptional biomedical research strengths, they would climb into the top 10.

So that’s what they’re doing.

Melbourne and Monash have formed a joint-venture catalyst enterprise to create medicines. It will bring advanced commercialisation skills and funding to address what’s called the “valley of death” – the period between new drug discoveries and clinical trials, which is often plagued by inadequate funding and means potentially life-saving drugs don’t make it to market. The enterprise will directly address the problem by more rapidly identifying the best drug candidates and translating them into new medicines. This could have huge health benefits in both the developed and developing world.

Jointly owned but independently governed, the new $80 million enterprise is expected to generate about $360 million in activity, support new companies, increase investment and exports, and create specialised jobs in the sector.

“Convergence is the great theme of our time, and this is an enterprise that will bring people together around shared goals,” said University of Melbourne Vice-Chancellor Professor Glyn Davis.

“And while it will start at the universities, it will move quickly to working with our partners in hospitals, medical research institutes and commercial players, all of whom will play a key part in its success.”

*QS World University Rankings 2016.