Monash to lead a new generation of biological research with the launch of Biobanking Victoria

Professor Melissa Southey will lead the new Biobanking Victoria initiative at Monash University.

A brand new Monash University-led initiative, Biobanking Victoria, will change the way researchers can translate discoveries into practice at hospitals and via clinical trials, thanks to a $1.5 million funding boost from the Victorian Government.

Biobanking Victoria will be the first industry-standard facility of its kind, managing the collection, access and analysis of clinical and research samples and their associated data in the one facility. While biobanking is not new in Australia, the technological advantages and the way this new facility connects networks of researchers with hundreds of thousands of biological samples and links to industry and hospitals will be a game-changer for medical research and improving medical care.

The new Biobanking Victoria and the associated Precision Medicine Services, will be led by Monash University in partnership with international leader Brooks Life Sciences / RUCDR Infinite Biologics (USA) and located at the Monash Health Translation Precinct in Clayton.

Biobanking Victoria is not just about providing a storage facility for biological material, says Professor Melissa Southey, Chair of Precision Medicine, Monash University and project lead of Biobanking Victoria.

Biobanking Victoria goes beyond just being a library of biological specimens. It will be a state of the art physical facility with new technology that will operate at the highest industry standards and rapidly accelerate new discoveries and translate the new information into clinical practice," says Professor Southey.

Our facility will provide researchers and industry partners with the capability to go beyond the basic first stages of medical research and move into clinical trial mode building on previous data. Embedded in the MHTP, Biobanking Victoria Precision Medicine Services provides an end to end facility.

Victoria’s med-tech, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology sector generates $12.7 billion in revenue, and the global market is projected to grow to US$6.9 billion by 2021, largely due to the rise of precision medicine, which accounts for more than 40 per cent of all drugs currently under development.

Biobanking Victoria will provide a link between researchers and local biotech companies, attracting commercial clinical trials and boosting the Victorian economy.  It will also make further links to established networks of biorepositories in key global locations such as Shenzhen, which will open up new opportunities for our expertise and local businesses to work with international companies and expand our impact across the globe.

By 2020, Biobanking Victoria at the MHTP, within the grounds of Monash Health’s Medical Centre in Clayton, is expected to be in full swing changing the face of medical research.