New partnership between Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute and MRCF to keep taxpayer-funded research in Australia


The newly-established Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute (BDI) has become a member of the Medical Research Commercialisation Fund (MRCF) – a partnership that will see outcomes from life-saving medical research at BDI further developed in Australia through venture capital investment.

Australia has an enviable track record in world-class medical research and translation - delivering tangible health and economic benefits. However, due to lack of investment capital available to the sector, many of Australia’s promising medical discoveries have historically been partnered early with large offshore companies for further development overseas.

The collaboration between the BDI and MRCF enables leading early-stage medical research opportunities from BDI to be funded and developed locally. This helps to create flow on benefits to the Australasian biotech ecosystem and the wider economy - creating local jobs, national prosperity and ultimately global healthcare outcomes.

Monash BDI, which is one of Australia’s largest medical research institutes, was launched at Monash University in November 2016. The institute is focused on medical discoveries that reduce the burden of diseases and collaborates internationally to make discoveries which improve the lives of sick people, and prevent, diagnose and treat diseases.

More than 120 research teams, made up of 700 researchers from across multiple health disciplines, are working towards six global health priorities: cancers, cardiovascular disease, human development and stem cells, infection and immunity, metabolic disease and obesity, and neuroscience.

Monash BDI Director Professor John Carroll said the MRCF collaboration is a strategic relationship that further validates Monash BDI’s strong basic research fundamentals, and capacity for industry engagement.

“This collaboration aligns with and complements the institute’s strategic goals around the translation of research and will provide a direct link to a dedicated source of early-stage capital, sophisticated investors and the extensive commercial, clinical and research network that the MRCF offers” Professor Carroll says.

The MRCF is an investment collaboration between large Australian superannuation funds and more than 50 leading medical research organisations and research hospitals across Australia and New Zealand. With AU$530 million under management, the MRCF provides dedicated investment funding and hands-on expertise in supporting the commercialisation of early and clinical stage medical discoveries originating from its member research organisations.

MRCF chief executive officer Dr Chris Nave says the joining of the Monash BDI to MRCF offers a new source of exciting investment opportunities.

“We have been aware of the world-class medical research capabilities at Monash University for some time. The recent formation of the Monash BDI provided an ideal opportunity for us to align our mutual interests in biomedical research translation. We welcome the Monash BDI into our unique collaboration” Dr Nave says.

About the MRCF

The MRCF collaboration is managed by the venture capital firm Brandon Capital Partners, and provides seed and venture capital investment to support the development and growth of Australian life science companies.

Established in late 2007, the MRCF is a unique collaboration between major Australian superannuation funds, over 50 leading medical research institutes and research hospitals in Australia and New Zealand. The MRCF supports the development and commercialisation of very early-stage biomedical discoveries originating from these member research organisations, providing both capital and expertise to guide the successful development of new therapies. The MRCF acknowledges the support of the Australian and New Zealand governments, as well as the state governments of Victoria, New South Wales, Western Australia, Queensland, South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory.

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About the Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute

Committed to making the discoveries that will relieve the future burden of disease, the newly-established Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute at Monash University brings together more than 120 internationally-renowned research teams. Our researchers are supported by world-class technology and infrastructure, and partner with industry, clinicians and researchers internationally to enhance lives through discovery.

The Discovery Precinct and the Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute have close ties with many health precincts and industry partners including Monash Partners, Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, the Monash Institute of Medical Engineering, the Monash Health Translational Precinct, and the Alfred Medical Research and Education Precinct.

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