NSW Govt invests in Sydney Biomedical Accelerator and more

Monday, 20 June, 2022

NSW Govt invests in Sydney Biomedical Accelerator and more

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet has announced that his state will soon be at the forefront of cutting-edge health treatments, thanks to a $270.3 million boost to biomedical research in the 2022–23 NSW Budget.

The investment includes $143.3 million over four years for the Sydney Biomedical Accelerator (SBA) — a state-of-the-art biomedical research complex that should fast-track real-world health outcomes by integrating fundamental, clinical and patient-centred research. To be co-located at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and The University of Sydney, it will be a partnership between the NSW Government, Sydney Local Health District and University of Sydney in collaboration with the Centenary Institute.

The SBA will offer a global concentration of biomedical research talent and research facilities, and will be positioned to dynamically collaborate with industry and startups as part of a hospital, university and technology innovation ecosystem. Early works will commence this year and initial occupation is expected to occur from 2026.

“Once built, it will be an internationally significant clinical, teaching and research precinct, aligning with the redevelopment of Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and the NSW Government’s Tech Central project,” stated Professor Robyn Ward, Executive Dean and Pro Vice-Chancellor of The University of Sydney’s Faculty of Medicine and Health. She said the complex will support multidisciplinary collaboration between world-leading teams of clinicians, scientists, engineers, computer scientists, entrepreneurs and research and industry partners.

Professor Mathew Vadas, Executive Director of the Centenary Institute, added, “The almost 300 staff at the Centenary Institute have been working hard to support the case for this investment by the NSW Government — an investment that will simultaneously accelerate not only finding cures for diseases, but also the commercialisation of our discoveries, the expansion of job opportunities in this thriving sector and promotion of a healthy future for us all.” He said the SBA will supercharge science and research at a time when the world has come to see firsthand the lifesaving work of medical researchers.

Another $49.6 million in funding will go towards building a commercially viable Viral Vector Manufacturing Facility (VVMF) at the Westmead Health and Innovation Precinct, which will manufacture viral vectors — essential components for most gene replacement therapies. Together with the SBA, this facility should help transform the industry and develop treatments for rare, life-limiting diseases.

In addition, the Budget includes $51.8 million over four years to accelerate NSW’s commercial-scale viral vector products for both research and clinical trials purposes, and $25.6 million over 2022–23 for innovative and lifesaving therapies such as CAR T-cell therapy and monoclonal antibody therapy.

Speaking in reference to viral vector manufacturing, NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said, “These advanced therapeutics are cutting edge and are offering new hope for remission and long-term survival for patients with rare, and previously untreatable, conditions.

“It will also mean NSW patients have greater access to locally based clinical trials and can receive highly innovative treatment options, to help ease the burden they face as they fight diseases which previously had very limited treatment options.”

Image caption: Artist’s rendering of the Sydney Biomedical Accelerator building.

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