Australia has fast-growing capability in genomics (healthcare informed by greater knowledge of our DNA) and precision or personalised medicine (tailored disease prevention and treatment that takes into account an individual's genes, environment, and lifestyle).
Seventy-five per cent of Australians would be willing to use genetic
testing to identify the most effective drug to treat their disease. Of
those people, 95 per cent said they are willing for their results to be
used to improve treatments for future patients.
Capacity in research and innovation
Australia is home to several comprehensive cancer care centres such as Australian Genomics in
Murdoch Children’s Research Institute
in Victoria and the Kinghorn Cancer Centre at the
Garvan Institute of Medical Research
These Australian research centres and universities, and others like them,
are informing national clinical and research programs on the implementation
of genomic medicine in cancer therapy and rare genetic diseases.
Each year, Australia’s field of researchers is growing its capacity in
genomic sequencing and analysis, and in the study of disease mechanism
(functional genomics) and therapeutic development.
Australian researchers view international collaboration and partnerships as
an important accelerator in advancing this vital work.
One example is a strategic partnership to further cancer research and
Varian, a leading US manufacturer of medical devices and software, and
GenesisCare, Australia’s largest private provider of cancer care
. Utilising Varian’s expertise in image-guided technology and GenesisCare’s
experience in clinical and research domains, the companies will partner on
hardware and software development including developing image-guided
treatment monitoring solutions in molecular targeted radiation
BGI (China) has also strengthened ties with Australia
by opening an Asia-Pacific headquarters in Brisbane at QIMR Berghofer
Medical Research Institute, a world-leading medical research precinct. BGI
is undertaking R&D with CSIRO, Griffith University and James Cook
Strong industry sector: Australian Genomics
Australian Genomics is an 80-partner national research collaboration at the junction of research and clinical care.
To integrate genomics into healthcare, Australian Genomics is providing the
evidence needed to transform the diagnostic process, inform the healthcare
workforce, and to show how genomics is best delivered in the clinical
Australian organisations applying precision medicine include:
3D imaging and printing solutions such as Bespoke Medical Innovations’
custom replacement knee joints
- BioPen - which allows
surgeons to draw live cells and growth factors directly onto the site of an
Committed public-sector spending
The Australian Government is committed to the Medical Technology,
Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical (MTP) sector through the $1.3 billion
National Health and Medical Industry Growth Plan
Part of this plan includes contributing $500 million over 10 years to
research missions conducted by members of Australian Genomics to improve
testing, diagnosis and treatment.
The first project is
(The Australian Reproductive Carrier Screening Project). Announced in the
May 2018 Federal Budget, this $20 million research study examines
reproductive genetic carrier screening for about 500 severe and
life-limiting genetic conditions including spinal muscular atrophy, fragile
X syndrome and cystic fibrosis.
The Australian Government, backed by the research and medical community, is
committed to further integrating genomics into the health system through