Novartis and BioCurate to work together on early-stage drug discovery

21 Nov 2018

Global biopharmaceutical Novartis and Australian biomedical research company BioCurate have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to share research and accelerate discoveries of new drugs.

BioCurate is a joint venture of Monash and Melbourne universities for early-stage commercialisation of pharmaceutical research supported by the Victorian State Government. This is its first collaboration with the global pharmaceutical industry.

BioCurate CEO, Dr C. Glenn Begley, says the company recognised the importance of early engagement with a range of leading industry partners to ensure new drug development programs are informed and aligned with addressing unmet patient and market needs.

‘We are hopeful this collaboration will ultimately lead to better health outcomes for the global community and continue to build Australia’s expanding innovation economy,’ he says in a media release.

The agreement with Novartis is the first in a number of similar arrangements currently under discussion with other potential industry partners.

Novartis Australia Chief Scientific Officer, Dr Simon Fisher, believes the collaboration opens the door to overcome barriers that limit the translation and commercialisation of early-stage research progressing to new medicines and providing benefits to patients.

‘We know the research undertaken in Australia is as good as anything globally, so this is an opportunity to help advance the outputs of Australian science. We hope that collaborations of this kind will benefit Australian science and patients.’

The collaboration will bring together the global scientific and technical expertise of researchers at the Novartis Institute of Biomedical Research (NIBR) with BioCurate’s expertise in curating and translating early-stage science into development-ready Australian research projects, according to Brett Roberts, Head of Strategic Partnerships at Novartis, Brett Roberts.

Novartis is a global healthcare company based in Switzerland, with 126,000 employees worldwide and net sales of US$49 billion.