Bioplatforms Australia welcomes the recent announcement of the $185 million investment to fast-track treatments for rare and ‘untreatable’ cancers. The Precision Oncology Screening Platform Enabling Clinical Trials (PrOSPeCT) will establish Australia as a medical manufacturing hub: building links from research through to the clinic; creating jobs; changing lives.

Cancer drug development is undergoing fundamental change, driven by genomics and the advent of rational biomarker-directed drug development. More than 91% of drugs in development are now biomarker-directed, fuelling the new paradigm of precision oncology.

$61.2 million of the funding is provided through the Australian Government’s Medical Products stream of the National Manufacturing Priority. PrOSPeCT will build a public/private partnership with industry to:

  • enable 20,000 Australians to access genomic screening;
  • attract global investment in Australian clinical trials and build national trials capacity;
  • create and commercialise a real-world digital asset of international significance.

This program will create up to 650 direct and indirect jobs, create a vibrant ecosystem for commercialisation of Australian medical research and grow smart businesses, and inject more than $660M into the economy.

Bioplatforms is a core partner in the project, providing a large component of the gene sequencing through our network of enabling laboratories. This exciting project builds on our other cancer investments including the Melanoma Framework Initiative and Zero Childhood Cancer program.

Image: Professor David Thomas at the funding announcement. Credit to the Garvan Institute Press Release.

Project PrOSPeCT will open up new treatment paths for people across Australia with difficult to treat cancers including ovarian, and pancreatic cancer, sarcomas and cancer metastasis.

“Through PrOSPeCT, we will fast-track the development, manufacturing and use of precision, personalised cancer treatments, changing lives, creating jobs and building Australia’s sovereign capability in drug development,” says Professor David Thomas, head of Genomic Cancer Medicine at the Garvan Institute and CEO of the Australian Genomic Cancer Medicine Centre (Omico), the not-for-profit company leading the project.

“PrOSPeCT will help future proof the Australian health care system and develop a national ecosystem to take research and development and data systems forward, making Australia globally competitive,” he says.

PrOSPeCT is led by Omico, the Australian Genomic Cancer Medicine Centre which is a network of Australia’s leading cancer research institutions and hospitals that grew out of the Molecular Screening & Therapeutics (MoST) Study at the Garvan Institute.

“Australia has a tremendous reputation for our medical research and this project will help us consolidate patient data to translate those breakthroughs into genomic cancer medicines right here at home,” says Minister for Health and Aged Care Greg Hunt.

Bioplatforms Australia is supported by the Commonwealth Government’s National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS).

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