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  • McCullough Robertson announces 2011 Senior Appointments. Click here to view.
  • New Zealand enters a new Scientific realm with new Ministry of Science and Innovation
  • Applications for Queensland - Smithsonian Fellowships are now open. For more information click here.
  • Peter Beattie links with UQ in bioscience role
  • Overseas travel report - Queensland Trade Mission to Canada and the United States of America led by Hon. Anna Bligh MP
  • Rick Hansen Institute Partners with Australian Researchers
  • QCTN has infiltrated the hills of Hollywood! We tried to get Arnie to wear our shirt, however, we had to settle on this other actor – disguised with a moustache to help promote QCTN! (and to support the Movember appeal)
  • Congratulations to Prof. Anthony (Tony) Webber, winner of the inaugural Queensland Life Sciences Industry Excellence Award. Click here for information on TRX09 and the 2009 Queensland Life Sciences Globally Engaging Events
  • CALAsia 2009: Joe Panetta and The Hon. Peter Beattie - click here to watch the video.
  • Seattle Structural Genomics Center for Infectious Disease (SSGCID): Gene-to-Structure Service for the Infectious Disease Scientific here to read more
  • NZAQ Biotech: NZAQ Biotech is the stakeholder group for New Zealand and Queensland-based Biotech Organisations. Click here to visit the new website!
  • MediQ: MediQ (formerly known as QPNIF) - More information and video link...
  • Health Research Fellowships Open | Senior Clinical Research Fellowships Round One Recipients Announced - read more
  • Ed Mills Picks Campaign Manager - Ed Mills, state representative contender in the 8thth Middlesex District, has named E. Teresa Touey as his campaign manager - read more...
  • Queensland & British Columbia sign economic research agreement - An agreement to explore joint opportunities was signed by John van Dongen, B.C. Minister of State for Intergovernmental Relations and Queensland’s Trade Commissioner, the Honourable Peter Beattie - read more below!
  • New Fellowship winners announced - Premier Anna Bligh has announced the winners of three Smart State fellowships, which provide funding for early or mid-career researchers to undertake innovative research in Queensland - click here for details
  • New Senior Market Development Manager – Biotechnology appointed - Susan Wilson has been appointed as New Zealand Trade and Enterprise’s new Senior Market Development Manager – Biotechnology, click here to read more.
  • Bligh launches new Smart State strategy - Premier Anna Bligh today launched the next multi-million dollar phase of Queensland’s successful Smart State strategy - click here for details.
  • Science in Parliament - Bypassing blow-outs: Keeping a lid on Queensland's Health Costs. Click here to read more
  • Member's Showcase - Congratulations to QCTN member Evelin Tiralongo, who together with Associate Professor Luis Vitetta and others were recently awarded a NICM grant ... read more below!
  • Peter Beattie to receive BIO International Award - Former Queensland Premier Peter Beattie will receive the 2008 Biotechnology Industry Organization’s first-ever International Award for Leadership Excellence - click here to read more.
  • Bligh on the trade trail - Read more about Queensland Premier's trade mission to some of the state's biggest export partners... click here
  • Clinical Research Excellence 2008 (CRX08) - QCTN was the host of the recent CRX08 Conference which was held 7-9 August 2008 in Brisbane. If you would like to view photos from the event, click here.
  • Recognition for Peter Beattie - At the recent AusBiotech Conference, Former Queensland Premier Peter Beattie was recognised for his contribution to the industry - click here to view the presentation.



WiT Award Winners Announced - Thursday, 16 October 2008

We are pleased to announce that QCTN Members - Dr Roslyn Brandon of Athlomics, was the deserving winner of the QCTN | Biotech Outstanding Achievement Award. 
This award is intended to celebrate and recognise outstanding contribution to the biotech industry. The selection process is therefore primarily based on contributions to date.  Women making a significant contribution to the growth and development of Queensland's biotechnology industry who serve as role models for others to aspire to. The prize includes: travel to BioJapan with QCTN inluding airfares, 4 nights accommodation,  meals, attend seminars, meeting and hospitality events;WiT 3 year membership; Perpetual Trophy; and title of WiT Biotech Ambassador.

Congratulations Roslyn!

QCTN Member receives prestigious award.

The Consulate of Italy in Brisbane gives notice that the Hon. Santo Santoro, former member of the Australian Federal Senate, received from the President of the Italian Republic, Giogio Napolitano, prestigious recognition of Commenendatore merit of the Republic.  The recognition is countersigned by the President of the Council and Italian Prime Minister, the Hon. Silvio Berlusconi.

QCTN would like to congratulate member The Hon. Santo Santoro, of Santo Santoro Consulting, for receiving this prestigious award.


‘Pioneer’ of local biotechnology sector wins inaugural Queensland Life Sciences Industry Excellence Award

A leading figure in the Queensland biotechnology industry has been recognised for his many years of outstanding service and leadership in the field, after receiving the inaugural Queensland Life Sciences Industry Excellence Award.

Professor A.J (Tony) Webber, was presented with the award on Friday 23 October, 2009, after industry colleagues voted him the winner in an online poll on the Queensland Clinical Trials Network Inc. (QCTN) website.

During a career which has spanned more than three decades, Prof. Webber has held high-level positions in the academic and corporate arenas in the life sciences field, and is founder and Chief Executive Officer of Brisbane contract research organisation Clinical Network Services (CNS) Pty Ltd.

Prof. Webber accepted the award from sponsor McCullough Robertson Lawyers in front of about 250 industry colleagues at the Queensland Life Sciences Globally Engaging Networking Event, and said he was honoured to be the first to receive the award.

“It’s a bit of a surprise, I wasn’t expecting to win at all so it’s certainly great to be recognised like this, particularly by your peers in the industry. 

“Especially considering the calibre of people who were nominated alongside me, it really is an honour to be acknowledged,” Prof. Webber said.

QCTN CEO Mario Pennisi said Prof. Webber was well-deserving of the award, which was launched to recognise a Queensland-based individual for their outstanding contribution and commitment to the industry.

“Tony has been a force of nature within the field since his days as Dean of Health and Science at Queensland University of Technology, constantly working with industry to foster new research and development projects and enterprise within the state.

“His continued passion and dedication to the life sciences field is commendable and evident in the constant efforts he takes to promote Queensland and Australian biotechnology to the international market.

“This award reflects the high regard that the industry holds for Tony, particularly considering the high quality of those who were nominated alongside him, and we whole-heartedly congratulate him and the eight other nominees for their outstanding contributions and achievements.

“We would also like to thank award sponsor McCullough Robertson Lawyers, who as a practice, continue to show strong industry support, commitment, excellence and leadership in the Queensland Life Sciences Sector,” said Mr Pennisi.

Tasman ties strengthened through MoU

Queensland Clinical Trials Network Inc. (QCTN) has further strengthened its presence and alliance with international organisations, following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with the New Zealand Association of Clinical Research (NZACRes)

The agreement aims to assist New Zealand and Queensland to become key players in the Asia-Pacific region by working together to promote the region and its centres for excellence for clinical trials.

"Given the special relationship between Queensland and New Zealand, this MoU will allow both QCTN and NZACRes and their stakeholders to work even closer together and create further collaborations for increased research and clinical trial activity between Queensland and New Zealand organisations," said QCTN CEO Mario Pennisi.

"QCTN and NZACRes share a similar structure, ethos and set of objectives and we see this agreement as bringing great benefit to both organisations and their members, with the ability for members to gain and share information with NZACRes and its stakeholders.  It will see our members work together and bid for international projects, and in turn gain information and expertise from our members through the QCTN and NZACRes networks," said Mr Pennisi.

Click here to visit the NZACRes website


$1.25 million awarded to prostate cancer research

New treatments to ease or even cure the most common cancer affecting Australian men are a step closer to reality with a $1.25 million grant awarded to QUT prostate cancer researcher Professor Colleen Nelson today.

Professor Nelson received the top Smart Futures Premier's Fellowship, worth $1.25 million over five years, which she said would be used to develop new, advanced treatments for prostate cancer.

"I couldn't be more honoured to have received this award," Professor Nelson said.

"I think it will be a good message to send across the state that we care about this disease.

"(The fellowship is) giving us the opportunity right here in Queensland to make the therapeutics for the men who suffer this disease.

"I look forward to the next five years of actually developing those new therapeutics."

Queensland Premier Anna Bligh said Professor Nelson's work at QUT's Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation had the potential to save thousands of lives each year.

Click here to read more.


QFAB to market MetaCore in Asia Pacific

Singapore, Feb 3, 2009: Queensland Facility for Advanced Bioinformatics (QFAB), a bioinfomatics solution provider, has entered a co-marketing agreement with US-based GeneGo for Metacore technology, in the Asia Pacific region.

MetaCore is an integrated software suite for functional analysis of experimental data. The scope of data types is said to include microarray and SAGE gene expression, proteomics, metabolomics, pathway analysis and other custom interactions.

"We are very excited about this relationship as we will work together to open up and support Australia, New Zealand and beyond," said Ms Julie Bryant, VP of Business development, GeneGo. "We will be jointly supporting a lot of marketing and research activities in the region as there is a lot of exciting and novel research we would like to be involved in."

QFAB will make MetaCore pathway tools, software and manually curated databases accessible to Australian and New Zealand academics as part of its delivery of tailored bioinformatics solutions to life science researchers in the region.

QFAB will have GeneGo certified experts on staff to run training classes in the region and support the local research community.

Mr Jeremy Barker, CEO, QFAB said, "We are currently using MetaCore for an in-house project and have seen the power that it provides in a systems biology framework. In partnering with GeneGo we aim to help researchers in our part of the world realize the benefits that can come from using this software."


Translational Research Institute (TRI)
Brisbane firms Wilson Architects and Donovan Hill have unveiled the future of medical research in Australia with the release of their design concepts for Queensland's new research super-centre.

The architects triumphed over fierce competition to be awarded the design contract for the multi-million dollar Translational Research Institute (TRI). Director of the Mater Medical Research Insitute (MMRI), Professor Derek Hart, said the building design was an inspiration.

The TRI will be the first institute of its kind in Australia - and one of only a few in the world - to have the ability to discover, produce, clinically test and manufacture new biopharmaceuticals and treatments all in one place.

The centre was the vision of two of Australia's most noted scientists - 2006 Australian of the Year Professor Ian Frazer, and MMRI Director Professor Derek Hart.

It will become home to more than 650 researchers from the MMRI, the University of Queensland including the Diamantina Institute, the Queensland University of Technology's Institute for Health and Biomedical Innovation, and the Princess Alexandra Hospital and research groups including Collaborative Centres for Health Research and Education (CCHRE).


QCTN and BIOCOM sign an MoU

QCTN is pleased to announce the recent MoU signing with BIOCOM. Click here for more information.



WiT Award Winners Announced - Thursday, 16 October 2008

We are pleased to announce that two of our members - Professor Maree Smith and Dr Judy Halliday, have been awarded prizes at the recent Women in Technology (WIT) Awards 2008. Dr Jane Fitzpatrick of Cleveland Biosensors was the deserving winner of the QCTN | Biotech Rising Star Award.
Dr Judy Halliday – winner of the Queensland Government | Executive Award 

The WiT Technology Executive Award has been developed in conjunction with the WiT Board Readiness Program to provide an opportunity for women within both the ICT and Biotechnology sectors with the opportunity to gain qualifications that will assist them in establishing executive or board careers. Judy was awarded with $1,000 Cash prize, a WiT 12 month membership, and participation in the WiT Board Readiness Program. Congratulations Judy!

Professor Maree Smith – winner of the WiT | Biotech Outstanding Achievement Award

This award is intended to celebrate and recognise outstanding contribution to the biotech industry. Maree was awarded with a $1,000 Cash prize, a WiT 3 year membership, a perpetual trophy, personalised gift and has gained the title of WiT Biotech Ambassador. Congratulations Maree!

Jane Fitzpatrick – winner of the QCTN | Biotech Rising Star Award

This award is intended to celebrate, recognise and reward a candidate regarded as having the potential to make significant contributions to the future of the biotechnology industry or research sector – Queensland’s Rising Star. Jane was awarded a travel package to BioJapan with QCTN including airfares, 4 nights accommodation,  meals, attendance at seminars, meetings and hospitality events as well as a WiT 12 month Membership. Congratulations Jane!


Queensland & British Columbia sign economic research agreement - Friday, 13 June 2008

British Columbia and Queensland, Australia, will work together to build relations on climate change action plans, education, biotechnology, and other key sectors, and strengthen connections in the Asia-Pacific.

An agreement to explore joint opportunities was signed last night by John van Dongen, B.C. Minister of State for Intergovernmental Relations and Queensland’s Trade Commissioner, the Honourable Peter Beattie.

Queensland and British Columbia have strong existing ties through our health and medical organizations, educational institutions, research networks, and tourism, and we look forward to strengthening the relationship to deliver tangible benefits for both jurisdictions. Queensland’s strong economy, aggressive track record on climate action, and important network throughout the Asia-Pacific region make this an excellent partnership for both jurisdictions.

This is the first agreement of its kind between B.C. and Queensland. The agreement will see the two jurisdictions share information and best practices in such areas as climate change, education, biotechnology and life sciences, energy and resource management and development. It will also facilitate collaboration between and the development of the knowledge-intensive sectors in each jurisdiction with a view to increased international commercialisation. The agreement also provides for increased engagement of the Asia-Pacific region to help improve market access for both B.C. and Queensland companies.

B.C. and Queensland share international relationships with some of the same jurisdictions, including Guangdong, China, and Gyeonggi, Korea. This new partnership with Queensland creates new opportunities to deepen our relations with Asia-Pacific jurisdictions and improve our market access in this dynamic region.

The agreement also provides for the exchange of information on innovative fiscal initiatives and procurement models such as public-private partnerships, regional economic development, and federalism approaches.

Click here to read more.


TetraQ & Q-Pharm Strategic Alliance - Friday, 13 June 2008

We are pleased to announce that TetraQ and Q-Pharm have forged a strategic alliance to enhance the provision of bioanalytical services to the biotech and pharmaceutical industries.

Having this alliance between the two organisations at the interface of the preclinical and early phase clinical stages of drug development represents significant opportunities for capturing operational economies, co-marketing of services and cross-referral of potential clients. 



ERA Consulting Group - Joint Venture Announcement - Friday, 30 May 2008

The ERA Consulting Group and BioTechLogic are pleased to announce that they have joined forces to found US Biologic Regulatory Services LLC (US-BRS). This joint venture company will extend, and bridge, the services of both parent organizations, offering clients high quality regulatory affairs support, particularly relating to FDA interactions and submissions, and to preclinical and clinical development strategies for biotech products and other biologics and drugs, in the USA. Furthermore, US-BRS will benefit from the resources of the parent companies, in particular our expertise and track record in the field of manufacturing and control of biologics.
The ERA Consulting Group, with around 30 employees and headquartered near Hannover, Germany with three other offices in London (UK), Brisbane (Australia) and Washington, DC (USA), has offered specialist product development and regulatory affairs consulting services to the biopharmaceutical industry for more than 20 years. In terms of expertise in biopharmaceuticals and experience with a wide range of biologics, including gene, cell and tissue engineered products, as well as products of recombinant DNA and other technologies, ERA is the unrivalled leading consulting organisation in this field in Europe and the Australasian region. Responsibility for ERA’s current projects in the USA will now be assumed by US-BRS, therefore offering existing as well as future clients an expanded service, of far wider scope than was possible in the past.
BioTechLogic, Inc., based in Glenview, Illinois, is a biopharmaceutical and technology management firm with a unique, proven capability to rapidly and successfully bring products to market through the augmentation and optimization of a corporation's resources. BioTechLogic has a team of professionals with expertise in process development, bioanalytical services, process validation, project management, quality assurance, regulatory submissions and Pre-Approval Inspection (PAI) readiness. BioTechLogic’s quality by design (QbD) approach provides effective product development support, including: development reports, design of experiments, technology implementation, critical process parameter evaluation, technology transfer and scale-up, and on-site third party contract manufacturing support for proteins, vaccines, oligonucleotides and other biopharmaceutical products.


NICM Collaborative Centre
Congratulations to QCTN member Evelin Tiralongo – Lecturer at Griffith University School of Pharmacy, in collaboration with Associate Professor Luis Vitetta and other stakeholders who were recently awarded a grant of $660,000 to further research into complementary medicine.

The grant was awarded by the National Institute of Complementary Medicine (NICM) to establish a NICM Collaborative Centre for Transitional Preclinical and Clinical Research in Nutraceuticals and Herbal Medicine.

The centre aims to bring together existing capacity in the Australian community to foster research, development and investment in complementary and alternative medicines (CAMs) in an ethically and socially responsible manner and to help develop educational and informational resources for CAMs. The centre will focus on key areas of expertise in the participating institutions, with a particular emphasis on cardiovascular medicine; including diabetes, obesity and metabolic syndrome, and an equally important focus on ageing and skin health.

Its work will span basic laboratory science, in vivo studies, clinical trials, nutraceutical-drug interaction studies (e.g. herbs) and education.

Particpating institutions include: Epworth Medical Centre, Garvan Institute, Griffith University, Monash University, UNSW and University of Queensland.



NeuroDiscovery Ltd has tied up with TetraQ - Thursday, 25 October 2007

NeuroDiscovery Ltd, neurology focused research and development company has tied up with TetraQ of Australia to market the safety pharmacology services of NeuroDiscovery’s 100% subsidiary, NeuroSolutions Ltd in Australasia.

University of Queensland-based TetraQ is the premier contract research organization in Australia providing integrated preclinical services to the global pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. For this reason TetraQ has been chosen to market NeuroSolutions’ safety pharmacology services in Australasia. This includes the Qpatch, an automated electrophysiology device to screen drugs for potential adverse cardiac effects (commonly known as a hERG screening).

hERG screening is a crucial step in the process of discovering new medicines. The centerpiece of NeuroSolutions’ leading edge electrophysiology and safety pharmacology services to the global drug discovery industry is a UK-based hERG testing laboratory. Pharmaceutical and biotech companies are required to undertake a rigorous series of tests to evaluate any potential risks associated with their drugs. hERG testing was incorporated into International Guidelines for New Pharmaceuticals for Human Use after a number of important drugs were withdrawn from the US market following reports of heart malfunctions in patients who had been prescribed them.

“We are looking forward to working with TetraQ on marketing our hERG screening services in Australasia to expand the global reach of our profitable service business” said NeuroDiscovery’s Chairman, Dr Mark Treherne.

TetraQ’s Business Development Manager, Rose-marie Pennisi said becoming involved with NeuroSolutions’ hERG testing program would complement the Queensland company’s range of customised preclinical services and reputation for research excellence.

“The superior quality of the data generated by the QPatch and the interpretation of the test results differentiates NeuroSolutions from other hERG testing providers. Both companies share a commitment to high standards and an understanding of the global market,” Ms Pennisi said.


QCTN signs an MoU with KHIDI - Monday, 22 October 2007

At the recent AusBiotech Conference, QCTN and the Korean entity KHIDI signed a Memorandum of Understanding. The Korean Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI) is a large Korean Government-affiliated Institute founded in 1999. The focal areas of KHIDI are:

  • Pharmaceutical Industry (including Biotechnology) 
  • Medical Devices Industry 
  • Health Care Industry (~ Queensland Health) 
  • Food Industry 
  • Cosmetics Industry 
  • Health Informatics Industry

The scope and intent of the MoU can be summarised as follows. In the fields of clinical trials and related areas, KHIDI and QCTN will:

Support and facilitate technology-based matchmakings of companies, universities and research institutes in each region respectively 

Cooperate in exchanging staff and researchers of each other to provide advanced education programs and training courses aimed to enhance the local capabilities 

Support activities such as organising seminars, conferences and expositions on issues of mutual cooperation as well as site visits by special interest groups 

Find prospective partners for cooperation among institutes and organisations in both regions.


TetraQ lab gains GLP standing - October, 2007
University of Queensland-based contract research organisation TetraQ has been granted Good Laboratory Practice recognition from the National Association of Testing Authorities for one of its key laboratories, according to UQ. The status means that the company is now recognised to provide internationally accredited testing services to the Australian biopharmaceutical industry.

The GLP status means that TetraQ's ADME (absorption, distribution, metabolism and elimination) laboratory's bioanalytical work will be accepted internationally for regulatory review, providing its clients in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries with a high degree of assurance.

TetraQ’s compliance with the strict international Good Laboratory Practice code will allow new pharmaceuticals being developed to be analysed in Australia rather than being sent offshore, according to TetraQ executive director Professor Maree Smith.

"TetraQ is providing yet another platform whereby the Australian biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries can progress their drug development programs locally to extremely high standards," said Prof. Smith.

"I'm delighted that TetraQ has been able to further enhance our already strong track record of contract research and development services excellence," she said.

TetraQ is the commercial arm of the Centre for Integrated Preclinical Drug Development at UQ. The TetraQ ADME laboratory uses state-of-the-art equipment and methods, which meet stringent quality and testing levels, to measure drugs and their breakdown products in biological samples to high levels of accuracy and precision.


TetraQ has a new facility - Wednesday, 30 May 2007

TetraQ is the first contract research organisation in Australia to provide integrated preclinical services to the global pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.

TetraQ primarily provides specialist services and advice to companies who are in the early stages of drug development and can assist in bridging the gap between drug discovery and early stage clinical trials by providing a tailored solution to its clients.

Currently in a stage of growth, TetraQ has built a new facility to accommodate its expanding range of services. This has been enabled by $8.1M in investment funds from the Queensland Government’s Smart State Research Facilities Fund, along with significant cash and in-kind support from The University of Queensland (UQ) and its supporting partners, Q-Pharm and The Queensland Institute of Medical Research.

TetraQ is the commercial arm of the Centre for Integrated Preclinical Drug Development at UQ, a University Level Centre that undertakes research and training targeted to improving the efficiency and predictive ability of preclinical methods. TetraQ is a registered business name of Uniquest Pty Ltd.

Visit TetraQ


Q-Pharm expands their service range - Wednesday, 30 May 2007

Q-Pharm is one of the few full service Phase I clinical trial units in Australia. Two new international collaborations have set it up for an expansive future.

The most recent collaborative agreement was signed with Vitalea Science of Woodland, California in February and enables Q-Pharm to offer two new types of service to clients in Australia and Asia.

“These are microdosing (Phase 0) clinical trials which are being strongly encouraged by the FDA as a major cost-saving efficiency in early drug development, and ‘light-label- ADME studies, which greatly enhance the information derived from conventional Phase I trials,” Q-Pharm Managing Director, Mr Wayne Hooper said.

“In microdosing studies only about one one-hundredth of the standard Phase I dose is administered, which makes it possible to commence studies in humans with abbreviated preclinical studies. The ‘light-label’ studies involve the use of 14C-labelled dose where the dose of radioactivity is below the levels requiring special approvals and precautions.

“Both types of studies depend on the exquisitely sensitive analytical technique of Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) which can detect 14C at the level of 10-18 to 10-20 of a gram”.

Hooper said Vitalea has pioneered the development of a new generation of AMS instruments which brings the technique into the realm of being both practical and affordable. Under the collaborative agreement, Vitalea will provide AMS analytical services for trials conducted in Q-Pharm’s clinics. The two companies are also embarking on a marketing program to bring these services to clients in the Asia-Pacific region.

Visit Q-Pharm 

Wesley Research Institute's Community Service Announcement

The Wesley Research Institute’s new Community Service Announcement (CSA), proudly supported by 7 News, was launched at a special function held at the Institute on 13 September 2007.

Titled ‘Time’, the CSA is designed to help communicate the Institute’s unique mission of making a difference today to people’s lives through medical research.

Professor Julie Campbell AO, Director of The Wesley Research Institute, said the CSA would be an excellent awareness tool to help promote the Institute’s important research and raise valuable funds.

“The Institute is expanding extremely rapidly in terms of its physical infrastructure and number of research projects and clinical trials,” she said.

“The release of this CSA is very timely to help us on this important journey and we are very grateful to all the talented companies and individuals who helped create the advertisement for their expertise and community mindedness.”

The CSA was made with the generous support of Mitchell and Partners, Cummins and Partners, and Brendan Williams Films who all donated their time and skills to produce the advertisement.

The CSA features a voiceover from the Institute’s Ambassador, Rod Young from 7 News, and is being screened on Channel 7.

Please click here to watch the Community Service Announcement.

Visit the Wesley Research Institute

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