The callout, made by Premier Dominic Perrottet, confirms the Government’s commitment to developing Australia’s first commercial-scale viral vector facility capability and comes after discussions with a number of stakeholders, including the University of Sydney, to upscale the existing viral vector facility at Westmead, leveraging Australia’s stem cell and gene therapy expertise.
University of Sydney Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Professor Mark Scott, said the facility would bolster local manufacturing capability and fast-track the commercialisation of trial therapies for genetic diseases, cancer and infections within the Westmead Precinct, of which the University of Sydney and NSW Government are foundation partners.
“Great things happen when industry, universities and research combine – for over two decades, researchers at the University of Sydney have undertaken world-class, ground-breaking clinical trials targeting diseases such as haemophilia, thalassaemia, immune deficiencies, cancer and genetic diseases. This step capitalises on that work and years of consistent internationally acclaimed research and development in this relatively new field of human gene therapy,” the Vice-Chancellor said.
The Government’s actions will lead to a boost in clinical trials and manufacturing and will help us attract industry and academic investigators alike. We are anticipating a range of exciting academic, commercialisation and health spinouts in the near future.
Executive Dean and Pro Vice-Chancellor Medicine and Health, Professor Robyn Ward, said the call for co-investments would support world-leading gene therapy research and patient care.
“This announcement will act as a lightning rod for industry and medical research and help us treat the thousands of people suffering with unmet medical needs including those with cancer or vision loss,” Professor Ward said.