Translation & Commercialisation
Maurice Wilkins Centre investigators have an impressive history of translating and commericalising their research.
The Maurice Wilkins Centre has a strong focus on translating its research from the laboratory to the clinic, to benefit human health. It draws together most of New Zealand's expertise in discovering new drugs, vaccines and diagnostic tools that proceed to clinical trials. The Centre is also working to build a comprehensive network against human disease, extending from the wider medical profession through to commerical partners who can apply and add value to its scientific discoveries.
The Centre's commitment to translational research is exemplified by the establishment of a new laboratory that has been granted a a license to manufacture medicines by Medsafe (New Zealand's regulatory body controlling new medicines). The facility will produce the active ingredients of cancer vaccines to be tested in humans, and will contribute to research programmes that involve Maurice Wilkins Centre investigators around the country.
The Centre also drives the translation of its research and expertise from the laboratory by commercialising its discoveries through a variety of avenues.
Maurice Wilkins Centre investigators have extensive experience commercialising their research. To date they have been responsible for bringing a large portfolio of drugs to clinical trial, with a deep pipeline of new projects in pre-clinical development. This strong portfolio means that New Zealand maintains its exciting potential in the biopharmaceutical sector, a sector capable of driving explosive economic growth.
The creation of spin-out companies is an important pathway for the development of the Centre's research and often brings in international partners and funds, and Centre investigators maintain close links with such companies. Examples of start-up companies based on Maurice Wilkins Centre investigators' intellectual property include Pathway Therapeutics Inc and Proacta Inc.
Licensing discoveries to companies and non-profit organisations is another major avenue for translation and commercialisation of its research. The launch of the first clinical trial of cancer drug PR610 in New Zealand and the United States (licensed to Proacta Inc), and preclinical development of TBA-354 (in partnership with the non-profit TB Alliance) as a new treatment for tuberculosis are two recent examples of the strength of New Zealand's expertise drug discovery and commercialisation.