University secures major biotech partnership

The University of Melbourne has secured a partnership with a major bio-pharmaceutical company which will deliver significant opportunities for the University’s researchers and students in coming years.

The University and First Bio-Pharma signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) at a recent ceremony in Melbourne. The MOU will fund University researchers to deliver great biotech research, and in the longer term, enable students to travel abroad to strengthen their learnings in biotech studies.

University of Melbourne Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) James McCluskey welcomed the agreement which will fund “significant research and learnings”.

“The MOU is important in that it provides a real boost to our researchers, in part through funding, and more importantly through access to First Bio-Pharma’s significant connections and capabilities as a global biotech business,” Professor McCluskey said.

Doron Ben-Meir, Vice-Principal (Enterprise), added that the MOU would deliver “great opportunities” for the University and First Bio-Pharma.

“The MOU enables our researchers to leverage commercialisation and market access capabilities that will ensure research is supported during conceptual stages, and is then able to be delivered to market in a way that may have been difficult to achieve in the past,” he said.

“As the MOU progresses, the intention is to also enable University of Melbourne biotechnology students to gather experience in locations such as China, to further grow their capabilities. For these reasons we are genuinely excited by the delivery of this MOU for our researchers and future students.”

First Bio-Pharma’s Chairman of the Board Mr Bowen Zhang said that the company welcomed this MOU, after attending the ceremony with Chairman of the Advisory Board Ms Yan Han. First Biotech (Australia) CEO Mr Max Wang, Mr Zhang and Ms Han were on hand to sign the MOU.

“Beijing First Biochemical Pharmaceutical company has a 60-year history in industry. The company owns first class research labs, GMP certified production line, and a sales net of 8000 hospitals. We have built up cooperative relationships with Chinese Academy of Science, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking University," Mr Zhang said.

“The University of Melbourne is the leading university in Australia and the world, and we see the MOU as delivering widespread benefits for both our company and the University, through collaborative research and internships.

“This is an exciting time for the Bio-Pharmaceutical industry and we are pleased that we can work with the University to deliver outcomes that will benefit us both, and the wider community through leading-edge research projects."