Category Archives: News

2023 Annual Report

2023 Annual Report

Author

Date

BioCurate

March 27, 2024

Annual Report for the year ended 31 December 2023.

The 2023 Annual Report highlights BioCurate’s excellent progress, with milestone success and pipeline growth helping us build a robust portfolio of drug development assets. In particular, the significant growth in our pipeline of early-stage projects was enabled through the expansion of the popular Proof of Concept Scheme with two successful BioCurate Opportunity Application rounds completed, bringing in numerous high-quality opportunities. Pleasingly, all existing Portfolio Projects met key milestones, enabling them to advance to the next stage of development.

BioCurate 2023 Annual Report

 

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BioCurate Board Announces Kathy Nielsen PhD M.Pharm M. IP. Law RTTP GAICD as New CEO

BioCurate Board Announces Kathy Nielsen PhD M.Pharm M. IP. Law RTTP GAICD as New CEO

Author

Date

BioCurate

November 29 2023

BioCurate, the independently operated joint venture between the University of Melbourne and Monash University, announced today it has appointed Dr. Kathy Nielsen to the role of Chief Executive Officer.

BioCurate, the independently operated joint venture between the University of Melbourne and Monash University, announced today it has appointed Dr. Kathy Nielsen to the role of Chief Executive Officer. Dr. Nielsen brings over 25 years of experience in senior leadership and advisory roles primarily in the life science sector, with deep experience in technology transfer, venture capital, creating and advancing spin out companies, and operating in the nexus between research and the pharmaceutical industry.

BioCurate Chair, The Hon John Brumby AO, said; “The Board and I are delighted to welcome Kathy to the role. Aside from her stellar track record as a team leader, she has a rare combination of governance, technical, IP and commercialisation capabilities, along with industry connections that will be incredibly valuable to our mission.”

Dr. Nielsen said; “I’ve been a long-time supporter of BioCurate from its genesis and an advocate for its work in my role at Monash Innovation. I’m privileged to have the opportunity to join such an exceptional team and channel my skills and expertise into supporting its mission to translate promising medical research into quality preclinical candidates for the bio-pharmaceutical industry.”

Dr. Nielsen joins BioCurate from Monash Innovation (Senior Director Commercialisation), having led the growing Commercialisation team, and managed a large and dynamic portfolio of early stage assets. She has had a strong transaction focus, brokering numerous deals with major pharmaceutical companies, as well creating more than 25 Monash spin offs for the development of new therapeutics, many of which have secured multi-million dollar investments. Dr Nielsen has strong corporate governance experience, having held 17 Directorships and 5 Observer positions.

Previously, Dr Nielsen was Senior Investment Manager at Queensland Investment Corporation, which managed several funds both in Australia and USA, investing in more than 20 biotech/life science companies and generating significant returns for Australian investors. Dr. Nielsen has also held senior roles in technology transfer at the University of Queensland and its spin outs including ElaCor Pty Ltd, Nanomics Biosystems Pty Ltd and Xenome Ltd.

Dr. Nielsen has also made substantial non-commercial impacts during her career, including through her role as Director, Research & Advocacy at Ovarian Cancer Australia. She was crucial in developing a National Action Plan for high impact research and to inform, engage and amplify the voices of women with ovarian cancer, through consumer-driven research.

The Hon. John Brumby AO, Chair of the BioCurate Board, said:
“The Board and I would like to thank Henry Jones for his interim leadership during the search, as well as the entire BioCurate team for the substantial progress they have achieved, including the achievement of all key project milestones, the expansion of our early opportunity pipeline through our Proof of Concept Scheme, and for securing extensions to, and new strategic partnerships with major biotech companies.”

Prof. Mark Hargreaves, Acting Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research), The University of Melbourne, said:
“Kathy is an outstanding addition to the BioCurate leadership team. She is a well-known and highly regarded leader who is well-placed to further the translation and impact of the world-class biomedical research in our city.”

About BioCurate

BioCurate is a bold, collaborative venture, dedicated to delivering benefits to the community by helping to advance Australian research and innovation globally. Jointly formed by the University of Melbourne and Monash University, with support from the Victorian State Government, BioCurate identifies promising biomedical research discoveries and manages their translation into high quality pre-clinical candidates with the aim to develop potential novel human therapeutics.

We operate in the under-resourced, yet critical, early phases of therapeutic development to overcome common barriers to success and drive early decisions. BioCurate is operationally independent, with a team of experts that brings decades of scientific and commercial expertise, enabling us to recognise and realise real-world potential and providing a critical bridge between academia and industry.  Governance is provided by an experienced Board with an independent Board Chair, the Hon John Brumby AO, supported by Directors with specialist backgrounds in biotechnology, investment and corporate governance.

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BioCurate and Takeda Renew Alliance to Accelerate Discoveries of New Drugs and Therapeutics

BioCurate and Takeda Renew Alliance to Accelerate Discoveries of New Drugs and Therapeutics

Author

Date

BioCurate

September 20 2023

Partnership enables collaboration in high-quality therapy development programs.

BioCurate, the independently-operated joint venture between The University of Melbourne and Monash University, today announced the renewal of its partnership with Takeda to identify and collaborate on projects to advance promising early stage therapeutic research.

The alliance increases each partner’s access to scientific and commercialisation expertise, as well as exposure to candidate projects in key therapeutic areas for collaboration, including potential for co-investment.

On selected projects, the two partners will work together to overcome the barriers to their translation and commercialisation, providing critical advice and expertise to streamline the therapeutic development process.

Dr. Eric Hayes, Director of Partnerships at BioCurate, said:

“We’re thrilled to renew our strategic alliance with Takeda, whose world-class team has a proven track record of successful collaborations to bring new, commercially viable medicines to market. We have some of the world’s best medical research teams operating out of Victoria’s laboratories; Takeda’s expertise will help ensure this research has the best possible chance of becoming therapies that improve people’s lives.”

Dr. Michael Martin, Head of Takeda’s Center for External Innovation said:

“Continuing our collaboration with BioCurate renews our bond with their internationally renowned team, and our connection with the thriving ‘Parkville Precinct’ medical research community. We look forward to identifying promising projects for collaboration, and jointly pursuing the potential to create transformational new therapies for patients.”

About BioCurate

BioCurate is a bold, collaborative venture, dedicated to delivering benefits to the community by helping to advance Australian research and innovation globally. Jointly formed by the University of Melbourne and Monash University, with support from the Victorian State Government, BioCurate identifies promising biomedical research discoveries and manages their translation into high quality pre-clinical candidates with the aim to develop potential novel human therapeutics.

We operate in the under-resourced, yet critical, early phases of therapeutic development to overcome common barriers to success and drive early decisions. BioCurate is operationally independent, with a team of experts that brings decades of scientific and commercial expertise, enabling us to recognise and realise real-world potential and providing a critical bridge between academia and industry.  Governance is provided by an experienced Board with an independent Board Chair, the Hon John Brumby AO, supported by Directors with specialist backgrounds in biotechnology, investment and corporate governance.

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BioCurate’s Proof-of-Concept Fund Increased

BioCurate’s Proof-of-Concept Fund Increased

Author

Date

BioCurate

August 1, 2023

Projects awarded POC funding from the next round of project applications will now be able to access up to $500k.

With renewed funding from its Shareholders universities, BioCurate continues its mission to translate discoveries from Victoria’s world-class bioscience laboratories into high quality therapies that can save and improve people’s lives. BioCurate is pleased to announce a significant project funding increase to its successful Proof-of-Concept (POC) Fund. Projects awarded POC funding from the next round of project applications will now be able to access up to $500K of funding over a period of 12-18 months, to accelerate therapeutic discoveries.

BioCurate is pleased to be able to announce an increase in POC project funding of up to $500K. We are building on the success and excellent momentum we have been able to generate since the POC fund’s inception. With the increase in funding, we look forward to continuing to fund those early stage projects with the greatest commercial potential, provide further support for researchers, and ensure the greatest chance of a tangible commercial outcome.” – Dr Christopher Chan, BioCurate Executive Director, Research and Development

The POC Fund is designed to support both early-stage and more mature projects that require additional experimental validation to address key scientific gaps, and to generate additional compelling data to de-risk projects to reach the next value inflection point. In addition to funding, Researchers will benefit from BioCurate’s industry expertise and mentoring in crafting commercialisation and IP strategies, as well as designing experimental plans to address key project risks. During the project, BioCurate staff are on hand to provide support to the investigators to maximise the chances of reaching a successful outcome. For POC projects successfully completing milestones, BioCurate offers a path to commercialisation with licensing opportunities and further investment (up to $10 million tranched funding).

This funding scheme is open to both University of Melbourne and Monash University research projects, as well as from affiliated Victorian Medical Research Institutes.

Investigators retain ownership of the IP rights in the Technology and will own any improvements to its Background IP and IP arising from the performance of the POC Project.

Application forms are succinct and easy to complete, and researchers are encouraged to submit an application to accelerate the translation of their therapeutic discovery.

Call for BioCurate Opportunity Assessment (BOA) applications open 7 August 2023 and close 15 September 2023.

BioCurate invites Researchers and Commercialisation Managers to attend our information sessions to be held on Wednesday August 9 at Melbourne Connect and Thursday August 10 at Monash University Clayton to find out about BioCurate investment opportunities, eligibility and success criteria and the funding process.

Registrations are required for our Melbourne Connect information session. Click here for more information and to register via Eventbrite.

For further information, contact Dr Andy Allen (a.allen@biocurate.com) and info@biocurate.com.

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BioCurate Announces Strategic Alliance with the Experimental Drug Development Centre in Singapore

BioCurate Announces Strategic Alliance with the Experimental Drug Development Centre in Singapore

Author

Date

BioCurate

July 26, 2023

Partnership will see co-investment and collaboration to advance promising biomedical research.

BioCurate, an independently operated joint venture between the University of Melbourne and Monash University, announced today it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Experimental Drug Development Centre (EDDC), Singapore’s national platform for drug discovery and development hosted by the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). The agreement will see both parties share complementary scientific and business development expertise between their teams, and explore opportunities for co-development on projects to bring new commercially viable therapies to market.

EDDC has well-established capabilities in-house for the discovery and development of small and large molecule therapeutic compounds. This includes expertise in assay development, medicinal chemistry, peptide chemistry, therapeutic protein and antibody discovery, in vivo pharmacology and biomarker development. In addition, EDDC has successfully progressed projects from discovery to development and has a track record of partnerships with companies. Such expertise and capabilities will strengthen collaborative projects between EDDC and BioCurate.

The partnership is expected to expand the number and types of projects both parties can support, by increasing the knowledge, expertise and resources that each organisation has access to.

The Hon. John Brumby AO, Chair of the BioCurate Board, said:

“Bringing new drugs to market is notoriously difficult and requires substantial scientific and commercial expertise and resources. Collaborations like this improve the prospects of success, and we are honoured to partner with EDDC toward this common goal.

“I am excited about the possibilities of this collaboration, particularly to advance some of the world-class research happening in Victoria’s foremost academic research laboratories, which is BioCurate’s core focus.”

Dr. Eric Hayes, Director of Partnerships at BioCurate, said:

“Collaboration with organisations of EDDC’s calibre is a strategic priority for BioCurate, leveraging complementary strengths and capabilities to ours, and our Shareholders. These partnerships extend what we’re capable of doing and increase our chances of success in translating biomedical discoveries into quality therapeutic candidates.

“The Partners are now able to undertake a mutual review of portfolio opportunities and we are looking forward to identifying projects for collaboration.”

Prof. Damian O’Connell, Chief Executive Officer of EDDC, said:

“EDDC is excited to embark on this strategic partnership with BioCurate, a like-minded partner working towards a common goal. Bringing together both organisations’ strong complementary capabilities, we will accelerate our efforts towards translating groundbreaking biomedical discoveries into therapeutics that address unmet medical needs. I am excited about the potential opportunities that this collaboration will bring to Singapore and the region.”

About BioCurate

BioCurate is a bold, collaborative venture, dedicated to delivering benefits to the community by helping to advance Australian research and innovation globally. Jointly formed by the University of Melbourne and Monash University, with support from the Victorian State Government, BioCurate identifies promising biomedical research discoveries and manages their translation into high quality pre-clinical candidates with the aim to develop potential novel human therapeutics.

We operate in the under-resourced, yet critical, early phases of therapeutic development to overcome common barriers to success and drive early decisions. BioCurate is operationally independent, with a team of experts that brings decades of scientific and commercial expertise, enabling us to recognise and realise real-world potential and providing a critical bridge between academia and industry.  Governance is provided by an experienced Board with an independent Board Chair, the Hon John Brumby AO, supported by Directors with specialist backgrounds in biotechnology, investment and corporate governance.

About EDDC

The Experimental Drug Development Centre (EDDC) is Singapore’s national platform for drug discovery and development, formed from the integration of the Experimental Therapeutics Centre (ETC), Drug, Discovery and Development (D3), and Experimental Biotherapeutics Centre (EBC) in 2019. EDDC aims to develop therapeutics and diagnostics that save and improve the lives of patients in Singapore, Asia and around the world. Hosted by the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), EDDC works collaboratively with public sector and industry partners to translate the great science arising from Singapore’s biomedical and clinical sciences R&D into innovative healthcare solutions. For more information about EDDC, please visit http://www.eddc.sg/

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BioCurate and NLC Announce Strategic Alliance for Commercialisation of New Therapies

BioCurate and NLC Announce Strategic Alliance for Commercialisation of New Therapies

Author

Date

BioCurate

July 19, 2023

The two will collaborate on development projects to bring new therapies to market.

BioCurate, an independently operated joint venture between The University of Melbourne and Monash University, and NLC, the European Healthtech Venture Builder based in the Netherlands, announced today they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), which paves the way for sharing of scientific and commercial expertise and collaboration on projects to bring new therapies to market. 

BioCurate and NLC share complementary strengths which, when combined, could unlock vast potential for healthcare innovation. The partnership offers significant strategic value, as both share a similar mission; to transform top-tier innovations and ideas into life-changing products or services that advance health-related science.  

Both companies target early-stage projects, and the partnership seeks to improve the chances of success of current and future projects in each organisation’s portfolio by improving their access to the scarce skills and resources required for the translation of scientific discoveries into commercially viable therapies.  

The Hon. John Brumby AO, Chair of the BioCurate Board, said: 

“We’re thrilled to expand BioCurate’s network of international strategic partners through this new agreement with NLC.   

It takes a village to produce new, commercially viable therapies. This partnership helps to ensure the fantastic research taking place in Victoria’s leading academic laboratories has a better chance of becoming medicines that improve people’s lives. It also means NLC has access to the incredible talent we have in Victoria to support the success of the projects in their portfolio.” 

Dr. Eric Hayes, Director of Partnerships at BioCurate, said: 

“NLC was an obvious choice of partner for BioCurate because of the quality and breadth of its complementary expertise, as well as its presence in, and access to the European pharmaceutical market.  

“We look forward to evaluating our combined project portfolio’s to identify specific opportunities for collaboration.” 

Bert-Arjan Millenaar, CEO of NLC, commented: 

“By collaborating with BioCurate, a leader in translating novel technologies to therapeutics, NLC is taking an exciting step forward in the biotech space and expands its expert network and reach to the southern hemisphere. We consider BioCurate a strategic partner for our joint mission to create novel therapies for unmet needs and we look forward to bringing science to life together.” 

About BioCurate 

BioCurate is a bold, collaborative venture, dedicated to delivering benefits to the community by helping to advance Australian research and innovation globally. Jointly formed by the University of Melbourne and Monash University, with support from the Victorian State Government, BioCurate identifies promising biomedical research discoveries and manages their translation into high quality pre-clinical candidates with the aim to develop potential novel human therapeutics.  

We operate in the under-resourced, yet critical, early phases of therapeutic development to overcome common barriers to success and drive early decisions. BioCurate is operationally independent, with a team of experts that brings decades of scientific and commercial expertise, enabling us to recognise and realise real-world potential and providing a critical bridge between academia and industry.  Governance is provided by an experienced Board with an independent Board Chair, the Hon John Brumby AO, supported by Directors with specialist backgrounds in biotechnology, investment and corporate governance. 

About NLC 

NLC is the leading European healthtech venture builder. NLC identifies the best early-stage healthcare inventions and brings them to market, acting as the connecting link between technology innovation and entrepreneurship in medtech, biotech and digital health. To optimize patient care and enhance its positive impact, NLC collaborates with corporates and academic and healthcare institutions, such as Mayo Clinic. NLC leads the ventures it builds to success, by providing access to its established network and a team of experts. 

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2022 Annual Report

2022 Annual Report

Author

Date

BioCurate

March 30, 2023

Annual Report for the year ended 31 December 2022.

The 2022 Annual Report outlines BioCurate progressing the portfolio through key stage gates and growing the pipeline of early-stage projects through an expansion of the Proof of Concept Scheme (POC). A successful fourth round of BioCurate Opportunity Applications (BOA) was completed as well as the generation of novel projects by the BioCurate team. This builds on the strong foundations and positive momentum gained over the previous years towards BioCurate’s mission to commercialise potential therapeutic candidates and create impact on the lives of patients.

BioCurate 2022 Annual Report

 

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BioCurate Secures Renewed Funding Commitments, Announces Leadership Changes

BioCurate Secures Renewed Funding Commitments, Announces Leadership Changes

Author

Date

BioCurate

March 09, 2023

BioCurate, an independently operated joint venture between The University of Melbourne and Monash University, with support from the Victorian State Government, announced today it has secured renewed funding commitments from its shareholders, totalling $20m ($10m each).

Combined with funds in reserve, the renewed commitments enable the continued delivery for several years against BioCurate’s mission to grow the Victorian and Australian biotech sector by translating promising early-stage research into high-quality, preclinical pharmaceutical candidates.

Funding will support the advancement of projects already in BioCurate’s portfolio, in therapeutic areas from oncology to anti-infectives, along with new projects identified for support under BioCurate’s Proof of Concept Fund.

The BioCurate board also announced several leadership changes, including the resignations of CEO, Dr. Damien Bates, and COO and Company Secretary, Linda Peterson, and the promotion of Dr. Chris Chan, to Executive Director, Research and Development.

Dr. Bates, who joined BioCurate four years ago and has served as CEO since 2021, is stepping down in April to take on a new role as Vice President, Head of Cell Therapy Development at Novo Nordisk, based in the United States.

Ms. Peterson, who has served as COO and Company Secretary since the company’s inception in 2016, will step down in March and is planning a short career break before taking on new opportunities in the sector.

Dr. Bates and Ms. Peterson have contributed enormously to BioCurate’s progress during their tenures, helping to build an exceptional team, strengthening the profile and reputation of the organisation across academia and industry, and attracting a stable of renowned industry partners.

The board has commenced its search for Dr. Bates and Ms. Peterson’s replacements.

Dr. Chris Chan, who is being promoted to Executive Director, Research and Development, joined BioCurate four years ago as Director of Protein Therapeutics. His promotion recognises his significant expertise & track record in commercialising research, and driving projects through key milestones. As Executive Director, Dr. Chan will lead BioCurate’s scientific teams and provide expert oversight across its portfolio of projects.

BioCurate has built a portfolio of promising research projects, which are receiving expert translational support from BioCurate and its industry partners. In addition, BioCurate’s Proof of Concept Fund is providing focused mentorship and support to research teams whose projects require additional experimental validation, with a view to bringing them into the BioCurate portfolio.

The Hon. John Brumby AO, Chair of the BioCurate Board, said:

“BioCurate is an important force in Australia’s biomedical research sector. The renewed funding is a vote of confidence and gives BioCurate the runway to continue its important work in translating discoveries from Victoria’s world-class bioscience laboratories into high quality therapies that can save and improve people’s lives.”

“The board and I are deeply grateful for the contributions Damien and Linda have made. Their passion and dedication have been instrumental in shaping BioCurate into what it is today. We wish them the very best in their future endeavours.”

“We congratulate Dr. Chan on his well-deserved promotion. BioCurate’s scientific teams and portfolio of projects will benefit from his significant experience and leadership and we look forward to working with him in his new role.”

Ken Jefferd, Managing Director, Research, Innovation and Commercialisation at The University of Melbourne, said:

“BioCurate is building important capabilities and expertise in translating local discoveries from our laboratories into commercially viable therapies. We remain committed to the collaborative BioCurate model, and are excited about its potential to make a real difference in tackling disease and solving some of the world’s most pressing health challenges.”

Leigh Petschel, Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice-President, at Monash University, said:

“BioCurate provides a critical bridge between our world-class local medical researchers and industry, so our most promising discoveries have the best chance of becoming viable medicines that deliver real world impacts. We are pleased to extend our funding commitment and continue our work with BioCurate to drive positive health outcomes and economic returns.”

About BioCurate

BioCurate is a bold, collaborative venture, dedicated to delivering benefits to the community by helping to advance Australian research and innovation globally. Jointly formed by the University of Melbourne and Monash University, with support from the Victorian State Government, BioCurate identifies promising biomedical research discoveries and manages their translation into high quality pre-clinical candidates with the aim to develop potential novel human therapeutics.

We operate in the under-resourced, yet critical, early phases of therapeutic development to overcome common barriers to success and drive early decisions. BioCurate is operationally independent, with a team of experts that brings decades of scientific and commercial expertise, enabling us to recognise and realise real-world potential and providing a critical bridge between academia and industry.  Governance is provided by an experienced Board with an independent Board Chair, the Hon John Brumby AO, supported by Directors with specialist backgrounds in biotechnology, investment and corporate governance.

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2021 Annual Report

2021 Annual Report

Author

Date

BioCurate

March 30, 2022

Annual Report for the year ended 31 December 2021.

The 2021 Annual Report highlights BioCurate’s expansion of the early pipeline and the driving of portfolio projects through key development milestones. This progress towards the BioCurate’s key translation-related goals is the result of strong foundations, the growth and intense focus of the project team, and the partnership with Monash University and the University of Melbourne.

BioCurate 2021 Annual Report

 

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BioCurate Board pleased to announce Dr Damien Bates as CEO

BioCurate Board pleased to announce Dr Damien Bates as CEO

Author

Date

BioCurate

October 01, 2021

On 1 October 2021, Dr Damien Bates was appointed CEO of BioCurate. This is more positive news for the Company and provides the crucial skills, continuity and leadership essential for the ongoing success of BioCurate.

Damien joined BioCurate as Chief Scientific Officer and Head of Translational Medicine in May 2019.  He has played a critical role in driving the progression of projects along their respective development pathways through close collaborations with the Universities’ researchers and innovation staff, implementation of industry best practice across all aspects of project management, portfolio evaluation, industry engagement and resource allocation, and strong staff support and management.

Since being appointed as Acting CEO earlier in the year, Damien has worked closely with the BioCurate Board and management team to position the company strongly and achieve a number of important milestones, including:

Establishment of oncology start-up company Pio Therapeutics Pty Ltd (Pio Tx)

  • Commercial vehicle for research emanating from Monash University.
  • Company now fully incorporated with two Shareholders, Monash Investment Holdings and BioCurate, and an Independent Chair appointed.
  • Mission to develop novel, innovative and targeted medicines that increase endogenous anti-tumour immunity that addresses current clinical challenges associated with immunotherapy.

Pipeline building initiatives

  • Revision and streamlining of the BioCurate Opportunity Assessment (BOA) process
    • Two rounds each year.
    • Eligible projects to be sourced from University of Melbourne, Monash University and their respective affiliated medical research institutes (MRIs).
  • New Proof of Concept Fund implemented, with two projects awarded to date and additional projects undergoing evaluation.
    • Opportunity for researchers to obtain targeted funding and industry-informed, expert guidance to help get their early project on a clear translational pathway.
  • Showcasing researchers’ translation success stories via a range of platforms including promotional videos, media release, social media, press article and Shareholder’s communication channels.
  • Helping to build understanding of the translational and commercial process required for successful novel drug development via focused information sessions.

Advancement of portfolio projects

  • All projects continuing to progress through their Go/NoGo milestones.

Assistance with expansion of the Board and Investment Committee

  • Additional members appointed with international experience in drug development and asset management.

 

BioCurate Chair, The Hon John Brumby AO commented “I am confident that with Damien’s leadership, our talented staff and committed Board and Shareholders, we will be able to continue delivering on our mission of translating medical research into high quality preclinical candidates for the bio-pharmaceutical industry and eventually new safe & effective therapies for the community.”

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