Incubator to accelerate, enhance biotech discoveries

This article featured in Illuminate Newsletter Spring ‘23
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Calling all innovative biotech startups! Australia’s newest biotech incubator has been launched by WEHI, CSL and The University of Melbourne.

Jumar Bioincubator connects early-stage and scaling biotech ventures with the state-of-the-art facilities, infrastructure and support needed to progress discoveries towards real-world treatments, while ensuring world-class medical research is commercialised.

This will help to support research translation – the process of moving innovative medical discoveries through the research pipeline to become new products – for businesses in areas such as pharmaceuticals, diagnostics, medical devices, digital health, bioinformatics and health-oriented AI.

The incubator is supported by cash and in-kind contributions of about $45 million over 10 years from its founding partners, WEHI, CSL and The University of Melbourne, as well as an initial investment of $25 million from Breakthrough Victoria.

Accelerating discoveries

The name was inspired by the word ‘jumar’, which refers to a mountaineering technique by which climbers receive the support necessary to efficiently scale and speedily ascend challenging mountains.

By providing a first home for aspiring biotech ventures, Jumar Bioincubator similarly aims to help biotech entrepreneurs to ascend and scale the heights of their industry, and enhance opportunities to commercialise medical research.

A report by the appointed operator, Cicada Innovations, found startups that receive incubator support have a much higher 5-year survival rate (85%) and accelerated growth trajectory (40%) versus standalone entities.

Unique access

Jumar is Australia’s first and only biotech incubator to be co-located with a leading biopharmaceutical company in a world-class biomedical precinct.

The incubator, which cost $30 million to build, will facilitate research commercialisation and innovation translation by providing biomedical scientists and researchers with access to knowledge and skills needed to run successful biomed and biotech companies.

Aspiring ventures will have access to WEHI’s knowledge and platform technologies, creating opportunities for collaboration, learning and connections.

The new facility is located across two floors of CSL’s new Global Headquarters and Centre for R&D in the Melbourne Biomedical Precinct.

First published on 14 September 2023
This article featured in Illuminate Newsletter Spring ‘23
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