Victorian Government invests $18M in National Drug Discovery Centre

27 May 2019
The Victorian Government has today announced $18 million in funding support for the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute’s new National Drug Discovery Centre as part of the 2019-2020 State Budget.
Researcher in the National Drug Discovery Centre
Dr Helene Jousset, Head of the Institute’s
Screening Laboratory

The investment is part of $117 million funding to support Victorian health and medical research projects.

Officially opening in June 2019, the Institute’s National Drug Discovery Centre will enable researchers across the country to progress their biomedical discoveries into life-saving treatments, bringing new medicines to patients sooner.  

Managed by a team of highly skilled and specialised Institute scientists, the centre houses the latest drug discovery facilities, including ultra-high-throughput screening – a critical step in the translation of biomedical research discoveries.

Institute director Professor Doug Hilton said the funding supported the Institute to fill a gap in Australia’s drug discovery pipeline, providing a boost to the Victorian and broader Australian medical research sector.

“Victoria is home to some of Australia’s best medical researchers, who are making discoveries that are changing the outlook for people with a range of significant diseases,” he said.

“Unfortunately for many years the translation of Australian research into new medicines has been hampered by a lack of equipment for drug development. Many promising discoveries were either never pursued, or researchers were forced overseas to develop their research into new therapies.

“I am thrilled that our new National Drug Discovery Centre will help to bridge this gap. It will provide a confluence of specialist expertise and leading-edge technology right here in Melbourne – and is accessible to researchers from around Australia,” he said.

The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute’s National Drug Discovery Centre is made possible by the $18 million Victorian Government commitment, $25 million from the Australian Government, $32 million of the Institute’s own investment gained from the partial sale of royalty rights for anti-cancer medication venetoclax and generous gifts from philanthropic donors. This new Victorian Government funding is in addition to the $1 million provided in 2017 to build a business case for the Centre.


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