Date published: 
14 January 2019
Media type: 
Media release
Audience: 
General public



The Liberal National Government is providing $25 million to help establish a new national Drug Discovery Centre that aims to turn scientific discoveries into new medicines faster.



The centre, at Melbourne’s Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, will help bring lifesaving medicines to patients with the help of advanced robotic gear.



The robotics equipment will enable the centre’s world-class researchers to screen hundreds of thousands of chemicals and rapidly identify which ones can alter processes in the body implicated in a particular disease or condition.



This discovery provides the starting point for the development of new medicines. Our investment in this important Drug Discovery Centre will help researchers develop news drugs to treat both common and rare diseases and improve the quality of life of many Australians.



The centre will open in June 2019 and will fill a known gap in the drug discovery pipeline in Australia.



The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute’s own contribution to the establishment of the new centre has come from philanthropic support, as well as $32.1 million from the sale of royalty rights for venetoclax, a potent anti-cancer treatment based on a landmark research discovery made at the Institute in the 1980s.



The discovery and commercial success of venetoclax is a leading example of how Australia can benefit from great discoveries, and how as a nation we can continually excel in health and medical research on the international stage.



Our Government is able to provide unprecedented levels of support to health and medical research because of our strong economic management and I am delighted this has allowed us to can make this contribution and help establish this important Drug Discovery Centre.



Our Government’s contribution to this significant centre is through our landmark Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF). The MRFF is an endowment fund, which will mature at $20 billion, providing a sustainable source of funding for vital medical research.



It is the single largest boost in health and medical research funding in Australia’s history.



(ENDS)