By: Fiona Cameron
19 October 2010
(excerpts:) The vision to create an Australian-first home for medical research, clinical trials and treatment commercialisation reached an historic milestone today with the official start of construction on the $354 million Translational Research Institute in Brisbane.
Professor Ian Frazer, director of The University of Queensland Diamantina Institute — one of the four research partners collaborating on the project — said the TRI would be home to world-leading researchers focused on translating scientific knowledge into practical benefits for the community.
“The goal is better health for all, through collaboration between health care professionals and research scientists,” he said.
“For me personally, this project is the practical realisation of a dream for a building dedicated to clinical and translational research on this site, a dream that has been with me since I came to Queensland 25 years ago.”
….The TRI would be a key platform in assisting Australian medical scientists to keep greater control of breakthrough drugs such as Professor Frazer’s cervical cancer vaccine, instead of it being necessary for them to sign away the rights to global pharmaceutical companies early in the development process.
The research for Professor Frazer’s vaccine — sold worldwide under the brand names Gardasil and Cervarix — all took place in Queensland. If the TRI and its manufacturing capabilities had been established at that time, much more of the economic benefits from its $5 billion-plus of worldwide sales would have returned to the State.