The PRWIRE Press Releases https:// 2013-02-19T03:45:11Z University expertise helps gas company sustain health in regional towns 2013-02-19T03:45:11Z university-expertise-helps-gas-company-sustain-health-in-regional-towns Families in Queensland’s Western Downs will benefit from a new partnership between The University of Queensland’s (UQ) Centre for Online Health (COH) and natural gas developer QGC Pty Limited, coordinated by UQ’s main research commercialisation company, UniQuest.The Health e-REGIONS project is a whole-of-community approach to establishing a comprehensive network of telehealth services in the towns of Dalby, Chinchilla and Miles, and is the first initiative of its kind to improve access to specialist health services for families living in remote areas.QGC is developing the world’s first coal seam gas to liquefied natural gas project, Queensland Curtis LNG, in parts of the Western Downs, North Burnett, Banana Shire and Gladstone.UniQuest Acting CEO, Dean Moss, said the partnership demonstrated how Australian communities are benefitting from academic research via industry collaboration.“Advancements in telemedicine and e-health arising from UQ research are opening up new possibilities for improving access to key health resources, which tend to be centralised around capital cities. Partnerships like this one between the COH and QGC make it possible to introduce innovation to communities where it can make a powerful difference, as well as support the government’s Rural Health Initiative and National E-health Strategy,” Dr Moss said.“UQ’s COH has contributed significantly to global knowledge generation about telehealth service delivery and now Australians will benefit from innovative healthcare models developed here such as RES-e-CARE, which enables residents and patients in aged care facilities to interact with health specialists.”COH Deputy Director and lead consultant, Associate Professor Anthony Smith, said the Health e-REGIONS project took shape following a study, funded by QGC, his team completed in August last year. The study confirmed that people living in regional and remote areas of Queensland have less equitable access to specialist services than their city cousins, with consequences for their well-being.“The health status of the populations of towns in the Western Downs is significantly poorer and warrants the kind of immediate health intervention programs that telehealth can deliver,” Dr Smith said.“The increasing demand for specialist care for diabetes, dermatology, geriatrics and general medicine, for example, plus the social and financial stress of travelling to Toowoomba or Brisbane and then finding suitable accommodation, can be addressed cost-effectively with telehealth measures. The research clearly shows that positive outcomes can be achieved for patients, for the town, and for healthcare budgets.”While Dr Smith and his team work with QGC’s Sustainability Department  to set up the clinical infrastructure and training aspects of the project, UniQuest’s Consulting and Research division will continue to support the efforts of both teams to generate awareness of the initiative and promote its adoption.QGC Vice President of Sustainability, Brett Smith said the company was pleased to be partnering with UQ in meeting the health needs of the community."Through the QGC Social Impact Management Plan we are committed to supporting rural health services delivery.  The Health e-REGIONS project is a signature project under this commitment and is about improving access to specialist health services for local families”, Mr Smith said.The funding has been provided from QGC's $150 million Social Impact Management Plan, through which QGC manages social impacts and maximises benefits from the Queensland Curtis LNG Project.The $1.4 million contract UniQuest negotiated between the COH and QGC will see the Health e-REGIONS project rolled out from January 2013 until December 2014. About the UQ Centre for Online Health http://www.uq.edu.au/cohThe Centre for Online Health (COH) is a part of the School of Medicine within the Faculty of Health Sciences at The University of Queensland. With over 12 years of experience, the COH is recognised internationally for its role in research, service delivery and education and training in the fields of telemedicine, telehealth and e-Healthcare. The COH's multidisciplinary team of clinicians, academic researchers, educators, technicians, engineers and administrators brings together a broad mix of skills. The centre's keys areas of activity include clinically focussed research; academic and vocational education and training; and the provision of clinical telemedicine services, including one of the world’s largest paediatric telemedicine services.About QGC http://www.qgc.com.auQGC Pty Limited (ACN: 089 642 553) is a leading Australian coal seam gas explorer and producer focused on supplying gas to domestic and international markets. QGC is establishing one of Australia’s largest capital infrastructure projects to turn Queensland’s world-class coal seam gas reserves into liquefied natural gas. Queensland Curtis LNG, a priority project for QGC, involves expanding exploration and development in southern and central Queensland and transporting gas through a 540km underground pipeline network to Curtis Island near Gladstone where it will be liquefied. GLOSSARYElectronic Health (e-health) covers the electronic transmission of data for clinical, educational and administrative applications.Telehealth is a system of care involving a range of health professionals, patients and other recipients which is delivered by telecommunications technology between two or more locations; the digital transfer of information includes audio, video and graphic data.Telemedicine relates to the exchange of clinical information via telecommunications technology between two or more locations and may also include the digital transfer of audio, video and graphic data.Online Health is an umbrella term for exchanging health-related information and services via the internet. Investment boosts new start-up’s plans to develop autoimmune drugs 2013-02-19T03:39:24Z investment-boosts-new-start-up-s-plans-to-develop-autoimmune-drugs Novel therapies for autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, colitis, psoriasis and multiple sclerosis will be the focus of a new Australian biotech company launched last week.UTS research commercialisation partner, UniQuest, negotiated the agreement for Helmedix Pty Ltd to license intellectual property (IP) from the ithree institute. The MRCF funding will enable Helmedix to develop therapeutic peptide drugs based on that IP for preventing and treating immunological diseases which affect millions of people around the world.   “Bringing together the MRCF and the ithree institute to launch Helmedix is an excellent example of university research and industry sector collaboration which will translate into benefits for the wider community,” said UniQuest Acting CEO, Dean Moss.“This is the first major start-up investment UniQuest has facilitated for the ithree institute, and our second with the MRCF in the past 12 months,” Dr Moss said.The Helmedix research team led by Dr Sheila Donnelly has identified a number of immune modulating peptides derived from parasitic helminth worms, one of which is effective in suppressing the inflammatory response of the host and has shown therapeutic potential in a mouse model of type 1 diabetes. This immune modulating activity indicates potential broader application in a variety of other autoimmune diseases.  Dr Stephen Thompson, Director of Helmedix and Partner at Brandon Capital (the venture capital firm that manages the MRCF) said Helmedix is a great example of the type of early stage opportunity that the MRCF is set up  to support.“Its discoveries have broad potential to impact a number of autoimmune diseases and we look forward working with the team to progress the technology further towards commercial development,” Dr Thompson said.While the MRCF investment will help to progress lead optimisation and pre-clinical development of the immune modulating peptides over the next two years, Helmedix will subsequently seek further investment or industry partnerships to move the helminth-derived peptides through clinical development as a treatment for autoimmune and other inflammatory diseases (subject to meeting milestones). About the ithree institute www.ithreeinstitute.uts.edu.au/The ithree institute at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) brings together an internationally competitive team focused on addressing key challenges in the understanding and control of infectious diseases in humans and animals. The institute’s innovative science uses a systems biology approach to develop a greater insight into basic biology and its application to the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of infectious diseases.About the Medical Research Commercialisation Fund (MRCF) www.mrcf.com.auThe $51 million Medical Research Commercialisation Fund (MRCF) is an innovative investment collaboration established in 2007 and managed by Brandon Capital Partners (www.brandoncapital.com.au). The MRCF invests in early stage development and commercialisation opportunities emanating from its membership of 32 Australian medical research institutes and allied research hospitals, which includes the ithree Institute at UTS. The MRCF IIF, LP fund is supported by AustralianSuper, StatewideSuper and the Australian Government under its IIF program. The MRCF also acknowledges the support of the State Governments of Victoria, New South Wales, Western Australia and Queensland. Australia Day Honour for ex-UniQuest MD 2013-01-28T08:25:46Z australia-day-honour-for-ex-uniquest-md UniQuest congratulates Dr David Evans AM on being named a Member in the General Division of the Order of Australia on this year’s Australia Day Honours list.Dr Evans received the award “for significant service to science and innovation through commercialising and developing new technologies”, many of which originated fromUniversity of Queensland (UQ) research.“We are delighted to see David receive this honour,” said the current UniQuest Managing Director, David Henderson.“As well as establishing a firm foundation upon which UniQuest has been able to grow into one of Australia’s largest and most successful university research commercialisation companies, David helped to launch many other innovations throughout his career, including the technology based on UQ research which can be found in two-thirds of the world’s MRI machines.“David mentored many of the commercialisation professionals now leading Australia’s efforts to promote our innovation resources globally, including tech transfer specialists, venture capitalists, intellectual property advisors and researchers.“It’s an appropriate and well-deserved acknowledgement for someone who has contributed so much in such diverse ways to our industry sector,” Mr Henderson said.Dr Evans co-founded Uniseed, Australia’s first university-based venture capital fund jointly founded by UQ and the University of Melbourne (with an initial market capitalisation of $20 million), and was its Chief Executive Officer from 2000-2003 after leaving UniQuest. Uniseed continues to support various UniQuest start-ups, including QRxPharma Limited(now listed on the ASX); Spinifex Pharmaceuticals Ltd; TenasiTech Pty Ltd; Q-Sera Pty Ltd; Hydrexia Pty Ltd; ProGel Pty Ltd; and Pepfactants Pty Ltd.Dr Evans was also a founding director of IMBcom, established to commercialise discoveries from UQ’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience (now under the UniQuest umbrella).From 2004–2009, Dr Evans was Managing Director and then Executive Chairman of another UniQuest start-up, Magnetica, which is commercialising high-field magnetic resonance technology from UQ’s Centre for Magnetic Resonance.Prior to Dr Evans’s involvement with research commercialisation at UQ, he was involved with technology and knowledge transfer at the University of New England. He was also known for participating in and contributing to “the mother of all demonstrations” when Doug Engelbart showcased the computer mouse and the “dawn of interactive computing” in 1968. UQ to assess impact of Dad and Partner Pay 2012-12-20T06:27:23Z uq-to-assess-impact-of-dad-and-partner-pay University of Queensland (UQ) researchers from the Institute for Social Science Research (ISSR) will be monitoring and evaluating the impact of the Australian Government’s Dad and Partner Pay when it commences for children born or adopted from 1 January 2013 as an extension of the Paid Parental Leave (PPL) scheme.Facilitated by UniQuest’s Consulting and Research Division, the two-year research contract will see ISSR academics working closely with the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA) to collect data on current patterns of leave uptake by fathers and partners, as well as qualitative and quantitative research to analyse and report on emerging trends as Dad and Partner Pay is implemented.UniQuest’s Managing Director, David Henderson, said the research project demonstrated how the transfer of university knowledge and skills can contribute directly to informing government policy.“We are proud to have enabled ISSR researchers to share their expertise with the Department, especially as Dad and Partner Pay represents a significant cultural and economic shift in the way Australia recognises the value of co-parenting in the first year of a child’s life,” Mr Henderson said.“Around 75% of fathers take some time off work following the birth of a child, but only for a short time and most use their annual leave.  "For the first time in our national history, dads or partners who don’t have access to paid leave associated with a birth or adoption may be eligible for financial support to take time off work - regardless of whether they work full-time, part-time, casual, seasonal, on contract or are self-employed.“The ISSR, being one of Australia’s largest social science research groups, was appointed in 2010 to lead a collaborative four-year evaluation of the PPL scheme. This additional contract has the potential to influence how the scheme is adapted in the future, and therefore have an impact on the quality of Australian family life,” Mr Henderson said.Dad and Partner Pay will offer up to two weeks of government-funded pay at the rate of the National Minimum Wage rate (currently about $606 per week before tax).Dad and Partner Pay can be taken anytime in the first year after a child’s birth or adoption, at the same time the father or partner is on unpaid leave or not working. More information about it can be found on the FaHCSIA website:http://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/services/centrelink/dad-and-partner-pay New start-up to combat cancer with Australian and US university research 2012-12-18T02:43:13Z new-start-up-to-combat-cancer-with-australian-and-us-university-research Leading Australian university research commercialisation company UniQuest has partnered with US-based Emory University to package biotech assets for a new start-up company from Australian university-linked research centres, including The University of Queensland (UQ), and the Emory Institute for Drug Development.QUE Oncology will seek venture capital to fund the development of small molecule drug candidates and biological targets for preventing and treating cancer. UniQuest and Emory will facilitate capital raising activities with seed funding support.Intellectual property originating from UQ’s Faculties of Science and Health Sciences (from the research groups of Professors Maree Smith, Greg Monteith, Sarah Roberts-Thomson, Steve Taylor and Dr Trent Woodruff) will be licensed to QUE Oncology, along with research discoveries from the medicinal chemistry group of Professor Dennis Liotta at Emory Institute for Drug Development.UniQuest Managing Director, David Henderson said QUE Oncology was established in response to market opportunities in the field of cancer therapy.“The multi-million dollar investment required to develop a new drug from discovery through to commercial launch, and an increasingly conservative global regulatory environment, have prompted Australian research teams to seek collaborators overseas for translating their ideas into clinical outcomes,” Mr Henderson explained. “Bringing together the expertise and discoveries of these leading innovation hubs creates an attractive prospect for global biotech investors and also for pharmaceutical companies, which are looking for potential new drugs more so than ever before.“Through QUE Oncology, Australian university scientists will have the opportunity to develop meaningful and active collaborations with research teams at a top tier US university while accessing a larger network of international investors and pooling resources to pass common commercialisation hurdles and milestones.”  Professor Dennis Liotta, Executive Director of the Emory Institute for Drug Development, said QUE Oncology aligned with Emory University’s strategic focus on positive transformation through shared opportunities with international colleagues. “The research and development capabilities of all QUE Oncology’s contributors will be significantly enhanced through our collaborative approach to discovery and technology transfer,” Professor Liotta said.QUE Oncology will address the gaps in Australia’s existing capacity to support commercially focused drug development as a seamless end-to-end approach that can span the necessary multi-year timeframe.Cancer research projects that have been identified to start the QUE Oncology pipeline relate to hot flushes, pain, prostate cancer, breast cancer, multiple myeloma, and melanoma.The start-up will operate with a small core team and leverage the resources and infrastructure of the partnering universities and contract research organisations, manufacturers and advisors. An experienced biotech start-up CEO, Mr John Richard, has been recruited to manage the asset development program and business development activities. About QUE OncologyQUE Oncology, Inc.  seeks to address life threatening diseases with competitive and efficacious therapies that have reduced adverse side effects in order to deliver more cost effective treatments (by avoiding the cost impact of the disease, treatment of side effects or disease consequences) to patients to provide a greater chance of recovery and an improved quality of life.About Emory Institute for Drug Development http://eidd.emory.eduThe Emory Institute for Drug Discovery aims to address the significant funding gap that exists in the drug discovery and development continuum. It has assembled the full complement of capabilities and expertise to collaborate with academic researchers at an early stage of the drug discovery process, as well as to progress emerging drug candidates to a stage where they are ready for regulatory approval to enter human clinical evaluation. In this way, the innovation and discoveries by Emory researchers will have a continuous progression path to clinical settings where they can have positive impacts on human health. Berry good news for UQ exotic fruit 2012-12-12T08:27:34Z berry-good-news-for-uq-exotic-fruit New varieties developed at The University of Queensland (UQ) of the delicious berry-like ancient Chinese red bayberry fruit (Myrica rubra) are closer to a global market launch following a licensing agreement signed with a Victorian-based grower-owned berry production and marketing company, Y.V. Fresh.UniQuest, UQ’s main research commercialisation company, negotiated the deal after successful trials with growers along the Australian east coast, engagement with tree propagators and fruit marketing companies, and a number of fruit test marketing activities.UniQuest Managing Director David Henderson said the partnership between UniQuest, UQ, Y.V. Fresh andHorticulture Australia Limited (HAL) will facilitate establishing the red bayberry industry in Australia with Australian government and industry funding.“Partnering with one of the Australian berry industry’s major stakeholders is a significant move forward for the red bayberry project in terms of market readiness, and also because Y.V. Fresh will be funding ongoing R&D, and that will be supported with a HAL grant,” said Mr Henderson.“UniQuest has licensed the UQ red bayberry Plant Breeders Rights (PBR) to Y.V. Fresh so that they and their sub-licensees can propagate trees for fruit production and sell that fruit.“Y.V. Fresh has also licensed the Ruhbi trademark from UniQuest, which will become the product’s brand. Thus, it’s a multi-level intellectual property deal involving royalties from both the use of the trademark and the sale of trees propagated under the PBR licence in Australia and New Zealand,” Mr Henderson explained.Red bayberries (also known as Yang Mei) are sized similar to cherries and have been grown in China for centuries for their refreshing flavour and perceived health benefits. Nutritional analyses of the red bayberry in Queensland, China and Japan show high levels of antioxidants and other potentially beneficial phytochemicals. The fruit has properties claimed to be anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-carcinogenic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-allergenic.“The red bayberry has some key advantages for entering the lucrative fresh fruit market. Firstly, it has a pleasant fresh taste, whereas other recently commercialised ‘superfruits’ are almost exclusively marketed as relatively lower value processed or dried products,” Mr Henderson said.“Secondly, as a tree fruit crop red bayberry should cost less to produce, but can still command a premium retail price similar to blueberries and raspberries. These are important return on investment factors for attracting commercial partners.”Red Bayberry has not been widely propagated as a commercial crop in countries other than China. However,Professor Daryl Joyce of UQ’s School of Agriculture and Food Sciences has been selecting and evaluating new varieties in collaboration with colleagues overseas and in Australia, including from Queensland’s Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.“Funding from the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC) has been crucial for developing our varieties in readiness for commercialisation – enabling a scoping study and the pilot research into germplasm evaluation, seed and vegetative propagation, agronomic and postharvest handling practices, and consumer acceptance,” Professor Joyce said.“These genotypes are now thriving from Queensland in the north to Victoria in the south, and commercial yields of the fruit can commence in just three years after transplanting well-developed nursery plants.”“Y.V. Fresh is committed to new industry developments and technical innovation for the benefit of consumers. Working with The University of Queensland is an exciting new way for us to introduce another delicious summer fruit to Australian families,” said Y.V. Fresh CEO/Director, Mark Chapman.“Y.V. Fresh growers produce more than a third of Australia’s raspberries and blackberries, as well as blueberries, strawberries, krimsonberries, loganberries and red currants. We hope the Ruhbi Red Bayberry will become another Aussie family favourite from our berry basket in just a few years,” Mr Chapman said.While Y.V. Fresh focuses on developing the crop in Australia and New Zealand, UniQuest will continue to seek investment and partnership arrangements to establish global production and marketing networks.Media enquiries:Leanne Wyvill +61 7 3365 4037, +61 409 767 199 or l.wyvill@uniquest.com.auCommercial enquiries:Cameron Turner +61 7 3365 4037, 0437 448 773 or c.turner@uniquest.com.auAbout the UQ Red BayberryThe fruit look like berries but are not berries.The attractive and tasty fruit are deep red in colour when ripe; bite-sized like a lychee (approx. 2.5-3 cm diameter); and have a soft texture with a central seed about the size of a cherry stone.The main Chinese varieties, such as BiQi, are not available outside of China.The sugar:acid balance and flavour are agreeable to the European palate. Focus group research shows that consumers enjoy the berry-like fruit, describing it as similar to mulberries in flavour; juicy, ‘explosive’, plump and fleshy; fresh and crisp; flavour-intense; and having a good balance of sweetness and tartness.The evergreen Red Bayberry trees grow vigorously in the sub-tropics, reaching approximately 4m in height after three years.The fruit is wind-pollinated, with male and female flowers borne on different trees.If left unpruned, the cropping tree will gradually develop a skirt of branches touching the ground and an open, spreading habit.Flowering in Queensland occurs from mid-August to early October and crops must be harvested every 1 to 2 days for 2 to 3 weeks directly from the tree with gentle finger pressure.A 2-year-old transplant tree can produce approximately 5-20 kg of fruit, with yields potentially increasing to approximately 30-40 kg per tree in the third year. New round of ilab Germinate grants for budding businesses 2012-11-02T07:13:00Z new-round-of-ilab-germinate-grants-for-budding-businesses New technology-based ventures ready for a growth spurt have just nine days left to apply for a Germinate Grant from technology accelerator and business incubator, ilab.Initiated and funded by the Queensland Government, ilab supports entrepreneurs and early stage, high-tech companies through the first few years of development.ilab Program Director, Leigh Angus, said the second Germinate program for 2012 included a unique package of services designed to help start-up founders boost their business acumen and extend their industry networks, plus scholarships for university students to work on their business ideas over the summer semester break.“Half the successful candidates for the first round of Germinate grants were students, so we are going to encourage this youthful entrepreneurialism by offering two scholarships of $4,000 each, in addition to grants of up to $20,000 to get new tech-driven businesses up and running,” Ms Angus said.“The Germinate project grants have already helped several incubatees access qualified software developers and business consultants, as well as free IT services, office space and resources to help keep their operating costs down.“They’ve also benefited from ‘how to’ boot camps, guest lectures and coaching for investor pitching, and now we want to make all these advantages available to another cohort of new Australian enterprises,” she said.Sponsors such as Ninefold, Swayve, and Ernst & Young contribute services to the program, alongside a growing list of volunteer mentors and business coaches from Australia, the US and the UK who share their expertise in venture capital funds management, start-up development and directorships, technology commercialisation, and entrepreneurship.Applications are invited from candidates in Queensland, other Australian states and overseas who can spend three months elaborating and validating their technology business ideas at the ilab incubator in Brisbane.“The Summer Germinate Program will kick off with a Business Building Bootcamp held at ilab’s Indooroopilly premises from 19 – 22 November,” said Ms Leigh. “It’s an opportunity for workshopping ideas and presenting them to a number of technical and business mentors as well as the Germinate program selection panel. After the bootcamp, we’ll be inviting a number of participants to continue with us for three months with full support from ilab mentors and management as well as a grant of up to $20,000 for further technical and business development.”Matthew Hennegan, one of the first to benefit from ilab’s Germinate program said, “the quality of speakers and information provided by ilab in the ‘boot camp’ weeks was well above what I could have expected, and has had a direct impact on the formation of Ample Entertainment”.Mr Hennegan and his Germinate program colleagues will be ‘graduated’ on 15 November.To apply for an ilab Germinate grant or obtain more information, visit www.ilab.com.au. Applications close on Sunday 11 November. UQ start-up wins prestigious biotechnology award 2012-11-01T02:33:13Z uq-start-up-wins-prestigious-biotechnology-award Vaxxas Pty Ltd, a UniQuest start-up established in 2011 to commercialise the NanopatchTM vaccine delivery system based on research from The University of Queensland (UQ), has won the Janssen 2012 AusBiotech Emerging Company Award.The accolade was announced along with two other Janssen 2012 Industry Excellence Awards at the Ausbiotech national conference in Melbourne last night.Congratulating the Vaxxas team on another award to add to its impressive list of achievements, UniQuest Managing Director, David Henderson, said this award highlighted the value Australian university-based innovations are contributing to health care around the world.“This award is the fourth positive milestone in recent months for Vaxxas, which is growing in both reputation and capacity to deliver one of the most globally important advances in vaccine technology this decade,” Mr Henderson said.“There are very few Australian biotechnology companies which could match the number of significant achievements Vaxxas has logged in just over 12 months, including investment and licensing deals as well as wining the Australian Innovation Challenge and the Best Venture Capital Investment at the 2012 Vaccine Industry Excellence Awards, held at the World Vaccine Congress in Washington, DC.”Vaxxas’ Nanopatch technology originated from Professor Mark Kendall's research group at the Australian Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN) within UQ. UniQuest led the initial commercialisation of the Nanopatch technology prior to Vaxxas being formed with a $15 million syndicated investment led by One Ventures with Brandon Capital, Healthcare Ventures, and the Medical Research Commercialisation Fund.Vaxxas recently appointed an international CEO, David Hoey, as the first step towards establishing operations in Massachusetts, North America, to expand access to global pharmaceutical partners and complement the company's research and development operations based in Queensland.Earlier this month Vaxxas announced a research collaboration with Merck (MSD). The collaboration will evaluate Vaxxas' proprietary needle free delivery technology that induces robust immune system activation by targeting vaccines to the abundant immunological cells immediately below the surface of the skin. The deal included Vaxxas granting Merck a licence for the technology for commercial use for an undisclosed vaccine candidate. Peer award for pain professor 2012-10-31T07:41:59Z peer-award-for-pain-professor Professor Maree Smith, the pain research innovator behind successful UniQuest start-ups QRxPharma Limited andSpinifex Pharmaceuticals Pty Ltd, has been awarded a 2012 Life Sciences Queensland (LSQ) Industry Award for Excellence.The Award, selected by peer vote for the past four years, is presented to individuals who have made “significant contributions to the performance and success of the Queensland life sciences industry” and “demonstrated a breadth of impact across the sector in Queensland”.Congratulating Professor Smith on this latest honour, UniQuest Managing Director, David Henderson, acknowledged the profound impact her ground-breaking research will have on pain therapies in the future.“New drugs based on Professor Smith’s discoveries are close to market-ready, and that’s not only because of the quality and volume of her scientific endeavour; it’s also because she has played an active and integral role in the global biotech industry to accelerate access to a whole new approach to pain management,” Mr Henderson said.“We are very proud to be working alongside Professor Smith to deliver commercial outcomes from her research, and we congratulate her and her team on drawing attention to the contribution Queensland university research is making towards common health issues affecting people all round the world.”Professor Maree Smith has pursued life sciences translational research at UQ for over 20 years. Two key discoveries led to the formation of UniQuest start-up companies QRx Pharma Limited and Spinifex Pharmaceuticals.QRxPharma was floated in 2007, listing on the Australian Securities Exchange with 25 million shares. It raised A$50 million, with an initial market capitalisation of A$150 million, setting an Australian record as the largest biotech IPO to date, and also the largest biotech capital raising at an IPO. Its lead candidate, MoxDuo is awaiting FDA approval.In 2003, Professor Smith won a UniQuest Trailblazer for her idea for a novel analgesic, which has been developed by Spinifex Pharmaceuticals and shown to be effective in a recently completed Phase 2a clinical trial.Professor Smith shared the LSQ Industry Excellence Award honour with Dr Jim Aylward, who patented Australia’s first FDA-approved cancer chemotherapeutic drug. The awards were presented in the presence of Her Excellency, Ms Penelope Wensley AC, The Governor of Queensland and the Patron of LSQ at the Life Sciences Queensland Limited Globally Engaging Network Event (GENE) on 26 October 2012.About Professor Maree SmithProfessor Maree Smith is the co-founder and Executive Director of the UQ Centre for Integrated Preclinical Drug Development (CIPDD)/TetraQ, and a Professor of Pharmacy at UQ. In 2008, she received the Women in Technology Biotech Outstanding Achievement Award and in 2009 she was awarded Honorary Fellowship of the Faculty of Pain Medicine (ANZCA). In 2011, she was elected a New Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE). Professor Smith is Head of the Pain Research Group in the School of Pharmacy at UQ and directs its preclinical pharmacology research program, which focuses on improving our understanding of the mechanistic basis of a range of pain states and their pharmacological management, with a view to improving our ability to alleviate chronic pain in patients. Tertiary tech transfer opportunities showcased at AusBiotech 2012-10-28T06:30:45Z tertiary-tech-transfer-opportunities-showcased-at-ausbiotech UniQuest will promote the business benefits of partnering with the latest research innovations and expertise from Australian universities at this year’s AusBiotech conference in Melbourne from 30 October to 2 November 2012.As UQ’s main commercialisation company (and one of Australia’s largest and most successful university research commercialisation companies) UniQuest has welcomed both the theme of this year’s event – Realising the value – and its spotlight on technology transfer.“Australian university research contributes significantly to the development of new therapies for diseases and sustainable approaches to feeding and fuelling the world, and our involvement with this annual international conference presents an ideal opportunity to highlight the impact made so far as well as the emerging technologies university scientists are working on now for the future,” said UniQuest Managing Director, David Henderson.“We’ll be showcasing several major examples of translational research at our promotional booth, and have a number of representatives at the event each day meeting with potential investors and licensees who are keen to gain a competitive advantage for their companies by working with researchers at our partner institutions,” Mr Henderson said.“Research commercialisation is very much a collaborative exercise, bringing together universities, governments and private enterprise to identify, support and fund the development of ideas that ultimately benefit the wider community. At AusBiotech we will be starting conversations and encouraging engagement to boost entrepreneurial activity in this sector.”More than 1,500 participants are expected to attend AusBiotech 2012, with representatives coming from all over from Australia, the Asia-Pacific region, the US and Europe to attend the conference, the trade exhibition, and satellite activities such as the Australasian Life Science Investment Summit, which is the largest investment event of its kind in the region.Mr Henderson will join UniQuest’s chairman, Dr Carrie Hillyard as a conference speaker, discussing the topic of ‘Changing Strategies in Tech Transfer', on Thursday afternoon, 1 November. UniQuest’s General Manager for life sciences technology commercialisation, Dr Dean Moss, will also be speaking on ‘Funding for Early Stage' later that day.These issues have been flagged in three articles based on UniQuest’s experience in the latest edition of Australasian BioTechnology.More information about UniQuest’s presence at AusBiotech 2012 is available on the UniQuest website events calendar, while details of the innovations to be showcased can be found in the website’s Technology Investment & Licensing section. New GM for UniQuest's Consulting & Research division 2012-09-28T05:25:10Z new-gm-for-uniquest-s-consulting-amp-research-division UniQuest Pty Limited, The University of Queensland’s (UQ) main commercialisation company, has appointed Joe McLean as General Manager of its Consulting & Research (C&R) Division.The $14 million revenue-generating division works closely with university researchers to facilitate around 500 consulting and research projects each year, responding to industry and government demand for high quality expert opinion andconsultancy services. Mr McLean joined UniQuest’s Technology Commercialisation division in 2002 as the Manager for Innovation and Commercial Development in UQ’s Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (SBS). He was appointed Group Manager for the Social Science and Humanities discipline group in 2008.He  was instrumental in establishing the UQ Cultural Heritage Unit within the School of Social Science, which is a UniQuest business providing archaeological and anthropological services to industry, government and NGOs.  Business growth has seen the Unit’s billings exceed $1 million in research revenue a year. Mr McLean also initiated the relationship between the Institute for Social Science Research (ISSR) and UniQuest C&R. The ISSR is involved in a number of Commonwealth Government panels via UniQuest, and recently secured a major project through the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs panel evaluating the ‘Dad and Partner Pay’ program.“With Joe’s business acumen and intimate knowledge of how UniQuest and the University work together, the transition to his new position will be virtually seamless,” said UniQuest Managing Director, David Henderson.“The networks and expertise Joe developed in previous roles with the Queensland government and Co-operative Research Centres (CRCs) will also add value to the Division, which is currently experiencing 21 per cent growth,” Mr Henderson said.Focusing on intellectual property policy and licensing, information management and innovation policy, Mr McLean led negotiations on behalf of combined state governments on the first whole of government copyright licence agreement with Copyright Agency Limited. Prior to joining UniQuest Mr McLean was engaged as a consultant to UQ on the development of IT policy and management. While based in the SBS faculty, Mr McLean was engaged in research matters at a university-wide level as a member of the UQ Research Committee.  He has also participated in the Latin American Strategy Group and helped UQ build relations with universities and governments in South America.Mr McLean’s other global interactions have introduced new business opportunities to UniQuest and UQ. He has managed the licence for the globally successful Triple P Positive Parenting Program and was a founding director of the SBS faculty’s first research-based start-up company, Leximancer Pty Ltd. Recently, Mr McLean negotiated international licences for the Latch-On multimedia literacy program for young adults with an intellectual disability, and BRAVE Online, a ground-breaking approach to treating childhood and adolescent anxiety disorders.Mr McLean said he was looking forward to transferring his focus from commercialising novel technologies and programs to marketing innovative expertise and resources. “Working with the C&R division on various projects involving academics from the SBS faculty, I have seen the Division prosper substantially over the past few years, and I believe the prospects for further growth are exciting,” Mr McLean said. “High profile successes such as the recent $1.3 million contract awarded to UQ’s Centre for Online Health and facilitated by C&R, are testament to the abilities within C&R to engage successfully with both the university community and a range of clients. I am keen to add my experience and expertise to the Division’s capabilities and future directions,” Mr McLean said. UQ start-up secures first Southern Cross Renewable Energy investment 2012-09-25T11:45:37Z uq-start-up-secures-first-southern-cross-renewable-energy-investment Brisbane Materials, a UniQuest cleantech start-up based on University of Queensland (UQ) research, has closed its A$5 million Series A funding round with A$2.5 million from the first-ever investment of Australia’s new Southern Cross Renewable Energy Fund (SCREF).The round was led by Southern Cross Venture Partners (SXVP) and included co-investor New Venture Partners LLC (NVP). The SCREF, managed by SXVP, is a A$200 million partnership between the Australian Government’s Australian Renewable Energy Agency, through its Renewable Energy Venture Capital Fund (REVCF) program, and Soft Bank China Venture Capital (SBCVC). The REVCF was set up specifically to assist early stage Australian companies in the renewable energy sector.The Series A funding will help Brisbane Materials scale up its R&D and manufacturing operations in Brisbane, while expanding sales and marketing efforts around the world.“To be the very first recipient of an internationally supported cleantech syndication is not only a very significant achievement for Brisbane Materials, but also a resounding vote of confidence in university-based Australian renewable energy research,” said UniQuest Managing Director, David Henderson."The journey started from a serendipitous discovery by then PhD student and now the company’s Chief Technology Officer, Dr Michael Harvey, working with his technical co-founder, UQ’s Professor Paul Meredith.“Under the experienced leadership of US-based CEO, Dr Gary H. Wiseman, the BMT team has continued to develop its unique anti-reflection solar energy technology for export to the US, Asia and Europe.“This injection of funds has opened up a whole new chapter in its research commercialisation story, and we are proud to have been involved thus far,” Mr Henderson said.Brisbane Materials patented materials and processes enable the creation of a nano-porous silicon dioxide (SiO2) film from a liquid precursor at room temperature and atmospheric pressure. When applied to solar photovoltaic panels, these films form an anti-reflective coating which provides a significant efficiency improvement, improving the cost effectiveness of solar panels of all types.UniQuest provided seed funding in March 2011 to form Brisbane Materials, along with angel investors in Silicon Valley and a Queensland government “What’s Your Big Idea” grant.In July this year, Brisbane Materials formed a strategic partnership with EV Group (EVG), a leading supplier of turnkey manufacturing systems for the solar, display, electronics, and other markets. Under a comprehensive cooperation agreement, EVG has optimised its large-area coating systems for the company’s unique materials and processes, enabling the two companies to provide to customers a turnkey solution for high-yield fabrication of anti-reflective coatings with industry-leading performance and cost.Brisbane Materials and EVG will be jointly exhibiting at the 27th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition (EU PVSEC) at booth 3.0/26a, from 24-28 September in Frankfurt Germany.Media enquiries: Leanne Wyvill, +61 7 3365 4037, 0409 767 199 or l.wyvill@uniquest.com.auProduct enquiries: Dr Gary H. Wiseman, gwiseman@brismat.comAbout Brisbane Materials www.brismat.com. Brisbane Materials is a specialty materials company focusing on creating innovative materials solutions for solar and other applications.  Based in Brisbane, QLD Australia and Silicon Valley, the company has patented technology for creating high performance, low-cost wide-area coatings of porous silica and other materials, made at room temperature and atmospheric pressure.  For solar applications, the company’s anti-reflective coatings provide a cost-effective power increase when applied to glass, plastic and other substrates.  UniQuest connects UOW and AB SCIEX for lipid analysis collaboration 2012-09-25T11:36:35Z uniquest-connects-uow-and-ab-sciex-for-lipid-analysis-collaboration University research commercialisation company UniQuest Pty Limited has facilitated a research partnership between the University of Wollongong (UOW) and global analytical technologies leader AB SCIEX to develop lipid analysis capabilities, including the most definitive and comprehensive identification of double bond position in lipids.The agreement provides AB SCIEX with an exclusive licence to UOW’s “OzID” intellectual property, a patented technology which allows scientists to understand lipid structure faster and with better granularity than currently available alternatives.Funded by an ARC Linkage Project grant, the research plan will see a multi-disciplinary UOW research team working with AB SCIEX to develop a standardized procedure for determining double bond position in lipids. This will include exploring lipid functions within the human body, such as energy storage, cell membrane structure and hormone signalling.UniQuest Managing Director, David Henderson, said the licence agreement highlighted the growing interest from international companies in the work of Australian university researchers addressing global health issues.“Protecting the intellectual property and securing US patents helped to boost the value of the OzID technology for industry partners like AB SCIEX,” Mr Henderson said.“This joint development project is likely to draw more attention to the way Australian lab-based discoveries impact positively on emerging fields of science as well as translate into a better understanding of health and disease.”The collaboration forms part of AB SCIEX’s new Academic Partnership Program, which helps support academic researchers to push the limits of biomedical research.“Lipid research is a fast-growing area in need of new breakthroughs to advance the impact that lipidomics can have on biological studies,” said Mr Ron Bonner, Principal Scientist at AB SCIEX and sponsor of the AB SCIEX Academic Partnership Program.“We see a great opportunity of applying cutting-edge intellectual property by working with the forward-thinking researchers at the University of Wollongong to take innovative ideas such as OzID from the idea phase to market.  This is the benefit of academics working with industry leaders such as AB SCIEX.”Principal Investigator of the research program, Associate Professor Stephen Blanksby from UOW’s School of Chemistry, said altered lipid metabolism had been linked to such global health concerns as obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and various cancers.“Recent advances in mass spectrometry have spawned the field of lipidomics which, together with proteomics, metabolomics and genomics, focuses on the systematic study of complex interactions in biological systems,” Associate Professor Blanksby said."Ozone induced dissociation (or OzID) first harnesses the power of mass spectrometry to separate one lipid compound out of literally hundreds on the basis of mass, and then uses ozone like a pair of scissors to cut the molecule at a particular position, namely a double bond.“This allows an unambiguous assignment of the compound structure and, importantly, differentiates molecules that vary only by the position of their double bonds.“Learning more about the molecular distribution of lipids in complex biological samples may provide a greater understanding of lipid metabolism, its role in health and disease, and potential ways to prevent or manage diseases," Associate Professor Blanksby said.Associate Professor Blanksby will be presenting results of his work with OzID at the 19th annual International Mass Spectrometry Conference (IMSC), 15-21 September in Kyoto, Japan.The OzID research was published in the Journal of The American Society for Mass Spectrometry. The Patents were granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office in 2010 and 2012.Enquiries:UniQuest: Leanne Wyvill,  +61 7 3365 4037, 0409 767 199 or l.wyvill@uniquest.com.auAB SCIEX: Anthony Petrucci, 1-508-383-7961 or anthony.petrucci@absciex.comUOW: Gavin Dixon, +61 419 609 656 or gavin@uow.edu.au BRAVE step for Australian-developed online anxiety therapy 2012-09-25T11:25:24Z brave-step-for-australian-developed-online-anxiety-therapy A ground-breaking approach to treating childhood and adolescent anxiety disorders, based on University of Queensland(UQ) research, will soon be available to families in the UK, US and Europe following a licence deal struck by UQ’s main commercialisation company, UniQuest, with global online healthcare company CCBT Limited.The aptly named BRAVE-ONLINE (Brave) psychological intervention, which encourages children and adolescents to be brave in the face of anxiety or concerns that might lead to anxiety, originated from Cognitive Behaviour Therapy research undertaken within UQ’s School of Psychology. CCBT Limited has licensed the program to complement its existing suite of mental health online services, includingFearFighterTM, which is currently the only online anxiety treatment endorsed by the UK’s National Institute of Clinical Excellence.UniQuest Managing Director, David Henderson, said the licensing agreement demonstrated how a commercialisation pathway could make it possible for UQ research to have a profound impact on family life around the world.“Anxiety disorders represent the most prevalent reasons why children and adolescents need psychological help, so partnering the Brave research team with a world-leading company such as CCBT, which has an established presence within the online healthcare sector, is a major milestone,” Mr Henderson said.Lead researcher, Professor Sue Spence, said as many as two thirds of children who experience anxiety may not be getting the help they need.“There are various reasons why attending therapy sessions is not possible for these children; however, advances in computer technology have opened up new opportunities for families to access psychological services via the internet,” Professor Spence said.“The research shows that Brave is just as effective for treating anxiety with an online therapist as with face-to-face sessions.”Nicholas Niziolomski, CEO of CCBT Limited, said online cognitive behavioural therapies allowed treatment to be provided to a far greater volume of people, around the clock, and with greater cost effectiveness, but they need to be clinically effective to attract the support of national health services, health insurance providers, healthcare professionals, and community organisations.“The fact that Brave has the strongest evidence-base of any online anxiety intervention for children in the world was a key factor in our decision to enter into the licensing partnership,” Mr Niziolomski said.“Programs like Brave give families more options for accessing treatment, governments a more cost-effective model for delivering wide-scale services, and healthcare providers more support for achieving positive outcomes for their patients and clients. That’s why Brave fits so well with our range of our range of evidence-based treatments and eHealth services.”CCBT Limited has already engaged in trials of Brave with the UK’s National Health Service, while a fourth Randomised Control Trial will be starting soon.The licence is exclusive to the UK, Europe and the USA; however further details of the agreement have not been disclosed.Note: Brave was developed by a team of researchers whilst employed by UQ’s School of Psychology; the core team members are currently working at other research institutions.About BRAVE-ONLINEBRAVE ONLINE is designed for children and adolescents experiencing Separation Anxiety Disorder, Social Phobia, Specific Phobia and Generalised Anxiety Disorder. BRAVE is an acronym for the cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) anxiety management strategies covered in the program: B is for Body signs (detecting physiological symptoms of anxiety); R is for Relax; A is for Activate helpful thoughts; V is for Victory over fears; and E is for Enjoy yourself. While the treatment is generic and consists of identical components for all children, therapists can tailor the program to meet the needs of the individual young person. The program consists of series of sessions for the child or adolescent and their parents over several months. BRAVE–ONLINE is completed by families in their own homes and includes working through a skills-building series of weekly tasks.The BRAVE research team includes Professor Sue Spence, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) Griffith University and Honorary Professor, UQ; Dr Caroline Donovan, Griffith University (previously at UQ); Dr Sonja March, University of Southern Queensland (previously at UQ); Professor Justin Kenardy, UQ (Schools of Medicine and Psychology).About CCBT Limited http://www.ccbt.co.ukFounded in 2005, CCBT Limited is an innovator and world leader in delivering evidence based computer-aided cognitive behavioural therapy (CCBT).  CCBT Limited’s FearFighter™ Treatment is the only product endorsed by a national regulator (NICE in the UK – TA097) for an Anxiety Treatment. In 2010 the company released its Calmer Series (a suite of psycho-education products) and announced the release of new products for OCD, Depression, Substance Abuse and Insomnia.  Already at the forefront of providing online psychiatric treatments and self-help, CCBT Limited is now leading the market as the developer of choice for clinicians wishing to take their treatments to larger communities and establishing our healthcare platform as the leading international platform for treatment delivery. Treatments and programs are in use in the NHS, insurance sector, healthcare providers and by national charities. Aussie Colours rescues Queensland native Aussie giant orchids 2012-09-25T11:12:57Z aussie-colours-rescues-queensland-native-aussie-giant-orchids UniQuest start-up company Aussie Colours has come to the rescue of two rare and endangered Australian native Phaius orchids. Phaius orchids are native to South-East Queensland and among the largest ground varieties in the world, flowering prolifically in winter.P. bernaysii, also known as Yellow Swamp Orchid, has sulphur-yellow flowers making it highly attractive and sought after by collectors. P. australis, also known as the Giant Swamp Orchid, has red-brown flowers. Both species are impressive plants capable of producing several flower spikes up to two metres tall, with more than 16 large blooms each about 10 cm in diameter flowering from August to November.P. bernaysii, is almost extinct and P. australis is endangered, both as a result of development, recreation, and over-collection in the wild.Aussie Colours Managing Director, Cameron Turner, said the native plant breeding company was working with The University of Queensland’s (UQ) Dr Dion Harrison to develop commercial tissue culture propagation of both varieties, utilising both seed and clonal production methods to help maintain the genetic diversity of these species as much as possible.“These rare orchids are sold in some nurseries specialising in Australian natives, but demand is greater than the supply of varieties propagated by enthusiasts,” Mr Turner explained."Aussie Colours has named its range of Phaius orchids 'Aussie Giant', because they are so large, and the flower spikes can be taller than the average Aussie. We have already started commercial production, so thousands of these orchids will soon be available from more nurseries for home gardeners and revegetation programs.“This means many more Queenslanders will be able to purchase the plants within the next two months and be enjoying these rare orchids in their gardens during Spring.”Dr Harrison, from UQ’s Centre for Native Floriculture, said the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (1999) listed P. australis and P. bernaysii as endangered, with P. bernaysii also listed as endangered under the Nature Conservation Act 1992 (Queensland).“P. bernaysii is currently known to occur in only one area on Stradbroke Island. This population was recorded in 1992 as just 20 flowering plants over an area of 60 m by 10 m.  History, however, records this species as also being collected from Peel Island, Bribie Island, and Noosa Heads,” Dr Harrison said.Media enquiries:Leanne Wyvill +61 7 3365 4037, 0409 767 199 or l.wyvill@uniquest.com.auCommercial enquiries:Cameron Turner  0437 448 773 or c.turner@uniquest.com.au