Australian-first Translational Pharmaceutical Science Laboratory to be Built in Melbourne

By Petrina Smith
Thursday, 05 June, 2014

[caption id="attachment_7936" align="alignright" width="162"]Dr Michelle McIntosh will use the new facility for her Inhaled Oxytocin project. Image from Monash University Dr Michelle McIntosh will use the new facility for her Inhaled Oxytocin project. Image from Monash University[/caption]

A landmark grant will be used to build a world-class and Australian-first translational pharmaceutical science laboratory at the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences in Melbourne.

Directly supporting capacity building, skills growth and education development, the new Translational Research Lab has been made possible by a $1.2 million grant from the Helen Macherson Smith Trust (HMSTrust), $1.1 million of in-kind contributions from industry partners PerkinElmer and Shimadzu and a further $350,000 contribution from the McCallMcBain Foundation to build state of the art facilities at the precinct.
MIPS Director Professor Bill Charman thanked the HMSTrust for their foresight, generosity and vision in establishing the new facility. He said the facilities and capabilities would support individual projects to make the giant translational leap from a research project to a new medicine.
Professor Charman also thanked the industry partners for their support and collaborative approach to establishing a translational laboratory that was otherwise beyond the financial capabilities of any of the individual partners.
He said the objective of the lab would be to support the development of new medicines that would improve global access to life-saving medicines while at the same time providing world-class industry-standard training to the next generation of pharmaceutical scientists.
“This platform will be open access and allow Victorian researchers to continue the development of their projects within Australia,” Professor Chairman said.
Lab Director Dr Michelle McIntosh said the lab would be used to evaluate key parameters influencing product stability such as storage conditions, humidity and packaging. “It is a wonderful addition to Victoria’s research infrastructure,” Dr McIntosh said.
Research programs  likely to be conducted at the new facility include projects such as is the Inhaled Oxytocin project, which is developing a new medicine that could save the lives of tens of thousands of women who die each year at childbirth from postpartum haemorrhage.
Dr McIntosh said the research was investigating the effectiveness of inhaling oxytocin in a bid to overcome the challenges associated with the current injectable product, which includes the need to store oxytocin in refrigerated conditions, and is not often feasible in low resource settings.
“An inhaled product would negate the need for cold chain storage, remove the risk of needle stick injuries and could be used by all levels of healthcare workers,” Dr McIntosh said.
The Laboratory will officially open in early 2015.
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