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The government is injecting $25 million into a new drug research centre in Melbourne

Photo: New medicine research gets $25m injection
A new research centre aimed at hastening the process of developing medicines is set to receive a $25 million funding injection from the federal government.

Cutting edge robotics equipment will be used at the Drug Discovery Centre at Melbourne's Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, allowing researchers to easily screen chemicals for their medical abilities.

The centre will open in June to help researchers develop drugs to treat common and rare diseases and improve the quality of life of many Australians, Health Minister Greg Hunt says.

Mr Hunt says the centre will "supercharge" the discovery and creation of new medicines, with its robotics able to complete 200,000 chemical tests in three weeks.

"It's for all Australian researchers, it's the envy of the world," the minister told reporters in Melbourne on Monday.
"International researchers are looking here at the drug discovery centre and hoping to be part of it."

Mr Hunt says medicines for the treatment of conditions including cystic fibrosis, spinal muscular atrophy, motor neuron disease and cancers could be created through the research.

"Above all else, it's about giving Australian patients first and best access to the world's newest medicines," he said.

The Drug Discovery Centre is also possible due to philanthropic support and $32.1 million from royalties of venetoclax, an anti-cancer treatment based on a discovery at the institute in the 1980s.


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