WA Government collaboration with Brandon BioCatalyst set to continue

The prognosis for local medical start-ups is excellent, with the Western Australian Government extending its ongoing collaboration with Brandon BioCatalyst.
  • WA Government commits $2.31 million over seven years to Brandon BioCatalyst, in addition to the $2.52 million spent over the past 15 years
  • Continues ongoing collaboration between Brandon BioCatalyst and WA since 2008
  • Brandon BioCatalyst is the largest life science investment fund in Australia and NZ

The prognosis for local medical start-ups is excellent, with the Western Australian Government extending its ongoing collaboration with Brandon BioCatalyst.

First connecting with Brandon BioCatalyst in 2008, the WA Government spent $2.52 million until 2022, and has committed $2.31 million to continue the collaboration for a further seven years to 2029.

The WA Government's new agreement with Brandon BioCatalyst will deliver:

  • wider access for WA's medical research sector to Brandon Capital's suite of bioscience and biomedical investment funds;
  • a locally based venture capital member of staff to support WA projects as requested by the Office of Medical Research and Innovation;
  • participation in an annual internship program to build broader sector commercialisation capacity within the State;
  • a new venture capital apprenticeship program to develop specialists in the fields of biotech and life science investments; and
  • comparative metrics of success and value for money to WA.

Previously known as the Medical Research Commercialisation Fund, Brandon BioCatalyst is a collaboration between major Australian superannuation funds, CSL, the Australian and New Zealand Governments, Australian State Governments, and more than 50 leading medical research institutes and hospitals.

The WA Government's previous financial support of Brandon BioCatalyst led to $33 million of equity funding being committed to three local medical start-up companies:

  • OncoRes Medical - a world-leading medical device start-up focused on eliminating the need for repeat surgeries in the fight against breast cancer;
  • Respirion Pharmaceuticals - an early-stage biotechnology company with operations in the USA, focused on developing new treatments for respiratory disease; and
  • MiReven - a biotechnology company specialising in the design, development and commercialisation of synthetic mimics of microRNA-7 for the treatment of poor prognostic cancers.

Investing in Brandon BioCatalyst aligns with the WA Government's Health and Medical Life Sciences Industry Strategy, which outlines the growth potential of the health and medical life sciences to create highly skilled jobs and improve patient outcomes in WA.

The investment also aligns with the Future Health Research and Innovation Fund, the centrepiece of the State Government's commitment to drive research and innovation in WA.

Comments attributed to Medical Research Minister Stephen Dawson:

"The WA government has committed $4.83 million to Brandon BioCatalyst for the period 2008-2029 with the hope of nurturing ground-breaking WA biomedical discoveries.

"For discoveries to go from lab bench to bedside, we know that it requires access to equity funding and expert advice.

"I look forward to Brandon BioCatalyst not only investing in promising WA start-ups but also supporting our wider innovation ecosystem in partnership with the Office of Medical Research and Innovation.

"I am excited to see this partnership grow and thrive so this pre-seed investment fund can continue to invest in early-stage development and commercialisation opportunities emanating from our world-class medical research institutes."

Comments attributed to State Development, Jobs and Trade Minister Roger Cook:

"As the largest life science investment fund in Australia and New Zealand, collaboration with Brandon BioCatalyst is key to unlocking opportunities presented by our rapidly growing health and medical life sciences industry.

"The WA Government is committed to growing the industry through attracting investment, growing research and development, and commercialising medical products and services for local, national and global markets.

"A thriving health and medical and life sciences industry is not only good for our economy and jobs, but it also has the potential to improve outcomes for WA patients."

Medical Research Minister's office - 6552 5870

State Development, Jobs and Trade Minister's office - 6552 6500