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Australian Ambassador opens Nanjing BioPoint R&D laboratory in China

Tracy Parish

14 May, 2015

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Burnet Institute has made a major step forward in its vision of a long-term engagement in China with the official launch of the R&D laboratory facility for the Burnet spin-off company, Nanjing BioPoint Diagnostics Technology Co. Ltd.

Australian Ambassador to China, HE Ms Frances Adamson officially opened the Nanjing BioPoint facility in Jiangsu Province, with Burnet Institute representatives, investment partners Beijing GuoMinXinHe Group, and high-level officials from both Australia and China in attendance.

An agreement for manufacturing facilities for the Company in the Jiangsu Life Science and Technology Innovation Park in Nanjing was also signed.

Image: Associate Professor David Anderson with Mr Dou Lihua from the Jiangsu Life Sciences & Technology Innovation Park.

Burnet Deputy Director, and President and CEO of Nanjing BioPoint, Associate Professor David Anderson said the laboratory facility and future manufacturing capability would translate Burnet’s world-renowned diagnostic research and technologies into commercially viable products.

“Nanjing BioPoint is a strong signal of our long-term commitment to collaborative research and development in China, and will facilitate timely delivery of new health technologies to our target populations worldwide through cost-effective commercial development, in conjunction with our partners at GuoMinXinHe Group,” Associate Professor Anderson said.

“But in the longer term, Burnet’s share of profits from this venture also provides us with a tangible funding stream to support the wider work of the Institute with vulnerable communities in the Western provinces of China and other resource-poor settings.

“The laboratory, initially staffed by two local Chinese scientists and our General Manager Dr Feng Yi, will work closely with our laboratory in Melbourne to utilise and adapt core technology developed by Burnet to produce rapid, point-of-care (POC) diagnostic test technology for use in China and other countries.

Image: Burnet’s Mary Garcia (right) showing Australian Ambassador, HE Frances Adamson our latest POC diagnostic test with Ms Zhang Zhimei, the Nanjing BioPoint laboratory manager (left).

A point-of-care test to identify undiagnosed liver disease is the first target of R&D and commercialisation at Nanjing BioPoint working closely with Burnet’s Melbourne-based laboratory team.

“Globally, more than 700 million patients with hepatitis, metabolic liver diseases such as fatty liver, or those being treated for HIV or tuberculosis, should optimally be tested twice a year for the enzyme, alanine aminotransferase (ALT) which is an important indicator for liver function,” Associate Professor Anderson said.

“This POC liver test will help fill an unmet medical need for patients, especially those living in low-income countries where laboratory testing is difficult to access and expensive,” he said.

Associate Professor Anderson said the opening of Nanjing BioPoint reaffirmed the Institute’s strategy to use the future profits derived from commercialisation of biotechnology as a long-term alternative to relying solely on foreign aid programs for support of its international work.

“This is a significant milestone for our plan to develop a profitable commercial entity in China, which began with a grant from the Nanjing government and initial investment from the Institute in 2013, and greatly accelerated by the partnership secured in 2014 with our investors, GuoMinXinHe Group,” he said.

“In addition, Burnet’s establishment of Nanjing BioPoint, and the launch of our facility today with the support of our investment partners, Jiangsu government officials, and the Australian and Victorian governments, is leading the way in China for other Australian research institutes and biotech companies.”

Associate Professor Anderson further highlighted the contribution of external partners as well as Burnet throughout the process of establishing Nanjing BioPoint.

“It was essential to have not only the resolute backing of the Institute, but also the skills of Burnet senior management and our business and legal advisers in China, as well as the trust and shared vision of our investment partners, to get to this exciting stage in the development of Nanjing BioPoint,” Associate Professor Anderson said.

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Contact Details

For more information in relation to this news article, please contact:

Associate Professor David Anderson

Deputy Director (Partnerships), Burnet Institute; Co-Head, Global Health Diagnostics Development

Telephone

+61392822239

Email

david.anderson@burnet.edu.au

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