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News & Trends - Pharmaceuticals

GSK’s record commitment to funding local academic research

Health Industry Hub | February 11, 2021 |

Pharma News: GSK’s record commitment of $6.9 million seeks to continue supporting the health of Australians through its 2020/21 Investigator Sponsored Studies (ISS) program.

World events have placed the spotlight on respiratory health like never before. From severe bushfires to COVID-19, Australians living with respiratory conditions continue to face new health pressures.

More than 14 Australian research teams will be conducting studies in respiratory medicine, vaccines and oncology with the aim of improving health outcomes for patients.

According to Dr Andrew Weekes, Medical Director at GSK Australia, the ISS program funds researcher-initiated studies that have the potential to impact medical science and address unmet patient needs, especially in areas like respiratory diseases.

“These projects are entirely designed and managed by independent Australian research teams. This program enables us to extend our collaboration with medical researchers and support them as they work to accelerate scientific progress,” said Dr Weekes.

“Australian researchers competed globally for the program funding and ultimately represented 8% of the funded respiratory projects. Once again Australia is punching above its weight – reflecting the calibre of the local medical research community and the potential benefit for patients around the world.

“We’re proud to be supporting so many research teams that share our passion for improving the lives of Australians with respiratory illnesses,” continued Dr Weekes.

This funding injection is especially important when considering Research Australia’s pre-budget submission which noted that in the decade from 2008-09 to 2017-18, Australia’s Gross Expenditure on Research and Development (GERD) declined as a percentage of GDP from 2.25% to 1.79%.

The current program sees GSK partnering with researchers from nine leading Australian institutions, including Griffith University, University of Melbourne, University of Newcastle and the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research.

Dr Weekes said Australian academic research in respiratory disease has repeatedly challenged global thinking at the level of the cell, the person and the community. This has led to better diagnostic tools, more management paradigms and therapeutics.

“The successful projects are outstanding examples of Australian innovation in practice; they challenge us all to do better in our approach to common respiratory conditions such as asthma,” added Dr Weekes.


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