Institute of Health and
Biomedical Innovation


09 April 2018

Scientists, academics, medical and pharmaceutical industry professionals and entrepreneurs who could help bring new Australian drug discoveries to pharmacy shelves will join The Bridge Program 2018 launch in Melbourne today (Monday, April 9).

Now in its second year, The Bridge Program is implemented by QUT and supported with industry-matched funding from the Australian Government Medical Technology, Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical (MTP)  Industry Growth Centre (MTPConnect). It is a nationwide collaboration designed to equip program participants with the skills and know-how to navigate the complex regulatory, financial, scientific and intellectual property issues involved in bringing pharmaceuticals from the laboratory to the marketplace.

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt will address the launch, and participants from the inaugural 2017 program will share their experiences and resulting career progressions. Among them will be the four winners of the program investments pitch competition who visited the US headquarters of major pharmaceutical companies AbbVie, Amgen and MSD.

  • 98 participants have been selected for the 2018 Bridge Program
  • 101 participants completed the 2017 program
  • The Bridge Program draws on the expertise and experience of a consortium of global pharmaceutical companies, venture capitalists, industry associations and universities


2017 Bridge Program participants.


MTPConnect is a not-for-profit organisation which aims to accelerate the rate of growth of the MTP sector to achieve greater commercialisation and establish Australia as an Asia-Pacific hub for MTP companies. Formed in November 2015 it is one of six centres under the Federal $250 million Industry Growth Centres Initiative.

MTPConnect Managing Director and CEO, Sue MacLeman, said development of The Bridge Program mirrored two of the key goals of MTPConnect’s 10-year Sector Competitiveness Plan – improving coordination and collaboration of researchers and industry, and growing commercialisation processes and pathways in Australia.

Collaborators with QUT and MTPConnect in The Bridge Program are: AbbVie, Amgen, Australian Private Equity & Venture Capital Association Limited (AVCAL), Bristol-Myers Squibb, Boehringer Ingelheim, Celgene, CSL, Janssen-Cilag, Macquarie University, Medical Research Commercialisation Fund, Medicines Australia, Merck Sharp & Dohm (Australia), Mundipharma, Novartis, and Pfizer.

The Bridge Program 2018 will be launched at The Woolshed, Docklands in Melbourne, from 3pm to 6pm on Monday, April 9.

Media contacts:
Karen Milliner, 07 3138 1841 or; after hours: Rose Trapnell, 0407 585 901 or
Ren Smith, The Bridge Program, 0439 339 172 or 


Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation (IHBI)

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