The Bionics Institute and the University of Melbourne have launched Australia’s first medical device development and manufacturing facility to fast-track new treatments for people with diseases such as epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, hearing loss, stroke and diabetes.
Named Neo-Bionica, is a highly specialised laboratory, purpose-built with the latest cleanroom technology, cutting edge robotic equipment, enhanced 3D printing and precision engineering tools needed to develop prototypes and manufacture medical devices for clinical trials.
Bionics Institute CEO Robert Klupacs said that providing researchers and engineers with the capability to build clinical trial grade medical devices in Australia would increase the speed from initial concept to clinical application.
Klupacs said: “Our Institute is renowned worldwide for developing life changing medical devices such as the cochlear implant, Minder epileptic seizure monitoring device and a unique nerve stimulation technique for the treatment of ulcerative colitis.
“And yet, we currently depend on companies overseas to build prototypes of the latest medical devices for use in clinical trials.”
Neo-Bionica will open at St Vincent’s Hospital in July, enabling home grown inventions to be manufactured rapidly in Australia for the benefit of patients throughout the world.
“We estimate that Neo-Bionica will enable the translation from research to clinic of at least 20 to 30 new medical devices over the next 10 years.”
A University of Melbourne executive director Ken Jefferd said Neo-Bionica would grow Melbourne’s reputation as a global biomedical powerhouse and boost the Australian economy.
“Research impact through collaboration is a critical priority for the University and Neo-Bionica is a stellar example of our vision turning into reality.”
The Bionics Institute and the University of Melbourne are seeking $25 million in philanthropic, investment and government funding for employment, manufacturing capacity and equipment at Neo-Bionica.
Picture: Bionics Institute
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