Translational research and rational therapy: structural barriers in Australia

Richard M Fox
Med J Aust 2009; 191 (5): . || doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2009.tb02776.x
Published online: 7 September 2009

“Second-generation” clinical trials are refining the use of toxic and expensive drugs, but “silo” regulatory and funding structures prevent Australia participating

The development of drugs aimed at new molecular targets exemplifies the power of translational research — “bench to bedside” translation of biomolecular science into clinical practice — to offer both significant clinical outcomes and the opportunity for commercial benefit. Classic examples are the monoclonal antibody trastuzumab for HER-2 receptor-positive breast cancer and the “designer” small-molecule inhibitor imatinib for BCR/ABL-positive chronic myeloid leukaemia.1,2 However, in Australia, there are structural constraints on funding for translational clinical research that prevent us participating fully in its clinical and financial benefits.

  • Richard M Fox

  • Research Directorate, St Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne, VIC.


Competing interests:

Richard Fox is a member of the MSAC and Chair of the Cooperative Research Centre for Cancer Therapeutics; however, the views in this article are not made on behalf of these organisations.


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