Session themes announced

AusBiotech 2019 is dedicated to consolidating the sector’s growth, and our 2019 conference will once again present issues critical to industry. Panel discussions and key themes will cover: 

  • Building your Board

  • Clinical trials

  • Data integrity

  • De-risking biotech messaging

  • Drug development and R&D processes

  • Ethics in gene editing

  • Future Forum

  • Gene therapies

  • Innovation and commercialisation

  • Investing in life sciences

  • Medicinal cannabis

  • Regenerative medicine

  • Synthetic biology

  • Updates on the Medical Research Future Fund and Innovation and Science Australia

  • Women in leadership


Programme highlights


Dr Elizabeth Finkel

The gene therapy revolution is here. Medicine is scrambling to keep pace.

Medicine is set for a major disruption from the arrival of gene therapy. Elizabeth Finkel’s keynote will guide you through the remarkable features of the gene therapy revolution.

Dr Elizabeth Finkel is the recipient of the 2019 medal from the Australian Society for Medical research, the first time it has been awarded to a journalist.

Elizabeth Finkel co-founded the popular science magazine, Cosmos, and from 2013 to 2018 served as Editor in Chief. Elizabeth’s work has appeared in publications ranging from the US journal, Science to The Age as well as on ABC radio’s Science Show. Her work for Cosmos Magazine has snapped up four Publishers Australia Excellence Awards. In 2011 she was named the National Press Club’s Higher Education Journalist of the Year, and in 2013 her Cosmos Magazine story “Fields of Plenty” won the Crawford Prize for agricultural journalism. In 2015, Elizabeth won the Department of Industry and Science Eureka Prize for Science Journalism for her article "A Statin a day".


Dr Tom Luby
Director, TMC Innovation Institute

Dr Luby will be sharing his experience translating science and technology into valuable solutions for patients and consumers across the pharmaceutical, medical device, and consumer health technology sectors. He will also speak about his new role and vision for TMC Innovation, including international partnerships such as Australia’s BioBridge with the Texas Medical Center.

Prior to making his way down to Houston, Texas Medical Center, and TMC Innovation, Tom served as New Ventures Lead at Johnson & Johnson Innovation, where he was instrumental in closing many deals with pharmaceutical and consumer companies and supporting the JLABS sites in Toronto and Boston. In addition, Tom spent 14 years in various R&D and business development positions, including Senior Director of Research Ventures at Shire.

In his previous role as Head of JLABS @ TMC, Tom was the site head and played a critical role in creating a place where startups could translate science and technology into valuable solutions for patients and consumers.


Early stage investment forum

The Early Stage Investment forum is a key element of the AusBiotech 2019 conference featuring presentations from research institutes, universities, hospitals and pre-series A companies in the area of human therapeutics and enabling technologies. The pitches will be made to an expert investor panel that will include international big pharma representatives as well as corporate VCs and early stage investors.

The forum is open to conference attendees and will take place on Friday 1 November at 9.00am – 12.30pm.

Call for submissions is now open. Submit an application to secure a spot in the forum. Submission closes 30 August 2019.


Anti-fibrotic drugs: a hot area for development

Fibrosis, or tissue scarring, is said to play a role in over 45 percent of all disease. Consequently, there is significant interest in therapeutics that can slow fibrosis, evidenced by early-stage transactions. This session, featuring a panel of ASX-listed CEOs, will showcase how Australian biotechnology companies are targeting this area of high interest and unmet medical need.


Realising the potential of gene therapies

As the development of gene therapies looks more and more promising, the barriers loom large. This panel session, chaired by Editor of BioPharma Dispatch, Paul Cross and featuring key regulatory decision-makers , will explore the pathway of gene therapy development in Australia and address the essential elements to smooth the touch-points along the way.

de risking.jpg

The sacred word: de-risking biotech messaging

Consistent communication and messaging when developing a drug candidate asset is critical and not often realised. Join the panel exploring a hypothetical that uncovers how an integrated team of specialist consultants can ensure that robust clinical plans and preparatory messaging, results in positive outcomes for media and ASX-company announcements with spin-off benefits for capital raising, partnering and company stature.