Group 2 Parkinson’s trial patients’ treatment completed


22 December 2016 – Sydney, Australia & Auckland, New Zealand – Living Cell Technologies Limited has completed treatment of all six patients in group 2 of the Phase IIb clinical trial of NTCELL® for Parkinson’s disease, at Auckland City Hospital. Four patients had 80 NTCELL microcapsules implanted into the putamen on each side of their brain, and two patients had sham surgery with no NTCELL implanted. To date there are no safety issues in any of the six patients.

The first five patients in the group were treated between 12 and 19 November. The ability to treat five patients in eight days demonstrates that the company’s internal procedures are working well and the team is meeting the very high standards demanded by the clinical trial protocol.

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Brandon Capital to lead Biomedical Translation Fund Consortium – major new Government initiative


Melbourne, 13 December 2016 – Venture capital firm Brandon Capital has been selected by the Australian Government to build a significant life sciences fund through the MRCF as part of the new Biomedical Translation Fund (BTF), a once-in-a-generation initiative to make Australia a global leader in the commercialisation of biomedical discoveries.

The government initiative will see more of Australia’s world-class medical research remain in the country to be commercialised, creating jobs, wealth and positive healthcare outcomes for all Australians. Currently, promising Australian medical discoveries are often sold to large offshore pharmaceutical companies at early stages of development due to lack of investment capital available to the sector in Australia. The Commonwealth’s BTF has been designed to address this funding gap.

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Illuminated stage podium for award ceremony vector illustration
The New Zealand Hi-Tech Awards celebrates New Zealand’s most successful companies and entrepreneurs across a range of sectors, recognising their success of the global stage.
The awards are in the 22nd year and involve a year-long calendar of events which culminates in the Gala dinner on the 12th of May, at the Viaduct Events Centre in Auckland.
Entries are now open for you to enter your own company or nominate another company for an award. See link below for a list of the categories.

Programme of Events:

5 December: Entries open
13 February: 3rd party nominations close
6 March: Entries close
29 March: Finalists for each category announced
11 May: Alumni event – invitation only event for all entrants and finalists for 2016
12 May: Gala Dinner

Click here for the Hi Tech Awards Fact Sheet on:
About the Awards
Why you should enter – Get noticed on the Global Stage
About the Judging
What winning can mean for your Business
2017 Categories
For further information visit


Missing link discovered in type 2 diabetes


New Zealand researchers have uncovered a new mechanism that controls the release of the hormone insulin in the body, providing hope for those with a genetic susceptibility to type 2 diabetes.

The findings, which were published today in The Journal of Biological Chemistry1, show for the first time that a protein known as beta-catenin is crucial for controlling the release of insulin from the pancreas to maintain stable blood sugar levels.

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Skin is the game for regenerative medicine spinoff


AUCKLAND: Patients suffering major burns may eventually benefit from the launch of a new regenerative medicine company, Upside Biotechnologies, which is developing an advanced, world-class skin replacement treatment in Auckland.
Regenerative medicine develops methods to regrow, repair or replace damaged or diseased cells, organs or tissues to restore or establish normal function. The global regenerative medicines market is projected to reach US$30 billion by 2022.
The New Zealand-based company has been spun out of the University of Auckland where the innovative technology was first developed in Professor Rod Dunbar’s laboratory. Work to date has been funded by Cure Kids, Auckland UniServices, the Manchester Trust, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and The Maurice Wilkins Centre.

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KiwiNet appoints new CEO to lead the transformation of New Zealand’s science into economic success


Dr Hutchinson has experience in supporting research and innovation in the UK and internationally with a particular focus on the life sciences and global societal challenges. He led a team of programme specialists to develop and implement a platform of science policy, advocacy, networking, conferences, workshops and other initiatives, working in close partnership with the international chemical science community. He is an experienced project leader who has a strong track record of working with government, industry and academia at senior levels.

Dr Hutchinson is also a Junior Policy Fellow of the Centre for Science and Policy (CSaP) at the University of Cambridge, UK, having authored over 20 pieces of science policy covering strategic reports, government consultation responses and position statements. He led a successful campaign to the UK Government in 2013, on behalf of the broader chemical science community, to protect public investment in science, and has participated in several advisory groups and expert panels to government bodies and NGOs.

The Honourable Ruth Richardson, Chair of KiwiNet, says that the Board’s unanimous decision to appoint Dr Hutchinson is a vote of confidence in the benchstrength of the KiwiNet team, commenting, ”James represents a generation of kiwis who have excelled abroad and come home to take leadership positions. James has the skill set and ambition to take the  KiwiNet mission to a new level of effectiveness in the cause of converting more of the promising innnovations and ideas in our universities and Crown Research Institutes into commercial success.”

KiwiNet’s PreSeed investment partners have invested over $26.7 million into more than 500 projects since 2003. To date PreSeed investment (provided by the Ministry of Innnovation Business and Employment) has led to over 153 commercial deals attracting over $114 million of business investment and 27 new start-up companies. Collectively, KiwiNet’s investments into research commericalisation are generating a greater than five-fold return on investment to New Zealand and this is growing.

Dr Hutchinson is eager to build on this momentum, identifying several critical interventions that will underpin future success. He comments, ”New Zealand needs to build commercial aspiration into the DNA of our scientists and young people, to create a pipeline of smart innovators who are mentored and nutured. This needs to be accompanied by early and regular engagement with our investment community, particularly at the early stages, in order to attract the attention of the big international players that will take our technology to the world. KiwiNet needs to widen and better curate the channel that commericalises technology innnovations from our research organisations to market.”

”If New Zealand technology is to compete on the world stage, better collaboration is a key ingredient.  KiwiNet has led the way, by creating a truly collaborative environment in which research organisations are working together to commercialise research discoveries.  We’ve established the platform and now is the time to scale-up this approach to maximise the translation of Kiwi science into commercial opportunity for New Zealand.”


The Exporter – The voice of New Zealand Exporters


Message from the Executive Director of the Exporter

This year we teamed up with DHL to produce the ExportNZ DHL Export Barometer 2016. Thanks to everyone who took part in this important survey.

The results were released this morning. You may have seen them in the media, but if not, see the media release below, along with links to the report on the results and an online booklet covering the highlights.

Some interesting findings in there!

Despite the uncertainties in the world at the moment – such as Brexit and the US election result – exporters are feeling confident for 2017, which is great to hear. There are of course still some barriers to trade that we need to work on, and these results help feed into our work on this.

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Queensland rocket scientist awarded CSL Young Florey Medal

Illuminated stage podium for award ceremony vector illustration

A Queensland rocket scientist has been awarded the CSL Young Florey Medal for reinventing vaccination.

Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology professor Mark Kendall will be handed the award along with $25,000 in Canberra on Wednesday evening.

The medal is presented every two years by the Australian Institute of Policy and Science to recognise mid-career achievements in biomedical science and human health advancement.

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Future grass will make animals healthier, more productive

Milk pot urn on farmer hand with cow in meadow background

Grasses of the future will make animals healthier, more productive and reduce their impact on the environment.

AgResearch scientist Tony Conner said advances in modern grasses would bring many advantages to farming.

The forage science group leader said the conference was timely given the work the organisation was doing in the area of forage science.  He said there were many benefits for New Zealand in building upon the DairyNZ forage value index and the emerging pastoral industry forage strategy.

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Building A Better Bean Story

stock image of the small plant growing

GMO Answers launched its third annual ‘Get to Know GMOs’ month this October to answer consumers’ most pressing questions about GMOs. Throughout the month, GMO Answers is posting a series of five articles for ‘Get to Know GMOs’ month. This post is our fifth installment.

Dr. Clemente holds the Eugene W. Price Distinguished Professorship in Biotechnology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

My research program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where I have served on the faculty for the past 20 years, targets the genetic improvement of the major commodity crops pertinent to the state and the region, including soybean, sorghum, wheat and corn. The long-term goal of my program is to improve upon both the quality and yield of the harvested crop.

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