Funding boost for genomic medicine will improve care for Victorians
November 24, 2020
More Victorians will benefit from quicker and more accurate diagnosis – and more precise and efficient treatment – thanks to new funding in the 2020-21 Victorian State Budget.
The Victorian Government will provide more than $35 million over the next four years to Melbourne Genomics, which brings together leading health, research and academic institutions.
“We have shown that genomics can deliver life-saving and life-changing outcomes. Genomic medicine will benefit thousands of Victorians in the long term,” Executive Director of Melbourne Genomics, Professor Clara Gaff, said.
“This funding will help us continue to build Victoria’s global position as a leader in health and medical research, and in the real-world application of genomics.”
“From genetic conditions that affect the heart, immune system, kidneys, nervous system or blood, to complex conditions in children, cancer care, and superbug control, genomic medicine improves health outcomes. We now have the opportunity to deliver this to many more Victorians,” Professor Gaff said.
Patients tested in Melbourne Genomics’ projects over the past four years benefited from more tailored care for cancer or genetic disease, based on their genomic results. Nine times more patients benefited from genomics than from usual medical investigations. Melbourne Genomics also supported and grew the genomics capability that has since been used to track transmission of COVID-19 in Victoria.
“As we look ahead, we are especially focused on increasing equity of access to care for all Victorians with rare and genetic diseases,” said Prof Gaff.
The funding announced today – which will be matched by a $10 million investment from Alliance members – will be used to particularly help accelerate access to better and more precise care for Victorians living in regional and rural areas.
With the support of the Victorian Government, Melbourne Genomics has already built up a specialist workforce and systems to enable genomic medicine within its member organisations. This includes the design and creation of GenoVic, a world-leading all-in-one genomic data solution which enables more efficient and effective testing and provides a foundation for further medical research.
“We are incredibly proud of what we have achieved to date – and we look forward to doing more for Victorians in the next four years, thanks to this investment from the Victorian Government,” Professor Gaff said.
Melbourne Genomics was established in 2013 and has since provided almost 4,000 patients with genomic testing, across 16 areas of healthcare. For more on Melbourne Genomics Health Alliance and its members, read here.
UPDATE 26 November: The Victorian Government launched the landmark $2 billion Breakthrough Victoria Fund for research and innovation, complementing the State Budget's $210 million boost to medical research.