National genomics future mission announced
May 9, 2018
Melbourne Genomics Health Alliance welcomes the Federal Government’s $500 million commitment over 10 years to a genomics health future mission, announced in the 2018/2019 Budget.
According to the budget papers, the genomics mission aims for ‘Australia to become a world leader in genomic research’ and will support ‘medical research projects, new diagnostic tools, clinical trials of new drugs, scientific collaborations, and development of new medical technologies that can be sold overseas.’
‘Governments across the world are investing in genomics, providing huge potential to improve healthcare, prevent disease and create jobs,’ said Melbourne Genomics Executive Director, Associate Professor Clara Gaff.
‘In Victoria, patients are already benefiting from early adoption and investment in genomic medicine - through the work of our Alliance and funding from the Victorian Government. Melbourne Genomics welcomes the contribution that this new national mission will make to progressing genomic medicine over the next decade.’
'I commend the tireless effort of all those in the genomics community and in government who have worked towards this commitment, particularly Professor Kathryn North, a Melbourne Genomics Board Member, Leader of the Australian Genomics Health Alliance and Director of the Murdoch Children's Research Institute.'
The first genomics health mission project will be a trial of pre-conception screening for diseases including spinal muscular atrophy, cystic fibrosis and fragile X syndrome.
Since 2013, members of the Melbourne Genomics Health Alliance have been working together to address the many challenges of bringing genomics into healthcare for the benefit of patients. Melbourne Genomics is funded by the Victorian Government and our 10 Alliance members.
The budget papers note that the health sector represents 7 per cent of Australia’s economy and 14 per cent of jobs nationwide.
Department of Health fact sheet