News

InSyGen Therapeutics Ltd joins the IIB

Founded in 2008 by Mr Stephen Wallace and Professor Russell Snell, InSyGen Therapeutics Ltd is using comparative genomics to discover novel human drug targets and develop therapeutics with an initial focus on obesity and diabetes. Co-location in the IIB provides the company with access to a broad range of relevant technology and expertise.

Mayor of Auckland City turns first sod for construction of IIB bio-incubator

Auckland City Major John Banks launched construction of innovative new research space to enable expansion of the IIB bio-incubator in the University’s School of Biological Sciences. The new $30M building will seamlessly connect to the Thomas Building and expand research space to over 10,000m2. The new Laboratories will allow co-location of academic and industry scientists to accelerate R & D by sharing facilities and expertise. It is expected that up to 12 companies can be allocated space when the building opens in late 2010. Currently research teams of five companies are co-located in the existing Thomas Building. Read more about how the IIB bio-incubator supports the growth of New Zealand biotechnology sector.

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Plant & Food Research launches summer studentship programme 2009/10

Plant & Food Research, formerly HortResearch, is offering up to 20 internships for the forthcoming summer period. This is the third year in a row that the CRI offers a wide variety of summer projects to let University students experience how commercially relevant R & D is undertaken in the industry. The annual summer studentship programme is seen as a cornerstone in the CRI’s partnership with the IIB and aims at increasing the number of students undertaking postgraduate studies in plant science.

Comvita Ltd co-locates science laboratory in the IIB

Natural healthcare company Comvita Ltd has established its science laboratory in the IIB. As a partner in the IIB, Comvita staff gain full access to the research infrastructure and expertise in the School of Biological Sciences. One of the priorities is to expand the understanding of the identity and bioavailability of bioactives in a range of Manuka honey based products. This research greatly benefits from direct access to the cutting-edge mass spectrometry facilities and expertise in the School.

New building extension takes another step forward

Work on the expanded Thomas Building to house the IIB and School of Biological Sciences (SBS) has taken another step forward with the completion of demolition of the existing structures on the site.

With construction scheduled to start in July, the expanded building is due for completion in late 2010 and will provide a 10,000m2 purpose-built research facility catering for up to 500 researchers and support personnel.

Welcoming the ongoing progress off the project, Professor Joerg Kistler, the Director of the IIB, said the new extension represents a significant commitment to building the success of biotechnology in New Zealand. “We look forward to creating even more opportunities for co-locators at the IIB to progress R&D in a unique research environment dedicated to biotech success and bio-incubation,” he said.

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Joint appointment starts partnership with Synergenz BioScience Ltd

Dr Robert Young, Chief Scientific Officer at Synergenz BioScience Ltd, has been appointed to a part-time position of Associate Professor in Molecular Genetics. The appointment, which is endowed by the company, highlights Professor Young’s outstanding research achievements on the genetic aspects of lung diseases. Synergenz provides personal genetic risk information on smoking related diseases that can help individuals and their doctors act to improve and to protect patient health.

Partnership with HortResearch moves forward through joint appointments

Two HortResearch senior staff members have been appointed part-time as Associate Professors in the Institute for Innovation in Biotechnology and the School of Biological Sciences. The appointments of Associate Professors Richard Newcomb (Evolutionary Genetics) and Dave Greenwood (Mass Spectrometry) highlight their longstanding track record of collaboration in teaching and research with the University. The Institute for Innovation in Biotechnology has so far made six joint appointments with the industry with the aim to facilitate public-private collaboration in research and graduate student supervision.

Highbury Pacific Ltd becomes a partner in the Institute for Innovation in Biotechnology

Highbury Pacific Ltd is a specialist multinational consultancy with expertise in biotechnology including early stage valuations. Maximising the value of their clients innovations and products is Highbury's primary objective. They have a strong base of technology and pharmaceutical clients both small and large including Johnson and Johnson, Bausch and Lomb, Astra Zeneca, Imperial College London, Kings College London, Nesta and BioFusion plc. Highbury also provides IP and Technology Transfer training for its clients. As a partner in the Institute for Innovation in Biotechnology, the company joins other co-locating companies in the emerging bio-cluster on the University's city campus.

Highbury Pacific Ltd provides Entrepreneur-in-Residence to support the commercialisation of biotechnology research in the School of Biological Sciences

Anne Wight, a Director of Highbury Pacific Ltd assumes a part-time role as Entrepreneur-in-Residence to assist with the commercialisation of biotechnology research in the School of Biological Sciences.

CoDa Therapeutics (NZ) Ltd co-locates research team in the IIB

As a partner in the Institute for Innovation in Biotechnology, CoDa Therapeutics (NZ) Ltd scientists gain full access to the research infrastructure and expertise in the School of Biological Sciences. The company focuses on the development and commercialisation of therapeutics for wound and tissue repair. The New Zealand based company works in parallel with its US sister company, CoDa Therapeutics Inc, which is based in San Diego and is responsible for drug product manufacture, financing, marketing and business development.