Clinical trials set for Geelong

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Ash Bolt

Geelong will now be able to host more human clinical trials for ground-breaking medical research, speeding up the development of new treatments, with the opening of a new clinic supported by the state government this month.

Innovation, Medical Research and the Digital Economy Minister Jaala Pulford last week welcomed confirmation that Australia’s largest clinical trials provider, Nucleus Network, had opened its first satellite clinic and was recruiting trial participants in Geelong.

The Geelong world-class clinical trial facility will give regional residents the opportunity to attend appointments locally to determine their eligibility for a study, as well as allowing convenient post-study follow-up visits.

The clinic is currently recruiting for two studies looking at treatments for central nervous system diseases such as multiple sclerosis and CNS lymphoma, and for non-cystic fibrosis bronchiectasis.

Both are open to healthy men and women aged between 18 and 55.

Nucleus Network chief operating officer Charlotte Hall said the new clinic was a big step to improve medical research in the state.

“Through our new satellite clinic, we will be able to reach even more people and cement our position as a key partner to some of the industry’s largest and most respected clients in the sector, which is great for Australia and Victoria,” she said.

Nucleus Network also has facilities in Melbourne, Brisbane and Minneapolis in the United States, and runs clinical trials for some of the biggest pharmaceutical companies in the world including US-based biotechnology company, Novavax, for which it ran COVID-19 vaccine trials in Australia earlier this year.

Ms Pulford said clinical trials held in Victoria contributed more than $300 million annually to the state’s economy.

She said in the past year, the government had invested more than $590 million in medical research.

“New treatments would not be possible without clinical trials and Nucleus Network is one of our best international success stories – accelerating the translation of research into health outcomes that change and save lives,” Ms Pulford said.

“Clinical trials are critically important for patients and the opening of this new facility in Geelong is boosting Victoria’s reputation as a sought-after location for medical research.”

Geelong MP Christine Couzens said it was pleasing to see the clinic set up shop in the region.

“I’m proud that the development of treatments, that will help so many people, will be occurring at this new clinic right here in Geelong,” she said

Details for participating in a trial: