A new Melbourne biotech incubator is on the hunt for startups with $70 million on the table

- June 29, 2023 2 MIN READ
Sally-Ann Williams
Cicada Innovations CEO Sally-Ann Williams
Australia’s newest biotech incubator, Jumar Bioincubator, is seeking expressions of interest from early-stage biotech to be part of the Melbourne-based program.

The $30 million incubator will connect early-stage and scaling biotech ventures with state-of-the-art facilities, infrastructure, and support to turn ideas into treatments and commercialise medical research.

Jumar is a mountaineering technique where climbers receive the support to efficiently scale and quickly ascend challenging mountains. It will be supported by cash and in-kind contributions of approximately $45 million over 10 years from its founding partners, biotech leader CSL, WEHI, and The University of Melbourne and Breakthrough Victoria.

Breakthrough Victoria CEO Grant Dooley said the incubator will help build a pipeline of investment opportunities in local innovation, creating jobs and investment.

“By providing the infrastructure, expertise and support founders need through the Jumar Bioincubator, we’re investing in the next generation of company founders,” he said.

It’s been designed to help support research translation for biotech startups in areas such as pharmaceuticals, diagnostics, medical devices, digital health, bioinformatics, and health-oriented AI. The incubator will facilitate research commercialisation and innovation translation by providing biomedical scientists and researchers with access to knowledge and skills needed to run successful biomed and biotech companies.

A report by Sydney-based deep tech incubator Cicada Innovations, which will run Jumar, found that startups who receive incubator support have a much higher 5-year survival rate (85 percent) and accelerated growth trajectory (40 percent) versus standalone entities.

Jumar will be co-located with a leading biopharmaceutical company in the Melbourne Biomedical Precinct, which has clinical research strengths in infectious diseases and immunology, neurosciences (including mental health), cancer, child health, and healthy aging.

It’s situated north of capital’s CBD and home to more than 40 hospitals and research, teaching, and biotechnology organisations.

Jumar will be located across two floors of CSL’s new Global Headquarters and Centre for R&D in the Melbourne Biomedical Precinct when it opens its doors in September, and will be led by a newly-appointed general manager, Camille Shanahan.

Camille has over 15 years of clinical, scientific, and commercialisation experience in the biopharma sector, with a particular focus on the translation of medical research into clinical application.

Cicada Innovation CEO Sally-Ann Williams said Jumar can be a catalyst nationally for growth in commercial biotech outcomes for Australia under Shanahan.

“Camille’s passion for growing Australia’s biotechnology industry has been evident throughout her career,” she said.

“Her experience and networks will contribute to building a thriving community – both inside Jumar, and connected to a thriving biotech ecosystem nationally.”

Dr Andrew Nash, chief scientific officer at CSL said that to transition from a biotech startup to a commercial success requires shifts in capabilities, processes, mindset as well as access to capital.

“Jumar Bioincubator residents, based at CSL’s Global Headquarters and Centre for R&D, will receive hands-on support and work near a large and focused CSL R&D team,” she said.

“Aligned to our promise to patients, we are looking forward to supporting the resident biotech start-ups as they navigate the translation of their promising medical research into new treatments and therapies.”

Biotech startups can submit expressions of interest at jumarbio.com