The Victorian Government has announced a $10 million investment in a new eye clinical trials centre within the Centre for Eye Research Australia (CERA) at the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital.
Victorian Minister for Industry and Innovation Ben Carroll announced that Breakthrough Victoria would make the investment, which will help boost the number of clinical trials for world-first treatments for eye disease.
The new centre will be embedded within CERA. It will also enable further research into areas such as gene and cell therapy – allowing patients to access treatments that may still be years away from being available to the public.
“We’re backing projects like CERA because we know these investments help to change lives, create jobs and boost our economy for years into the future,” Mr Carroll said.
“the new clinical trials centre would give around 2,000 patients access to new therapies over the next 10 years”
Rural and regional communities are also set to benefit from the expanded network of local optometrists participating in clinical trials and the provision of eye-care telehealth service through the new centre.
In a media release, the Victorian government said establishing the new clinical trials centre would give around 2,000 patients access to new therapies over the next 10 years – and create around 50 new jobs. Construction of the centre is expected to be completed by the end of 2024.
Breakthrough Victoria invests in companies to support the commercialisation of new technologies that will benefit Victoria.
“In establishing a new eye clinical trials centre, we are commercialising our state’s expertise in global markets by providing clinical trials that benefit Victorians through early access to treatments that could one day cure blindness,” Breakthrough Victoria CEO Grant Dooley said.
CERA Managing Director Professor Keith Martin said the new centre would “position Victoria as the go-to location for international clinical trials of innovative treatments to prevent blindness, restore sight and transform the lives of people living with incurable eye conditions”.