Research underway at MHIQ's National Centre for Neuroimmunology and Emerging Diseases

GCHKP's pipeline for partnership

The Gold Coast Health and Knowledge Precinct (GCHKP), Asia-Pacific’s emerging health and innovation hub, has rapidly established itself as a destination for biotechnology development, clinical trials and startup entrepreneurship.

Across Griffith University‘s research institutes within GCHKP—including the world-renowned Institute for Glycomics—development of a range of drug, vaccine, diagnostic and other technologies are available for partnership opportunities, with our medtech R&D capability enhanced by:

Gold Coast Biomedical Industry Capability Guide

The assets and experts of GCHKP are focal to a new Biomedical Industry Capability Guide, highlighting the Gold Coast’s key biomedical infrastructure and facilities. Download the guide here.


Global brands and partnerships

The BiVACOR Total Artificial Heart

Global health and biomedical brands doing business in the GCHKP include pharmaceutical giant Sanofi, healthcare technology leader Philips and US-based medtech company BiVACOR, which has developed a world-first rotary total artificial heart set for human clinical trials by 2025. BiVACOR bases a key team within GCHKP to work alongside specialist mechanobiology researchers.

Several technology applications are already partnered (including in-human clinical trials), with exciting advancements in the development of a number of platform technologies emerging.

specialised infrastructure and equipment

Philips and global partners combine in world-first centre

The NeuTex Image-Guided Surgery and Robotics Training Centre, the world’s only facility of its kind located outside a hospital, is dedicated to training and R&D in image-guided interventional and surgical procedures.

Opened in May 2023 by world-leading Interventional neuroradiologists Dr Hal Rice and Dr Laetitia de Villiers, in partnership with global healthcare company Philips, NeuTex attracts international specialists to learn the latest neurovascular procedures and trial new devices, with expansion into other specialties including cardiovascular, spinal and orthpaedics set for 2024.

The NeuTex Image-Guided Therapy Surgical and Robotics Training Centre, in partnership with Philips
(L to R) Dr Hal Rice, a Stryker representative and Dr Laetitia de Villiers

Built around Philips’ multi-million dollar Azurion image-guided therapy platform, NeuTex innovates using personalised anatomical models 3D-printed at GCHKP’s Advanced Design and Prototyping Technology Institute (ADaPT) at Griffith University.

“We’re expanding R&D in the neurovascular field while broadening training in other surgical specialties such as cardiovascular,” says NeuTex co-founder Dr Hal Rice.

“We’re looking to a future of AI and robotics enabling remote procedures, virtually anywhere in the world.”

Together, Dr Rice and colleague Dr Laetitia de Villiers have conducted the largest caseload of robotic aneurysm repairs globally.

Glycomics, natural drug discovery, immunology and regenerative medicine

GCHKP’s biotech capability includes the broad range of drug, vaccine and diagnostic discoveries within the Institute of Glycomics; immunology, infectious diseases, nanomedicine and regenerative medicine specialisations at Griffith’s Menzies Health Institute Queensland (MHIQ) and natural drug discovery at the Griffith Institute of Drug Discovery (GRIDD).

Unique in Australia, the Institute for Glycomics pioneers the study of glycans (sugars coating cells) in the process of cancer and infectious diseases. With more than 200 researchers, the institute’s technologies tackle diseases of global impact. Clinical trials and pre-clinical development are underway for a range of Institute technologies, including a vaccine candidate for streptococcal A (in Phase 1 trials in Canada), a sepsis drug candidate (Phase 1b), a gonorrhea vaccine candidate and a viral-induced arthritis drug. Lucrative license agreements are in place with biotech firms in Australia, Switzerland and China.

The Menzies Health Institute Queensland undertakes broad research to identify key factors influencing health, with biomedical research focused on infectious diseases and immunology, chronic disease and ageing, and regenerative and rehabilitation medicine. Their leading technologies include a unique nerve-bridge therapy for spinal cord injury,a unique nanomedicine biofoundry and a world-leading program to develop treatments for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME), work that now includes global leadership in Long-Haul Covid and its potential links to CFS/ME.

The Institute for Glycomics: prominent HIV researcher Professor Johnson Mak

Smart biomaterials to tackle global challenges

Innovating at the cutting edge of biochemistry and boasting the unique resources of NatureBank and Compounds Australia, the Griffith Institute for Drug Discovery conducts research (supplemented by the Centre for Cell Factories and Biopolymers) alongside global partners.

The Centre for Cell Factories and Biopolymers is leading a consortium which ultimately aims to establish sovereign capability in Australia to rapidly develop and manufacture vaccines against biothreats and emerging infectious diseases at an industrial scale.

Learn More

The Centre for Cell Factories and Biopolymers leads in synthetic vaccine design


Inside the Griffith University Clinical Trial Unit

Phase 1b to IV trials and a global reputation

Griffith University’s Clinical Trial Unit (CTU) has expanded to double its capacity in the past 18 months, with Gold Coast University Hospital (GCUH) and Gold Coast Private Hospital also conducting trials, including world firsts.

“Over the past 18 months our unit has doubled its business turnover and staffing, significantly increasing our capacity and capabilities,” says Professor Evelin Tiralongo, Director of the Griffith CTU. “We achieved the top recruiting site in Australia for a cardiology trial and were the first site globally to recruit for a rheumatology trial, highlighting our expertise on both the national and international scene.”

GCUH’s Dr Arman Sabet conducts Australian-first, multinational neurology trials

The Griffith University CTU boasts a track record of more than 50 successfully conducted clinical trials—largely for global pharma clients—and runs pharmacokinetic and medical device studies, as well as healthy volunteer trials.

GCUH is currently managing 47 trials, involving 562 patients across 24 clinical departments, and has recently recruited the first patient in Australia to participate in a multinational Phase III trial of a new treatment for myasthenia gravis.

Gold Coast Private Hospital has 11 trials underway in oncology, neurology, orthopedic surgery, nephrology and endocrinology. 

A Multi-institute approach to next-gen mRNA vaccines

Griffith University’s Institute for Glycomics, MHIQ and Clinical Trial Unit are central to the university’s partnership in the $280 million Translational Science Hub established with leading global pharma Sanofi, along with partners the University of Queensland and the Queensland Government.

The hub is a first-of-its-kind, global scientific community focused on mRNA technology and translational science to deliver the next generation of vaccines and sees Sanofi staff working alongside researchers and initiating future clinical trials at GCHKP.

The current pipeline of available technologies for partnering includes:

The current pipeline of available GRIDD technologies for partnering includes:

The current pipeline of available Menzies Health Institute Queensland technologies for partnering includes:

MHIQ Case Studies

Case Study: Glycomics

Developed by internationally recognised research lead Professor Michael Good AO (above), with Dr Manisha Pandey, the technology is based on an immunotherapeutic approach to treating Strep A and subsequent invasive disease.

Novel therapeutics for invasive group A streptococcus and streptococcal toxic shock

Strep A infections—streptococcal pharyngitis (tonsillitis) and streptococcal pyoderma (school sores)—are highly prevalent and seemingly mild infections that can rapidly escalate to invasive Strep A disease (iSAD), which has a significant mortality rate. In about 20% of cases, iSAD is accompanied by a streptococcal toxic shock syndrome (STSS), which causes necrotising fasciitis, myositis or deep bruising and multi-organ failure.

Researchers have developed a double-pronged immunotherapeutic that neutralises both the STSS-causing bacterial exotoxins, as well as bacteria responsible for the primary invasive Strep A infection.

Learn more