Australian Trade Commission (Austrade) Release: Australia Recognized Globally As Stem Cell Research Hub 
10/19/2005 5:09:19 PM

PHILADELPHIA, June 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Australia, known globally for its biotech R&D capabilities and strengths in human therapeutics, agribiotech, diagnostics, medical devices and biodiscovery, will has some of its best in stem cell research capabilities on show at BIO 2005.

While human cloning is currently prohibited in Australia, embryonic and adult stem cell research is allowed. Australia continues to lead the world in stem cell research with innovative programs now underway to develop potential treatments for diabetes, Parkinson's and heart disease.

Studies currently underway at Australia's government backed Australian Stem Cell Centre [ASCC], and some of its collaborative partner institutions, include development of potential therapies for:

* Congestive cardiac failure * Hematological disorders * Respiratory diseases * Disease and injury of the kidney

The ASCC announced at BIO 2005 that, as testament to the nation's standing in the stem cell arena, the International Society for Stem Cell Research's annual meeting will, for the first time meet outside North America -- in the Australian city of Cairns in the State of Queensland, in 2007.

Dr Anna Lavelle, the newly appointed Chief Executive Officer of AusBiotech, Australia's peak biotech industry organization, said Australia has been actively involved in R&D in this area.

In 1980 the first IVF birth in Australia was reported. In 1983 Australia announced the world's first egg donor baby and the development of embryo freezing technology that resulted in the first frozen embryo baby.

"Since then Australian IVF and stem cell research teams have clocked advances in this sector with world-class research and solid government backing aimed at creating therapies for real health issues facing Australians -- and the world," said Dr Lavelle.

To make an appointment with members of the Australian delegation please go to Austrade's online diary and select the Business Matching service where your request will be confirmed within 24 hours:

For a listing of the 63 Australian exhibitors at BIO2005, please visit the Australian Exhibitor section of Invest Australia's BIO 2005 website at .

About AusBiotech --

AusBiotech is Australia's biotechnology industry organization, which represents over 2,400 members, covering the human health, agricultural, medical device, environmental and industrial sectors in biotechnology.

AusBiotech is dedicated to the development, growth and prosperity of the Australian biotechnology sector, by providing initiatives to drive sustainability and growth, outreach and access to markets, and representation and support for members nationally and around the world.

AusBiotech has representation in each Australian State and provides the foundation to bring together all the relevant players to facilitate the commercialization of Australian bioscience in the national and international marketplaces. The structure is a not-for-profit limited guarantee company managed by a Board elected by members, under a constitution that is available on request from National Office.

AusBiotech's membership base includes biotechnology companies, ranging from start-ups to mature multinationals, research institutes and universities, specialist service professionals, corporate, institutional, individual and student members from Australia and globally.

About Invest Australia --

Invest Australia is Australia's national inward investment agency, set up by the Australian Federal Government in 1997, to attract productive foreign direct investment into Australia to support sustainable industry growth and development. Invest Australia has investment advisory specialists in 11 locations around the world, including San Francisco and New York, to provide investors with on-the-ground support and investment advice, including free and confidential advice to firms to help find the right business partners and identify commercial opportunities. In the past two financial years, to June 2004, Invest Australia has played a role in attracting 105 projects worth US$11.1 billion, involving 9,470 jobs.

About Austrade --

The Australian Trade Commission, Austrade, is the Federal Government agency that helps Australian companies win overseas business for their products and service by reducing the time, cost and risk involved in selecting and developing international markets. Biotechnology is as a major source of growth for Australian industry and as such Austrade has established a specialist Biotech team.

Austrade, with seven offices in the US, can assist international biotechnology companies to partner with Australia's leading biotechnology companies and clusters of excellence.

About the Australian Stem Cell Centre --

The Australian Stem Cell Centre is a major Australian collaborative initiative uniting many of the country's leading academic researchers with the biotechnology industry to develop innovative therapeutic products to treat blood and heart diseases.

The Centre will build on Australia's existing expertise in stem cell and related platform technologies to lay the foundations for delivering stem cell therapies.


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