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Health Research Council backs Malaghan Institute to continue fight against cancer, allergic and inflammatory disease

14 June 2018

The Malaghan Institute of Medical Research’s outstanding programmes of scientific discovery and translation to the clinical setting have secured continued support from the Health Research Council.

As part of the seven-year Independent Research Organisation (IRO) funding programme, the contract – worth more than $10 million over the next three years – was subject to a mid-term review by an independent international panel.

Today the HRC announced it had released another tranche of funding for independent research organisations, acknowledging the major gains they had brought to the health sector and the benefits of long-term stable funding.

Director of the Malaghan Institute, Professor Graham Le Gros, said the IRO fund had been transformative for the institute’s research teams who were completely dependent on contestable funding and donations for carrying out their work.

“The IRO funding has enabled us to focus on the critical health areas that need research breakthroughs and to translate these discoveries into health and economic outcomes of benefit for New Zealand,” he said.

“It has provided a springboard for clinical and commercial activities and has attracted substantial co-investment from the philanthropic sector.”

The HRC’s review panel highlighted the quality of the institute’s research discovery programme, its impressive research infrastructure, the additional support from philanthropic organisations and the extensive national and international linkages that the institute creates for New Zealand scientists and clinicians.

The panel also praised the institute’s partnerships with New Zealand biotech companies and commercial ventures to grow the country’s nascent pharmaceutical industry. 

“This significant investment by the HRC has and will help us retain the capability and expertise we have developed at the Malaghan Institute over the last 50 years, while still allowing us to foster the freedom, spirit and philanthropic support that has been the source of our scientific discoveries,” said Prof Le Gros.

As an independent charity, the Malaghan Institute relies on a range of funding sources, including government, corporate and philanthropic, to deliver world-class biomedical research. This includes research into the basic cellular mechanisms that lead to cancer and the development of allergies and inflammatory conditions of the gut and skin. It also includes development of new immunotherapies to treat cancer.

“With this continued HRC funding providing a solid foundation and confirmation of our impact, our many donors, supporters, organisations and scientists seeking to work with the institute on New Zealand’s health issues can be confident in the tangible difference we are in a position to make.”

You can download and view the official HRC media release here.