Medical research a winner in SA budget with $44 million SAHMRI expansion

Medical research a winner in SA budget with $44 million SAHMRI expansion

22nd June, 2017

Medical research a winner in SA budget with $44 million SAHMRI expansion

A $44 million investment into constructing the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute’s second building as part of the 2017-18 South Australian budget brings with it hope for people suffering rare types of cancer.

Association of Australian Medical Research Institutes (AAMRI) President Professor Tony Cunningham AO said the announcement completes the fund raising for this long-awaited project, and will help South Australia become a world-leader in this area.

The Federal Government last month announced $68 million to fund a proton therapy unit which will form a centre piece of the new $240 million SAHMRI 2 building and will be the first of its type in Australia providing targeted treatment of inoperable brain cancers.

“Proton beam therapy has not previously been available in Australia for treatment and research into cancer, so this will greatly help both those living with cancer and our researchers who are searching for even better treatments for what is now the number one killer of Australians,” Professor Cunningham said.

“Investing in health and medical research in South Australia is important as the state looks to create new jobs and develop new high-tech industries. Researchers from around Australia will want to use this proton beam therapy facility too. It’s a win for all Australians.”

SAHMRI Executive Director Professor Steve Wesselingh said the construction of SAHMRI 2 would enhance Australia’s overall medical research capacity and take the number of staff working across both buildings from 600 to 1000.

“As planned, SAHMRI 2 will not only house the proton beam therapy unit, it will also house other research facilities, which will particularly build our clinical research capacity and public health capacity. It will also have additional space available for industry for small bio-techs and pharma.” Professor Wesselingh said.

Professor Wesselingh said this new investment in facilities and staff, and the translational research they undertake, will help position South Australia for winning funding from the new $20 billion Medical Research Future Fund.

“The Medical Research Future Fund will be a huge boost for medical research funding. Having world-class research facilities here in South Australia will mean the State will be well placed to attract its fair share of medical research funding, creating new jobs, providing cutting-edge treatment for patients, as well as finding new discoveries for intractable diseases.”

Media Contact: Cath Latham, 0413 865 459, cath.latham@aamri.org.au