The first Australian companies invited to one of the largest life science business accelerators in the US, the Texas Medical Center (TMC) accelerator program TMCx, have returned after completing a four-month stay.
TMC is the largest medical centre in the world and Houston’s biggest employer, with an extensive campus of 21 hospitals, 50 non-profit organisations and eight academic and research institutions. TMC concentrates its operations and research on genomics, regenerative medicine, innovation, clinical trials and health policies.
The first Australian intake into TMCx was phase one of the broader Bio-Bridge initiative – a partnership between TMC and Australia’s medical technology sector.
Facilitated by Austrade, the Bio-Bridge initiative aims to provide the foundations for a long-term bi-lateral innovation and technology transfer between Australia and the US.
CNSDose, WardMM and Personify Care participated in the first Australian intake into TMCx, from February to May this year, with support from the Health Informatics Society of Australia (HISA).
Dr Harris Eyre, CNSDose CMO, said TMCx is a world-class opportunity which is nestled within the world’s largest healthcare market, the US.
“For companies who are looking for quick and unparalleled scale of market access, TMCx provides this. For companies who are looking for a US “landing pad” and an environment to more slowly learn about the US market, then TMC can offer this through its advisor network and curriculum,” Dr Eyre said.
Two-way flow of capital and resources
Alastair Walton, Austrade’s Houston-based Consul-General and Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner said, this is only stage one. Over the longer term, Bio-Bridge is focused on creating a two-way flow of capital and resources, through collaborations in research, clinical trials and commercialisation.
“Since opening the Houston office, we have continued to work closely with TMC to position Australia as a key partner in health innovation, research and clinical trials to develop this partnership,” said Walton.
“The partnership will develop a sustainable growth platform for Australian innovation in medical devices, diagnostics and digital health, and foster connectivity and collaboration with new customers and decision makers at some of the leading hospitals and medical institutions in the US,” added Walton.
Australian participants gained insights from experts in every facet of exporting health-related technologies to the US, which included clinical trials, FDA regulations, HIPAA/HITECH compliance, hospital procurement, commercial pilots, IP, licensing, fundraising and marketing.
Through the program, the Australian participants also received free services from US market experts which included legal advice, business planning, regulatory counsel and access to the eight million patient encounters at TMC annually.
William McKeon, TMC’s CEO, said: “This international Bio-Bridge would not be possible without collaborative efforts between TMC and Australian Consul-General Alastair Walton and the Austrade team.”
This partnership will provide Australia’s innovators, entrepreneurs, startups, and scale ups unprecedented access to new customers and sales channels within the US health market.
New business models
“Austrade has facilitated this initiative as part of a global approach to help Australian companies link into global innovation ecosystems, and stay abreast of rapid changes in the digital economy; especially as digital disruption creates new business models and shapes international trade,” added Walton.
Glenn Cross, Ausbiotech CEO, said: “We recommend Australian medtech companies seriously consider the TMC Bio-Bridge initiative.
“The contacts and expertise you will develop through this program will be invaluable in your efforts to enter and succeed in the largest healthcare market in the world.”
Applications for the second TMCx medical device cohort will be supported by AusBiotech and a unique online application for Australian medical device and diagnostics companies will be available in June.
Contact Austrade for more information or visit the website to access the Industry Capability Report on Medical Devices and Diagnostics and doing business in the United States.