1 November 2012

A University of Queensland start-up company has won the 2012 Janssen AusBiotech Emerging Company of the Year Award for its needle-free vaccine delivery system.

The company, Vaxxas Pty Ltd, received the accolade at the Ausbiotech national conference in Melbourne yesterday.

UQ Vice-Chancellor Peter Høj congratulated Vaxxas on the award, and UQ researchers on their contribution to the underpinning technology.

“Original research, which finds solutions to important global problems, is immensely important,” Professor Høj said.

“Whilst we cannot do without excellent basic research, wherever possible it must be followed by its translation into practical use, to the benefit of society.

“This is a prime example of such practice with a potential for global benefit including in disadvantaged regions.”

Vaxxas is a UniQuest start-up established in 2011 to commercialise the NanopatchTM vaccine delivery system based on research from The University of Queensland (UQ).

The stamp-sized vaccination called the Nanopatch is the brainchild of UQ’s Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology Professor Mark Kendall.

UniQuest Managing Director, David Henderson, said this award highlighted the value Australian university-based innovations were contributing to health care around the world.

“This award is the fourth positive milestone in recent months for Vaxxas, which is growing in both reputation and capacity to deliver one of the most globally important advances in vaccine technology this decade,” Mr Henderson said.

Vaxxas has logged a number of significant achievements in just over 12 months, including investment and licensing deals, as well as wining the Australian Innovation Challenge and the Best Venture Capital Investment at the 2012 Vaccine Industry Excellence Awards, held at the World Vaccine Congress in Washington, DC.

UniQuest is The University of Queensland’s premier organisation managing commercialisation of research, and is one of Australia’s largest and most successful of such university groups.