New research centre a boost for jobs and mental health

Minister for Economic Development Tim Pallas today visited The Florey to welcome the announcement that Praxis Precision Medicines will establish its Asia Pacific headquarters and research and development centre in Victoria.

Left to right: Professor Steven Petrou, Dr Kiran Reddy, Sara James and Tim Pallas.

Initially, this will create over 100 new jobs in the coming years in fields such as research and development, clinical operations and business development. Depending on the development of projects and the progress of existing clinical programs, Praxis hopes to grow its Melbourne operations, potentially creating hundreds more local jobs.

Praxis, founded by Dr Kiran Reddy, is a biotech company born out of more than a decade of research with The Florey, focused on delivering new medicines for patients with disorders including epilepsy, autism and mental illness.

Professor Steven Petrou, director of The Florey, said, “This announcement has been more than a decade in the making. It is the result of many people working in partnerships – researchers here at the Florey, Praxis, state and federal government, the biomedical sector in Victoria, clinical partners and hospitals, and importantly community. I say thank you to all.

“We at The Florey will continue to work with Praxis to develop precision medicine treatments which can have great benefit to people like Sara James’ daughter Jacqui, and the hundreds of other so-called ‘unicorns’ around the world.”

The research centre will be based in the Parkville Medical Precinct alongside The Florey, and Praxis will continue its partnership with The Florey. Praxis will also look to leverage the talent and capabilities of Victoria’s biotech sector and partner with globally renowned research institutes based in Victoria.

The establishment of this research centre will strengthen Victoria’s key competitive advantage in drug development and clinical trials and help build local entrepreneurial skills for the commercialisation of new drugs.

The announcement is the latest in a steady stream of major investments in Victoria’s booming medical technology and pharmaceuticals sector. Victoria’s medical technologies and pharmaceuticals industry employs more than 23,000 people and generates more than $AU12.7 billion in revenue per year.

Minister for Economic Development Tim Pallas said, “Investments like this will strengthen Victoria’s competitive advantage in drug development and clinical trials and by supporting this kind of growth, we hope to see the start of a new era for medical entrepreneurship for the state.”