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Stay home. It WILL save lives


We’re facing new and fast-moving challenges and opportunities. For most of you this will mean your day to day work will continue, albeit in very different working environments. A significant number of our biotech companies are defined as essential services. If you believe you are an essential service, please register with MPI.

It is great to see BioTechNZ members involved in Covid-19 response work, including South Pacific SeraMP BiomedicalsPharmaceutical SolutionsMarkenWorld CourierANZCO, and other New Zealand companies including Ubiquitome, Fisher and Paykel Heatlhcare, and ESR (Institute of Environmental Science and Research). BIO USA has created a Coronavirus Resource Centre identifying that biotech companies are responding faster than ever to emerging health threats. 

If you are an essential service who is playing a significant role in Covid-19, please contact me as I would be keen to have information to include in our BioTechNZ Market Insights Report about New Zealand companies playing a role in these big global challenges.

BioTechNZ Webinar Series

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, our event planned for today in Wellington is cancelled. 

While we are not hosting any in-person events for the foreseeable future, BioTechNZ will be running a webinar series. The first webinar will be held in the week commencing 6 April. It is a fantastic opportunity to hear from our biotech companies, and will be made up of presentations, panels, Q&A sessions and presentations of published papers.

More information will follow shortly.

BioTechNZ COVID-19 Survey

When New Zealand comes out of lockdown, the Government will be looking for new initiatives to inject life back into the NZ economy. BioTechNZ wants to be ready with some biotechnology specific initiatives to recommend to the Government. 

We have added in COVID-19 questions at the end of the BioTechNZ Market Insights Report survey, please take the time to complete it.

  • Click here to answer just the COVID-19 questions if you have already completed the survey
  • Click here to complete the full survey

MedCan Summit Update

Unfortunately, MedCan Summit 2020 was postponed due to Covid-19. A new date for the event will be announced soon. 

Yesterday was a historic day for New Zealand with the new Medicinal Cannabis Scheme coming into effect. These new regulations will enable the local cultivation and manufacture of medicinal cannabis products which in turn will allow New Zealanders to access more affordable medicinal cannabis products which will create more equitable health outcomes and help to ease the pain of thousands of people.  

We will be running a MedCan webinar series for our Summit delegates over the coming months to enable them to hear from the MedCan Summit speakers. 

BIO 2020: 8-11 June 2020, San Diego, California

BIO is currently exploring various virtual event options. We do not believe that we would be able to achieve our aims in a virtual environment and have withdrawn the New Zealand pavilion from BIO2020 and have cancelled the planned activities for a New Zealand delegation.

Our partners, MBIENZACResCallaghan InnovationNZTEKiwiNetUniServices and WellingtonUniVentures, have invested significant effort over the past six months to build an outstanding New Zealand pavilion, so we are disappointed that we have had to withdraw, however, we look forward to carrying our connections and this work forward to other events and BIO2021. 

Stay safe, be kind to one another. 

Kia Kaha, 

Zahra Champion
Executive Director

Member Profile

The Malaghan Institute of Medical Research is New Zealand’s world-leading biomedical research institute with a focus on breakthrough discoveries in immunology and immunotherapy.

The Institute’s focus is on harnessing the immune system, the body’s own natural defence against disease, with research and clinical trials across cancer, asthma and allergy, infectious diseases, gut and brain health.

As part of its cancer programme, the Institute, in partnership with Wellington Zhaotai Therapies, is developing and trialling a novel CAR T-cell therapy. A revolutionary new approach to fighting cancer, CAR T-cell therapy works by redirecting a patient’s own immune cells to identify and kill cancer cells. The Institute was recently named as a finalist in the NZ Hi-Tech Awards 2020 public good category for its expertise and capability in bringing CAR T-cell technology to New Zealand for the first time, with the goal of enabling a range of potentially life-saving treatments and trials to be delivered here.

News and Events

New Zealand Doctors are planning to use 1000minds, a software tool to prioritisie coronavirus patients for intensive care beds if there aren’t enough for everyone. 

Read the latest whitepaper from Orion Health’s chief medical officer, Dr Chris Hobson, on how technology can help alleviate the COVID-19 crisis.

BioTechNZ member Aroa Biosurgery’s sheep-derived wound care product will soon be available for use in New Zealand after finding success in the US.

Ubiquitome’s COVID-19 Fast Test Device is in the spotlight. The Liberty 16 is a handheld, battery-powered, real-time polymerase chain reaction (real-time PCR) device that can fast test and relay sample data via an iPhone app – all potentially within 40 minutes.

Join the waitlist to attend Prohibition Partners Live, the world’s largest online cannabis event, 22 – 23 June.

The COVID-19 coronavirus epidemic has a natural origin, scientists say.

Techweek2020 has been rescheduled and is going digital. The new dates are 27 July to 2 August. This is an opportunity to be a platform for positive regrowth, economic stimulation and connections during our COVID-19 recovery phase. Submit your digital events here.

Check out the list of finalists for the 2020 New Zealand Hi-Tech Awards. A decision around the Hi-Tech Awards Gala Dinner scheduled for 22 May will take place shortly. If it is unable to go ahead as planned on that date the event will still proceed at a later date.

CERT is receiving reports of COVID-19 themed scams, including donation requests to fake response funds, paying a bitcoin ransom or risk being infected and downloading malware from COVID-19 maps.

new report from FoodHQ outlines the massive plant protein market opportunity for New Zealand.

BioTechNZ Our aim is to raise awareness and increase the understanding to enable our nation to embrace the best opportunities biotech offers to us daily, helping us live better, healthier and more productive lives.