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BioTechNZ

Together we can change the world

Have you heard the song Together We Can Change the World by Rilee O’Neill? It’s a great song, but I am not 100 percent certain it’s true, as you really need the willingness to change. Do we have that in New Zealand? 

Look at the UK. Its Environment Secretary announced on September 29 that it plans to unlock the power of gene editing to help farmers grow more resistant, more nutritious and more productive crops. For New Zealand to create regulatory change, e.g. to exclude organisms produced by gene editing in the definitions of a genetically modified organism (GMO), it is key for industry to collectively work together as one voice for the Government.

There is a common theme that this Government won’t make changes. It needs industry bodies and industry to come together as one voice to put forward recommendations in order to give Government the comfort that it is doing the right thing.

Watch this space. This is one of the goals for BioTechNZ this coming year.


Shout-outs and congrats:

The biotech community is still working diligently during all levels of COVID-19 lockdown. Here are a few shout-outs and congratulations.

Engage with AusBiotech 2021 online and on-demand

BioTechNZ members can access a special rate to register for this conference, 25-29 October. Contact me to receive your discount code.

New partnership to scale up CAR T-cell cancer treatment in New Zealand

BioOra, a new company formed between the Malaghan Institute and Bridgewest Ventures NZ as part of Callaghan Innovation’s Technology Incubator Programme, will automate the manufacture of this revolutionary immunotherapy with a vision of delivering it at a fraction of current costs. Read more about the process here.

New Zealand biotech company added as foreign exempt listing on ASX

ASX has approved Pacific Edge’s application for a foreign exempt listing on the ASX, officially adding it to the list on 22 September 2021.

Pictor enters into strategic collaboration with SCIENION

Auckland-based diagnostic biotech company Pictor has partnered with SCIENION, a BICO company, to commercialise a high-throughput SARS-CoV-2 antibody testing system to support the ongoing fight against the pandemic.

ANZ BioChallenge 2021

Cytiva (formerly GE Healthcare) might have a new name, but the company has a long-proven history in supporting researchers, startups and manufacturers of biologics. Its team of industry-trained experts combine its applications knowledge to help solve challenges and optimise its customers’ process development, scale up and the entire bioprocess. For the ANZ BioChallenge, Cytiva is accepting applications in the following three focus areas: cell engineering, process development, and isolation and chromatography and filtration purification. Submission close date – Friday October 29, 2021. Contact Tim O’Meara for further information.

BioTechNZ Updates:

Last week we had the Annual General Meeting and I would like to welcome and congratulate Kieran Jina, partner at Pacific Channel and CEO at Upstream Medical Technologies, for a successful election to the BioTechNZ Executive Council.

A big thanks for the support and contribution of outgoing board member Ryan Kafoure, Senior Director Business Development – Australia & New Zealand at Marken.


What’s happening around the country? 

MedCan Summit – New Date: 10-11 February 2022

After much consideration, due to the current circumstances surrounding New Zealand’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have made the difficult decision to rescheduleMedCan Summit 2021 from 12-13 October 2021 to 10-11 February 2022. The summit will still be held at Cordis, Auckland. Register here.

MedCan Cannabis Conversation

They say all good things come to those who wait. However, over the next four months, our team will be finding ways to keep the MedCan Summit conversation going and keep you connected. We will be running our new MedCan Cannabis Conversation series, featuring regular updates and engaging online pieces from our speakers, industry experts, practitioners and sponsors highlighting topics that will be shared at MedCan 2022.
Ensure you’re signed up to our LinkedIn and/or Facebook page where we’ll be posting invitations to attend these webinars and sharing the latest news. Register here.

Medicinal Cannabis for Chronic Pain 
13 October, 9pm NZ time

Deep dive into current evidence on the use of medical cannabis for chronic pain. Join this interactive webinar featuring interviews and Q&As with a pain specialist, prescriber and several patient advocates. Pharmacist Paul Mavor is a Director at Health House International and on the MedCan Advisory Board. Paul has played a pivotal role in the creation of the 1 Day Healthcare Professionals Forum content in MedCan 2022 and 2020, and runs a number of seminars online. Register now

Have a great October, and stay safe.
Zahra Champion
Executive Director


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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