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Health Council of NZ announces $81.88 million funding for health research conducted through various institutes

The Malaghan Institute of Medical Research will lead a $5 million research in therapeutic cancer vaccines. This investment into R&D by the Health Council of New Zealand (HRC) is expected to last for three to four years. It makes up for one of the main winners in an $81.88 million financing announced today by the HRC, the chief New Zealand government agency for health research funding.


The Malaghan Institute of Medical Research has international acclaim and the new funding, announced today, is expected to enable the institute enhance its globally leading work in cancer. The Institute’s Chief Executive, Mr. Olds, said each world class research team had been allocated $5 million to support their research whose final outcomes are aimed at benefiting the New Zealand population. The funded research programmes are in studies related to obesity and mortality, rate of strokes in New Zealand, Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias that currently affect over 40,000 New Zealanders.


Old further added that, with the allocation of the $81 million funding for healthcare research, it serves as a reflection of the impressive nature of health research being done in the country. It is hoped that this investment in healthcare research will contribute hugely towards the delivery of better healthcare and other economic gains to NZ. The funding is to be given to research such as AUT University Professor, Valery Feigin’s, study on the current and future of strokes in the country.


This is to be done in conjunction with University of Auckland, Waikato University, Waikato Hospital and the Ministry of Health. Another $5 million will be given to University of Otago Professor, Wickliffe Abraham, in his study on Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, spread over five years. The aging population is expected to increase the number of dementia afflictions, with about 40,000 New Zealander’s already affected.


University of Otago, Wellington, Professor, Tony Blakely will study health spending over the next five years in a bid to show the best way of using limited health resources. The research into cancer vaccines will be carried out in a state-of-the-art facility opened in May at the Malaghan Institute. The facility was designed specially for the preparation, processing of human tissue culture for vaccine production under exacting standards required for Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP). The new research laboratories at the institute were built through a JV between Victoria University and KIA Taylor Charitable Trust and represent a unique long term commitment by the two parties in ensuring New Zealand has the necessary infrastructure for the development of human vaccines against cancer.


 June 12, 2010.


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