QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute and The University of Hong Kong’s Signing Ceremony Event
Not all of you may know that I am Patron of the QIMR Institute in Queensland and that, prior to my appointment as Governor, I had the honour of serving as Chair of the QIMR Council. Or that this year marks the Institute’s 70th anniversary.
But, for all of those reasons, I am delighted to be here today to recognise the important and life-saving collaborative work being conducted by the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute and Hong Kong University, and to witness the signing of the agreement on the next stage of this work.
These two highly respected institutions have been collaborating for two decades to develop new and improved treatments for Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma, or NPC, which is one of the most common head and neck cancers in South-East Asia. I am proud that with Hong Kong University, the work of Queensland’s QIMR Berghofer has this patently beneficial international dimension, and especially a dimension benefiting our near neighbours.
QIMR Berghofer and Hong Kong University scientists have recently successfully completed a world-first clinical study based on “killer T-cell” therapy for NPC.
Now they are launching this exciting Phase 2 collaboration, which involves taking Phase 1’s novel immunotherapy approach into advanced testing in NPC patients.
I was delighted to learn that this research agreement also includes an initiative to bring young clinical and science graduates from Hong Kong to the QIMR Berghofer’s Q-Gen facility in Brisbane. There they will undergo advanced training in immunotherapy manufacturing technology, clinical trial design and good clinical practice. I have had the privilege of meeting international scientists at QIMR in Brisbane. They apparently greatly enjoy the experience – often with their families. And we Queenslanders enthusiastically welcome them.
Queensland welcomes and values highly international collaboration of this kind, which is consistent with the Queensland Government’s policy of focusing on innovation and research as part of the next wave of opportunities to emerge from tackling global challenges.
This world-first clinical trial would not be possible without a number of individuals and organizations in Hong Kong, some represented at very senior level here today, whose exceptional generosity has made the ongoing collaborative research efforts possible. These are truly great altruists who do not seek recognition, but certainly warrant it.
I congratulate and most sincerely thank all those involved in this vital project – scientists, researchers, clinicians, the institutions involved, and the generous and visionary donors who support it.
Working together, you are creating a path towards therapies that will change people’s lives and enhance the well-being of our communities. My being here today, as Governor of Queensland, signifies our State’s acknowledgement of the high importance and significance of this collaboration, borne of a valuable relationship between very good friends, and already producing great dividends for mankind, especially in this region.
I wish the project every success. With partners and supporters of this calibre, one would be nothing but sanguine.
Thank you all very much indeed!