Page 262 - Week 01 - Thursday, 11 February 2016

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All schools were reviewed in relation to appropriate safe spaces during 2015. All schools were found to have appropriate spaces and none had spaces that were non-compliant. In response to the expert panel report on students with complex needs and challenging behaviour, the directorate is further developing guidelines to provide advice and support for schools on the use of withdrawal spaces.

EpiAxis Therapeutics Pty Ltd

Paper and Statement by minister

MR BARR (Molonglo—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Tourism and Events and Minister for Urban Renewal): For the information of members, I present the following paper:

Financial Management Act, pursuant to subsection 98(4)—Establishment of EpiAxis Therapeutics Pty Ltd to commercialise a new treatment for breast cancer (University of Canberra)—Written statement.

I ask leave to make a statement in relation to the paper. Leave granted.

MR BARR: For the information of members, I present pursuant to section 98 of the FMA this statement setting out details of a new company, EpiAxis Therapeutics Pty Ltd, established by the University of Canberra. Section 98 of the Financial Management Act 1996 requires the Treasurer’s approval for a territory authority forming or taking part in the formation of a company. This section then requires the Treasurer to present a statement to the Legislative Assembly setting out details of and the reasons for the company formation and subscription to shares.

In June of last year I gave approval to the University of Canberra to establish a company and invest in the commercialisation of a new treatment for breast cancer. EpiAxis Therapeutics Pty Ltd was established by the University of Canberra in late December of 2015 for this purpose. Under the leadership of Professor Sudha Rao, the University of Canberra was first to identify the pivotal role played by the enzyme LSD1 within the cancer field. More specifically, her team identified the role that LSD1 plays in the proliferation of cancer stem cells, which are now regarded as the leading contributor to the recurrence of cancer following initial treatment.

In order to advance this discovery, Dr Rao’s team focused on breast cancer recurrence models to test whether LSD1 enzyme inhibitors could prevent recurrence, which occurs in up to 40 per cent of women who are diagnosed with breast cancer. I am pleased to advise the Assembly that this work has shown very beneficial effects.

EpiAxis Therapeutics Pty Ltd has now been established to commercialise the findings of this research. At the time of the company formation, the University of Canberra held 40 per cent of the shares in EpiAxis Therapeutics Pty Ltd and the remaining shares were held by researchers in line with the university intellectual property policy. An estimated $1.5 million is required to progress the research and commercialise the new treatment. Fifty per cent, or $750,000 of the required investment, is being funded

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