SYDNEY, 8th March 2016 Refraction Media/Science Meets Business today announced its inaugural ranking of the R&D Top 25 for 2016, celebrating an influential and diverse group of Australian companies that have spun off from research at Australian universities, institutions and research centres.

Earning the No. 1 spot on the list this year is Fibrotech Therapeutics, a company that develops novel drugs to treat fibrosis (tissue scarring) associated with chronic conditions such as heart failure, kidney and pulmonary disease, and arthritis. The company spun out of research by Professor Darren Kelly at the University of Melbourne and was sold to global specialty biopharmaceutical company Shire in 2014 for an upfront of US$75 million payment and further milestone payments of US$482.5 million.

Darren Kelly, CEO of OccuRx and Founder, CEO & Director of No. 1 company Fibrotech Therapeutics, says: “I am delighted that Fibrotech’s highly skilled team has been recognised for their hard work as the most successful R&D company.”

“The key drivers to any biotechnology startup are passion and tenacity, and the desire to make a difference to human health,” says Kelly, who will be presented the award at the Co-operative Research Centre Association’s conference, The Business of Innovation 8th March.

“Collaboration is key to turning Australian ideas into viable and lucrative commercial products and services,” says Christopher Pyne, Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, adding that high-tech knowhow plus innovative R&D will drive jobs and wealth in the future.

“We must capitalise on the opportunities that are presenting themselves in the economic transition taking place in Australia by being agile, innovative and creative.”

The 2016 honorees come predominantly from the biotechnology industries, with a strong representation of data and visual analysis tech companies and advanced manufacturing.

Select highlights of the list include:

Spinifex Pharmaceuticals who commercialised chronic pain treatments developed by Professor Maree Smith of the University of Queensland (#2)

Admedus Ltd, a diversified healthcare company with interested in vaccines, regenerative medicines, including Professor Ian Frazer’s ground-breaking vaccine technology. (#3)

Vaxxas Pty Ltd, a company that is pioneering a needle-free delivery system in Nanopatch, which delivers vaccines to the abundant immunological cells just under the skin’s surface. (#5)

SmartCap Technologies, developing wearable technologies that monitors driver fatigue by measuring change in brain activity.

Catapult Sports, who commercialised an athletic performance monitoring system using global-and local positioning technologies for more than 750 elite teams, universities and institutions worldwide.

The full list is available here:

The Science Meets Business Top 25 R&D companies was judged by Dr Anna Lavelle, CEO of AusBiotech, Dr Peter Riddles, Director of ViciBio Pty Ltd, and Tony Peacock, CEO, Co-operative Research Centres Association, based on input from a wide range of universities and research centres and data provided by Thomson Reuters.

“Our goal is to discover and celebrate Australian research and innovation. These companies are not just thinking differently, but also putting their ideas into action to create solutions and make the world a better place,” said Science Meets Business editor Heather Catchpole.

“In today’s rapidly evolving world, and in the spirit of the #ideasboom, it’s companies like these that will rise to meet to the world’s challenges.”

Science Meets Business R&D Top 25 (March 2015) is available online.

Science Meets Business is published by Refraction Media, a fast-emerging leader in the field of STEM publishing – Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths. The 2015 small publisher of the year (Publish Awards), Refraction Media has a vision to inspire a future through STEM content. As well as Science Meets Business, Refraction Media produces Careers with Code magazine and website in partnership with Google Australia.

Fibrotech is an Australian biopharmaceutical company in Melbourne developing a new class of drugs to prevent a massive health burden associated with fibrosis (tissue scarring). The company develops novel anti-fibrotic drug candidates for the treatment of the fibrosis prevalent in such chronic conditions as chronic kidney disease, chronic heart failure, pulmonary fibrosis and arthritis. Fibrotech’s lead product FT011 is an antifibrotic to prevent the tissue fibrosis associated with diabetic nephropathy, a leading cause of end-stage renal disease, a severe medical condition that can only be managed with dialysis or kidney transplantation. Fibrotech was founded in 2006 and acquired by Shire for US$75M plus milestones in 2014.


Darren Kelly, CEO of Fibrotech and OccuRx Pty Ltd

Ann Hamer COO OccuRx Pty Ltd

0412 555 522 |

Heather Catchpole, Head of Content at Refraction Media, Editor of KnowHow

0401068975 |