Massey Ventures wins Best Licensing Deal for birthmark treatment
25th October 2023
Massey Ventures has been awarded Best Licensing Deal at the 2023 Australasian Research Commercialisation Awards in the Gold Coast. The award recognises the licensing deal involving Gillies McIndoe Research Institute and AFT Pharmaceuticals to commercialise a life-changing treatment for strawberry birthmarks in infants.
Above: Dr Sean Mackay, Dr Dan Carlisle, Ella Moffat, and Mark Cleaver accept the award for Best Licensing Deal at the 2023 Australasian Research Commercialisation Awards. Credit: Event Photos
Strawberry birthmarks are benign vascular tumours that affect one in 10 children. Fifteen per cent of cases require treatment during infancy to prevent disfigurement or the threat to bodily function and sometimes life. Due to potential drug-related side effects, up to 85 per cent of infants are left untreated and may become disfigured for life.
The new, topical product should enable treatment of more affected children while also reducing drug-related side effects. Massey Ventures led the commercialisation of the treatment, which has the potential to become the new standard of care in a market worth over $750 million annually.
In 2022, Massey Ventures announced an agreement with New Zealand-based AFT Pharmaceuticals and the Gillies McIndoe Research Institute to license the intellectual property, with plans to launch the treatment in over 100 countries. The Gillies McIndoe Research Institute are leading the pre-clinical research. AFT Pharmaceuticals will be responsible for the subsequent pre-clinical and clinical development, global regulatory and commercialisation of the product.
The agreement is a prime example of a home-grown technology retaining its IP in New Zealand and creating significant potential export value, all while providing a life-changing medical treatment.
The case study won Best Licensing Deal at the 2023 Australasian Research Commercialisation awards, which celebrate outstanding research commercialisation across Australia and New Zealand. The win follows Massey Ventures’ success at the 2022 awards, where they won the same category for the sale of the FERRI-PRO technology to global food giant Nestlé.
Massey Ventures Commercialisation Manager, Dr Dan Carlisle says, “It’s great to see New Zealand research commercialisation consistently recognised at the forefront of the tech-transfer industry. This deal is not only significant in terms of the potential economic returns for New Zealand, but also enables a life-changing treatment for children and their families around the world.”
In addition to the win, Senior Commercialisation Manager Dr Sean Mackay was recognised for his outstanding contribution to research commercialisation as both an inventor and commercialisation manager behind several innovative technologies at Massey.