Global biotech Shire has acquired Melbourne University spin-out Fibrotech in a A$75m ($70.5m) deal which will see the life sciences fibrosis treatments brought closer to market.

In addition to the lump sum, Shire has also made additional payments available for successful completion of development and regulatory milestones.

Jim McCluskey, deputy vice-chancellor for research at Melbourne University, said: “This acquisition is a great achievement by the University and its researchers and will have significant benefit to the Australian biotechnology sector. Breakthroughs by researchers at the University of Melbourne Department of Medicine, the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, the Faculty of Science, the Bio21 Institute and St Vincent’s Medical Institute have led the way in advancing knowledge on renal and fibrotic diseases, contributing significant improvements to the scientific understanding of fibrosis, which have led to this acquisition.”

He added: “The purchase of Fibrotech also highlights the importance of commercialisation and collaboration between academia and industry at a time when funding for commercialisation of research is being assessed. This is a great result for all involved and demonstrates the value of industry joint ventures such as commercialisation fund Uniseed.”