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Cheryl Critchley
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A company resulting from research work at the University of Melbourne has announced a major commercialisation deal.

Hatchtech is an Australian pharmaceutical company that has developed an innovative prescription head lice product called XeglyzeTM Lotion. Hatchtech have announced the signing of a commercialisation agreement with pharmaceutical company Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories for the rights to the product in key territories.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) at the University of Melbourne Professor Jim McCluskey said that the successful deal is positive evidence that Australian research can progress from University lab to market, in this case supported by expert management and crucial seed funding from UniSeed.

“Hatchtech is a true Australian success story. It is a great demonstration of the impact the University of Melbourne can have through world-class research,” Professor McCluskey said.

“The deal demonstrates the benefits of the University working with the corporate world to capitalise on our entrepreneurship and innovation.

“There is no doubt that Hatchtech has contributed to the Australian economy, generating value and creating jobs,” he said.

The University of Melbourne is connected to Hatchtech in a number of ways:

  • University staff member Dr Vern Bowles is the founder of Hatchtech and its Chief Scientific Officer. The research underpinning the core intellectual property of Hatchtech – XeglyzeTM Lotion – is the culmination of 15 years of his work. Dr Bowles is the Deputy Director of the Centre for Animal Biotechnology at the University of Melbourne.
  • The University has been an investor and shareholder in Hatchtech directly through the University of Melbourne Endowment Trust (as managed by GBS Venture Partners) and through Uniseed. Uniseed is a venture capital fund operated by the Universities of Melbourne, Queensland and New South Wales, with investment capital provided by the three universities and AustralianSuper.
  • Hatchtech CEO Hugh Alsop is an alumnus of the University, holding a Bachelor of Science (with Honours) from the University plus an MBA from Melbourne Business School.

Hugh Alsop said that the connection to the University was fundamental to the success of Hatchtech.

“Without the basic research by Vern at the University, XeglyzeTM Lotion would not exist. The University has also been a consistent supporter of Hatchtech – investing from day one,” said Mr Alsop.

Dr Vern Bowles said that it was gratifying to see his work commercialised.

“For a researcher, it is immensely satisfying to know that your innovation will have an impact on people around the world. Since forming the company in 2001 there has been a significant amount of research and development resources invested to produce XeglyzeTM Lotion and I now look forward to the day that the product is approved for use in the market place.”