La Trobe welcomes Wintermute Biomedical

Wintermute Biomedical - a global company pioneering next generation antibiotics to combat the impending threat of antimicrobial resistance - has moved its US operation to La Trobe University’s Research and Innovation Precinct.

The Wintermute team discovered, and have patented, a next generation, broad-spectrum antibiotic with huge potential in treating wide-ranging infectious diseases including skin diseases. The business is currently seeking to take the drug to human trials in Australia.

La Trobe Vice-Chancellor Professor John Dewar welcomed the Wintermute team to the University.

“Wintermute is a dynamic and visionary company, leading the way in the global fight to combat antimicrobial resistance,” Professor Dewar said.

“I am thrilled that the team has chosen to relocate its US operation to La Trobe’s thriving Research and Innovation Precinct – a key component of our $5 billion University City of the Future.

“The move to Melbourne, and the opportunity to work with world-leading researchers at La Trobe, offers exciting potential for biomedical innovation – a huge growth market for Australia.”

Victorian-born Wintermute CEO Dr Geoff Rogers – who last year won the prestigious Prime Minister’s Prize for New Innovators for his invention of a steerable guidewire for cardiac intervention – said he was delighted to have moved his global biopharmaceutical business to La Trobe.

“After establishing our business in the US, it’s fantastic to be back in Melbourne and to be based at La Trobe – a city and a University really spearheading healthcare research and innovation,” Dr Rogers said.

“I’m excited about the prospect of taking our breakthrough antibiotic to market in Australia.

“It has huge potential to change the lives of the many patients who desperately need it, as well as attracting significant investment into the country.”

La Trobe and Wintermute are exploring opportunities to combine their expertise in research and healthcare innovation, having recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding.

About the Wintermute Biomedical team

Chief Scientific Officer and inventor Dr Thomas Rau co-founded Wintermute Biomedical with Wes Hale in 2012 in Montana, USA, with the ambition of discovering a truly novel, next-generation antibiotic to combat anti-microbial resistance.

Wintermute appointed Australians Dr Geoff Rogers as CEO and Dr Priscilla Rogers as COO in 2017.

The team discovered a new compound that shows no signs of succumbing to antimicrobial resistance and patented it as a broad-spectrum antibiotic. Following their move to Australia, their ambition is to take the drug to trials.

Originally from rural Victoria, Wintermute CEO Dr Geoff Rogers is an engineer, entrepreneur and company director. He has successfully co-founded and led a number of high-growth, high-tech companies. In 2018 Dr Rogers won the prestigious Prime Minister’s Prize for New Innovators for his invention of a steerable guidewire for cardiac intervention. IntelliMedical was acquired by Merit Medical in 2017.

Also from rural Victoria, Wintermute COO Dr Priscilla Rogers is an engineer and healthcare innovator, specialising in the research, development and translation of technologies to the health sector in both corporate and start-up settings. This included leading the Cognitive Health and Life Sciences research team at IBM Research – Australia.

Dr Geoff Rogers and Dr Priscilla Rogers met 14 years ago when studying for their engineering degrees and PhDs in Melbourne and are married.

Both are passionate about getting more breakthrough medical research findings across the ‘valley of death’ to become commercial realities – offering huge benefits to patients and to the economy.

About La Trobe’s University City of the Future and the Research and Innovation Precinct

La Trobe is partnering with State Government to fast-track delivery of a $5 billion University City of the Future on its Melbourne campus at Bundoora.

The University City of the Future plan will see the campus become the engine room for jobs and economic development in Melbourne’s North, delivering $5 billion in investment, 20,000+ new jobs and $3.5 billion in GRP over the next ten years.

A key component of the University City of the Future is a world-class Research and Innovation Precinct, leveraging La Trobe’s research and innovation strengths in Health and Wellbeing, Agriculture, Food and Fibre and Digital Technologies and Cybersecurity.

ENDS

Image caption L to R: Dr Priscilla Rogers, COO Wintermute Biomedical; Dr Thomas Rau, Co-founder and CSO Wintermute Biomedical; Dr Geoff Rogers, CEO Wintermute Biomedical

Media Contact: Claire Bowers – c.bowers@latrobe.edu.au - 9479 2315 / 0437279903

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