If you need help or advice on access or pricing in a THD facility please contact TIA.
Access to the THD funded capabilities and pricing of projects is guided by the following general guidelines;
- Infrastructure is accessible by access regime specified for all classes of researchers including:
- meritorious researchers (these include research students and early career researchers);
- commercial users; and
- international users.
- Separate pricing arrangements may need to be put in place for other classes of users or for collaborative use, e.g. a collaborative research project involving university and commercial researchers. In all cases, the aim should be to make the research facility available at a price that is affordable for the respective classes of users.
- The terms of access should be transparent to users and potential users.
- Each facility operator has a strong ‘customer service’ ethic and strives to provide a high level of service for users.
- Facilities should not put in place arrangements that become de facto barriers to entry for users. Policies on pricing, the treatment of intellectual property, compliance with industry standards, insurance, OH&S issues etc should not deter researchers from using a facility.
- Facility Users / Researchers will need to comply with reasonable security requirements and access standards where appropriate.
- Access regimes will need to clearly specify those instruments and/or facilities within the institution, and the proportion of their capacity, that will be made available to users under special terms and conditions (based on a reasonable assessment of the circumstances in each case).
- It is expected that pricing for meritorious researchers should not exceed the marginal cost of providing access. The precise level of charging for these users at a particular facility will however need to take account of the cost structure applying in that instance.
- Marginal cost represents the cost of accommodating one additional user at the facility. In most instances, this will equate to the avoidable costs related to that extra user, such as consumables and any additional support staff.
- It is not intended that pricing for meritorious researchers will recover depreciation expenses.
- Pricing for commercial users should generally be at a market rate. It is expected that this rate would normally reflect full cost recovery including depreciation.
- The pricing policy for international users should be specified. It is expected this will take into account differences between institutional and commercial users and will need to be consistent with any existing international agreements on access and pricing.
Facility Based Policies
Translational Chemistry (MIPS)
The translational chemistry facility will seek to undertake collaborative research projects with emerging biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies and not-for-profit research institutes to produce optimised, high quality drug candidates for subsequent pre-clinical and clinical development. Access to this facility will be on an open collaborative basis, leveraging the substantial expertise base that will reside in the facility.
It is anticipated that the Translational Chemistry facility will operate under the same access model as the existing Centre for Drug Candidate Optimisation.
The CDCO is unique in that it provides collaborative drug candidate optimisation in support of drug discovery conducted by corporate groups and research institutes. The CDCO undertakes its collaborative research to industry standards, but beneficially conducts this research within a University setting in order that it is available to a range of users in a uniquely collaborative and interactive manner. The CDCO business model was originally designed through discussions with prospective industry partners and specifically addresses their need for flexibility with respect to the timing of studies and the provision of research results. Pricing is based on a full time equivalent (FTE) scientist model. Partners collaborate with the CDCO to conduct research at a rate of 0.25, 0.5 or 1.0 FTE to support research activities over a rolling 12 month period. The time spent on individual projects is then charged back to the time allocated to each partner based on their FTE level. Importantly, this model accommodates the changing needs of each partner and can respond to periods of both high and low research activity. Collaborative projects are based on full cost recovery, with project developed intellectual property being solely owned by the partner. This arrangement offers certainty of intellectual property rights to the partner, is transparent to all users and allows for rapid initiation of individual studies.
Primary Drug Screening Capability (Eskitis / WEHI / CCRI)
The costs associated with high throughput screening campaigns include the use of high profile technology platforms, staffing to manage and undertake the screen, chemical compound library replenishment, assay reagents and associated plastic ware. The current pricing structure for such facilities are generally based on:
- a differential given the size of the project (generally greater than or less than 10,000 compounds)
- a differential based on the location of the sponsoring group with a three tiered structure (academic groups, domestic commercial and international commercial. A discount is generally provided for customers internal to institutions hosting the facilities.
Note: Each screening project involves consultation with the facility staff and, depending on the complexity of the specific assay, additional costs may be associated with performing the screening project.
Secondary Drug Screening Capability (MIPS/Florey)
Pricing and access structures will be developed in accordance with the PDN model, ensuring open access on a cost recovery basis.
Enhanced Preclinical Capacity (Tetra Q / RDDT Laboratories)
Access to the enhanced fully integrated preclinical capability in the University of Queensland’s Centre for Integrated Preclinical Drug Development will be through TetraQ, its commercial arm. TetraQ is a registered business of Uniquest, the main technology transfer company of UQ. Pricing will be on a cost recovery basis rather than commercial rates for services aligning with the PDN and utilising Super Science funded capability.
Immunotoxicology Capacity (RDDT Laboratories)
Access is on a fee for service basis with price negotiated on a project basis. RDDT Laboratories current pricing structures involve minimal margins in order to establish global competitiveness in the highly populated preclinical contract research market.
The pharmacometrics capability to be established at the University of South Australia (PEPOD) will undertake collaborative research projects with emerging biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies and not-for-profit research institutes to optimise preclinical and clinical drug development programs. Access is on a fee for service basis with price negotiated on a project basis.