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Linear progress at QEII, plans for south

By Mark Pownall

Linear Clinical Research is on track to double capacity with the completion of a $7 million expansion at the QEII Medical Centre.

Linear Clinical Research believes it is on track to double its operational capacity with the completion of a $7 million expansion at the QEII Medical Centre in Nedlands by the end of the year.

Linear chief executive Jayden Rogers said the infrastructure, funded by Stan Perron Charitable Foundation, Lotterywest and the state government, will allow the organisation to double the number of clinical trials it manages.

Furthermore, adding a similar facility in Perth’s southern suburbs would be a boost of similar scale, putting the organisation among the country’s biggest life sciences players outside of the established major businesses like ASX-listed CSL or big pharmaceutical companies.

On the face of it, the addition of a 12-bed day suite plus six specialist overnight beds, seems a small increase on Linear’s current capacity – 32 existing beds at QEII as well as 24 beds at the new Joondalup Health Campus – but Mr Rogers said the new configuration makes a big difference for operational efficiency.

The shift to day-beds, which are really a seated arrangement designed for shorter-term and more convenient use, is a key part of increasing throughput for Linear’s clinical trials for new cancer therapies.

Operating on a calendar year end, Linear had an annual turnover of about $26.1 million for the year ending December 31, down on the previous financial year’s $27.6 million, largely due to the impact of Covid infections in the community after the WA borders were opened. It recorded a surplus of $722,098 for the past year, up from $630,464 the previous corresponding period.

Mr Rogers believes revenue will jump 25-30 per cent this financial year as the impact of the Joondalup facility is fully realised and the new QEII beds come online.

Jayden Rogers at Linear’s work in prograss at QEII – Business News

Linear’s main revenue is from major pharmaceutical companies which pay for the administration of new therapies directly to patients for oncology, haematology and other studies as well as expedited phase one healthy volunteer studies.

But Mr Rogers said the increased scale of trials was not just of benefit to the bottom line.

He said that increasingly WA cancer patients had access to trials for new drugs to treat their specific versions of the disease.

Furthermore, the local science community benefitted from the jobs, increased research ability and other multiplier effects that came from Linear’s success.

“This is showing what we can do,” he said.

“If we can get this opportunity in the south up and running, it will be unique for WA.”

Linear hopes to be able to build a third facility next to Fiona Stanley Hospital in Perth’s southern suburbs which would nearly triple current throughput.

Mr Rogers said Linear’s success in cancer clinical trials reflected an odd quick in history around the nation where it remained as a subsidiary of Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research (formerly the WA Institute of Medical Research) where other similar organisations had spun off their laboratory arms. He said that, over time, the independent laboratories of other research groups had gravitated away from clinical cancer trials.

Another difference for Linear was it had become the first licenced private hospital of its type, a significant difference from other facilities which were typically part of public health systems.

Mr Rogers said that Linear’s relationship with its public sector neighbours was symbiotic, helping to reduce pressure on both forms by being self-funded and arm’s length.

About Linear Clinical Research

Linear was founded in 2010 by The Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research through Western Australian State Government funding. Linear is a not-for-profit organisation, employing 250+ full-time staff of doctors, nurses, and clinical trial staff. Having been a regular winner of The National Export Awards, Linear has consistently featured in the media – including major TV stations. We are also a research partner of iconic institutions such as Telethon Kids Institute and Lion’s Eye Institute.