May 19, 2020

Aussie government donates $15.3 million to Purple House for kidney dialysis

Northern Territory
Kidney dialysis
2 min
Aussie government donates $15.3 million to Purple House for kidney dialysis

The Australian federal government recently announced its plan to provide $15.3 million in funding for the Purple House, which is a central Australian dialysis service.

The money is expected to go towards efforts to expand treatment to remote Indigenous communities facing a kidney health crisis. The funds will add more renal dialysis units in several areas

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According to studies, Indigenous people are over four times more likely to suffer from stage-four or stage-five advanced kidney disease as non-Indigenous people, and nearly four times as likely to die from chronic kidney disease.

Located in Alice Springs, the Purple House is mainly a self-funded dialysis clinic created 15 years ago with independent money raised by Aboriginal people. It was the first bush dialysis service in the nation.

The clinic previously received $1.7 million from the Northern Territory government that was not indexed. Meanwhile, this most recent news comes soon after an announcement of a plan to spend $10 million in federal funds on dialysis support services for remote-living Indigenous patients in the Northern Territory.

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The new money is expected to create about 16 dialysis chairs out bush where there is currently very little serve available, as well as allow Purple House to act on plans it has to expand into areas east of the NT and into some parts of South Australia.

“Between the two announcements it’s not being overly dramatic to say that this changes the face of renal disease in Australia,” said Purple House CEO Sarah Brown. “No longer will dialysis mean a one-way ticket to town and home for your own funeral.

“People will have hope, they will have a reason to stay well, to get home, and families will be able to look after people. This is enormous for all of central Australia and for the people whose kidneys are failing now and who are trying to decide what they’re going to do. So thank you.”

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However, as assistant federal health minister Fiona Nash pointed out, the announcements aren’t only about treatment, but also prevention.

“It’s vitally important we focus on that primary prevention and making sure those services at the front line looking after these patients dealing with chronic disease are able to do so,” Nash said.  

Source: The Guardian

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Jun 13, 2021

Seo JungJin: Who is EY’s World Entrepreneur of 2021?

Kate Birch
3 min
From just US$45,000 capital in 2003 to a world-leading biopharma giant with revenues of US$1.69bn today, Seo JungJin is crowned EY World Entrepreneur 2021

Seo JungJin, founder of biopharma firm Celltrion, which most recently developed an antibody treatment for COVID-19, has been named the EY World Entrepreneur of the Year 2021, becoming the first South Korean in the award’s 21-year history.

Regarded as one of the world’s most prestigious business awards program for entrepreneurs, the EY Entrepreneur of the Year celebrates visionary and innovative leaders from across 60 countries who are transforming the world and fostering growth.

JungJin, who is now honoroary chairman of Celltrion Group, was up against a worthy cast of entrepreneurial competitors, taking the crown from among 45 award winners across 38 countries and territories.

Speaking during the virtual event, JungJin described his own interpretation of entrepreneurship as something that brings together “a group of people toward a common vision, embracing challenges as opportunities and committing oneself to contribute to the greater good”.

Why was JungJin crowned King Entrepreneur?

A South Korean native and now 63 years of age, JungJin founded biopharmaceutical firm Celltrion in 2003. In the nearly two decades since its founding, Celltrion has lived up to its goal of advancing health and welfare for all by developing ground-breaking drugs to treat autoimmune disease, various forms of cancer and, most recently, COVID-19.

The company, which JungJin started with just US$45,000 and five of his colleagues, has since growth to more than 2,1000 employees with sales permits in more than 90 countries and revenues exceeding US$1.69bn.

According to the panel, JungJin’s story is a shining example of the power of an unstoppable entrepreneur to change the world with the pandel moved by both his incredible story and his purpose-driven leadership, innovative mindset and entrepreneurial spirit.

Described by the chair of the EY judging panel Rosaleen Blair as “representing everything an unstoppable should be” from taking on the world’s biggest health care challenges to consistently creating long-term value for his company, JungJin’s story is one of incredible tenacity and perseverance that the judging panel felt most represented the entrepreneurial spirit.

“He’s taken breathtaking risks, both personal and professional, to found Celltrion and grow it into one of the world’s leading biopharmaceutical companies,” says Stasia Mitchell, EY Global Entrepreneurship Leader. “His passion for creating affordable, life-saving health care and flair for tackling global problems has led to many treatments that have helped millions of people worldwide and was especially evident this past year through the creation of a COVID-19 antibody treatment.”

How did JungJin get there?

JungJin's entrepreneurial journey started at an early age when he worked as a taxi driver to get himself through Konkuk University in Seoul, South Korea. After studying industrial engineering, he rose through the ranks of Daewoo Motor Co. before losing his job amid the carmaker’s financial troubles following the 1997 Asian economic crisis.

Following this, JungJin started collaborating with colleagues to explore business opportunities in different industries, though none delivered lasting success. The turning point came after he attended a talk hosted by renowned scholars, which inspired him to focus on the biopharmaceutical sector.

And so he founded Celltrion with just US$45,000 of his savings. The launch of Remsima, credited with being the world's first antibody biosimilar, quickly moved Celltrion up the ranks of the country's fairly underdeveloped pharmaceutical sector. Celltrion followed this success with the launch of drugs for breast cancer and lymphoma that today are being used worldwide.

With ambitions to be the world’s first in different areas, Celltrion has pioneered numerous uncharted areas to great success over the past two decades, most recently responding to the global pandemic by successfully developing an antibody treatment for COVID-19 and working to ensure a timely supply of the safe and effective treatment.

“When I first started, my vision was to help patients gain access to safe, effective and affordable medicines and thereby enhance the quality of people’s lives,” explains JungJin. “The success of Celltrion has enabled me to expand on this while finding new ways to fuel my entrepreneurial drive.”


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