Medical Countermeasures

Medical Countermeasures (or MCM) is one of DMTC’s newest programs and builds on extensive research and preparatory work undertaken by government, industry and research agencies.

Utilising funding from CSIRO and from DST Group through its Next Generation Technologies Fund, DMTC’s leadership of the program involves harnessing Australia’s capabilities to develop leading-edge, advanced technologies and to direct and deploy skills into activities that support Australian defence, health and national security outcomes.

Medical Countermeasures (MCMs) include vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics for the protection of military and civilian personnel against Chemical, Biological and Radiological (CBR) threats, emerging infectious diseases and pandemics.

The MCM Program has continued to deliver successful industry-research collaborations that enhance Australia’s defence and national security capabilities.  Over the past five years, the program has progressed more than 20 collaborative vaccine, therapeutic and diagnostic projects against a range of Chemical, Biological and Radiological (CBR) and infectious disease threats. 

The MCM program has benefited from strong engagement with its Stakeholder Group, a senior whole-of-government advisory group with representatives from the Department of Defence; Department of Health; Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources; the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and most recently the Department of Home Affairs. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, this Stakeholder Group has had an even more significant role in directing and prioritising our collective response to the pandemic.  

The program currently has ten active projects comprising two therapeutics, two vaccine candidates, four rapid diagnostics, and two manufacturing scale-up projects. This diversity in our project portfolio enables the program to contribute to addressing military and public health capability gaps and contribute to developing Australia’s sovereign resilience.  

The program is seeking to bring together best-practice industrial expertise and relevant public sector and research agency inputs under DMTC’s proven model of collaboration and co-investment from all partners.

How to get involved

The annual program development cycle with its key timeframes is illustrated here. Further information can be sought by contacting DMTC on (03) 9214 4447 or by email to mcm.eoi@dmtc.com.au.

Achievements to date

Project submissions have been received from all over the country, collectively representing interest from over 150 prospective industry and research partner organisations.

The MCM program is firmly focused on advancing technologies relevant to Australia’s national preparedness strategy, with application to both civil and military domains, in order to develop an effective in-country capability in Medical Countermeasures.

It is the only program that brings together the key national stakeholders with representation from the federal Departments of Defence and Health and Home Affairs, the CSIRO, the Medical Technology and Pharmaceutical Growth Centre and the Indo-Pacific Centre for Health Security. Further detail on the national and international elements of the engagement and governance framework for the MCM Program is available here.