New backing for Australian biotechnology companies

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The federal government has announced over $40 million from the Biomedical Translation Fund for a number of Australian biotechnology companies.

The $500 million Biomedical Translation Fund is based on matched funding by the federal government and three private sector fund managers - Brandon Capital Partners, OneVentures Healthcare Fund and BioScience Managers.

Health minister Greg Hunt and industry minister Karen Andrews announced funding for investigative therapies being developed by Ena Respiratory, Kira Biotech, Closed Loop Medical, Adherium and Polyactiva.

Ena Respiratory will receive $11.7 million for its INNA-051 nasal spray. The therapy works by stimulating the immune system against pathogens. If successful, INNA-051 will be manufactured and formulated in Australia.

Kira Biotech will receive $9.5 million to supports its research into autoimmune disease. Its research directs components of the body’s normal immune response to the impaired cells of a person suffering from an autoimmune disease. This aims to allow the immune system to work properly.

Closed Loop Medical will receive $10 million. The company is developing a technology that aims to improve treatments for conditions of the body’s nervous system. The technology being developed will record and measure a person’s unique response to stimulation and provide a tailored outcome for the patient. It has the potential to be applied to disorders including Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy and bladder dysfunction.

Adherium will receive $10 million for its digital medication monitoring system for people with respiratory diseases and Polyactiva $5 million for its novel polymer technology that delivers medication to the eyes.

“Australia’s health and medical researchers are world-class and this investment will continue the proud Australian tradition of discovery and translation that saves lives and improves lives,” said Minister Hunt.

“The Morrison Government is backing Australia’s next generation of medical advances and this investment means these businesses have the potential to take their technology to the next level.”

“The Biomedical Translation Fund fosters potential breakthroughs that will not only improve people’s lives, but also help Australian companies create more jobs and grow into new markets,” said Minister Andrews.