Australian government invests millions to boost medical development

Fifteen medical research and technology projects are set to receive $16.9m from the Australian government to accelerate their transition into clinical practice.  

The government said projects had tremendous potential to transform the lives of people in Australia and around the world.

Nine of the projects are due to receive $6.7m from the Medical Research Fund (MRF) including the Targeted Translation Research Accelerator which aims to improve the lives of people living with diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, which are the leading cause of death and disability.  

One of the methods proposed to assist with cardiovascular diseases is developing a new external controller for an artificial heart which provides patients with the chance to lead a normal life without requiring a transplant. 

Five projects will receive $7.2m through the Clinical Translation and Commercialisation Medtech Program (CTCM) under the MRF Medical Research Commercialisation initiative. 

They are developing a diverse range of new medical technology, including a ‘next generation’ condom and a wearable device that restores vision to some blind and visually impaired people.  

These projects have also attracted private co-funding, totalling $8.6m for the TTRA projects and $12.9m for the CTCM projects. Their connections with translation partner companies have been supported by MTPConnect, which delivers the grants programmes for the Australian government. 

Institutions in Australia’s capital, including Sydney’s Children’s Hospital Network (SCHN) and the University of Syndey, are also collectively awarding funding to researchers to explore how genome sequencing could be used to rapidly target diseases or genetic conditions with available therapies.  

This project, called NEWBORN GEN SEQ TRAIL, otherwise known as Newborn Genomic Sequencing in screening: Therapy Ready and Information for Life, will be led by Clinical Professor Bruce Bennetts, Department Head of Molecular Genetics at SCHN. 

Mark Butler, Australia’s minister for health and aged care, said: ‘These promising projects show once again that Australian medical researchers are among the best in the world.

‘With funding from the Government and support from research translation partners, they are all poised to progress along the road to becoming part of next generation medicine.

‘Every Australian can be proud of the contribution these research teams are making to changing the outlook for patients with life-changing health issues.’ 

Photo by Road Trip with Raj


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