Australian biotech appoints US political heir

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Australia biotech company Medibio has turned to one of the world's most famous political families in the latest appointment to its Board of Directors.

Medibio has developed a test to help with the diagnosis of depression, chronic stress and other mental health disorders. The test, which is the product of 15-years research at the University of Western Australia, uses panel circadian, sleep and autonomic system biomarkers to quantify and characterise mental illness.

The Melbourne-based company only recently announced the appointment of the world's greatest ever Olympic gold medal winner, US swimmer Michael Phelps, to its Board.

The company has now announced the appointment of mental health advocate and former US congressman, Patrick Kennedy, to its Board of Directors.

Mr Kennedy served 16 years in Congress, focussing his time on promoting policy to end medical and societal discrimination against mental illness, and speaking openly about his bipolar disorder and drug addictions. He was recently appointed to President Donald Trump's Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis.

Mr Kennedy is the son of the late and long-time Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy and nephew of former US President John F Kennedy.

"Medibio's technology is truly groundbreaking, and has the potential to fundamentally change the mental health system for the better. That's why I am proud to be part of this team," he said.

"This is a company that is truly on the cutting edge, and their diagnostic and analytic tools will give clinicians the power to treat patients more effectively, using better data, and with a focus on better outcomes."

According to Medibio managing director and CEO, Jack Cosentino, "Patrick is a significant addition to the Medibio Board. His wealth of experience gained from serving in the U.S. Congress, along with his advocacy for mental health, will open doors and heighten awareness for Medibio's technology. 

“He has proved successful in tackling mental health as one of the greatest challenges in healthcare today. His knowledge, both through personal experience and legislative accomplishments, will help guide us in laying the strategic foundations for large-scale operations, and the necessary payment and reimbursement coverage of our innovative, new technology.

“We welcome Patrick to the board of Medibio, and value his leadership and passion to serve people with mental health conditions.”

Mr Kennedy is a co-founder of One Mind for Research, which seeks to increase resources and collaboration in brain research. and founder of the Kennedy Forum. The forum promotes a roadmap designed to transform mental health and addiction care.

Medibio Board chair, Chris Indermaur, said, “Mr Kennedy is a true win for Medibio. His vast experience and credentials both with the government, as well as his current appointment serving on the White House Commission, will align well with the challenges affecting those struggling with addiction and mental illness. We are pleased to have him join our esteemed board.”