The development of a new treatment for peanut allergy in children will be the first project to receive $10 million in funding under the Biomedical Translation Fund (BTF).
Health minister Greg Hunt and industry minister Arthur Sinodinos announced the first investment commitment under the BTF created with funding from the Medical Research Future Fund.
The BTF combines $250 million of government funding to be at least matched by private capital secured by independent licensed fund managers to realise a $500 million fund.
“The BTF is designed to change and improve the lives of Australians. This innovative solution to a lethal allergy experienced by so many kids and their parents in Australia and around the world has resulted from the great collaborative efforts of Prof Mimi Tang at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and Prota Therapeutics,” said Mr Hunt.
"Australian companies often struggle to attract substantial investment. This is especially challenging for companies in early stages development where funding is essential to turn great ideas into reality. The BTF helps to address this challenge – providing additional funding when researchers need it most," added Senator Sinodinos.
Bill Ferris, chair of Innovation and Science Australia, acknowledged the important role the BTF will play in the future of Australian innovation.
“The BTF is designed to enable the development of Australian medical discoveries into products in the marketplace with tangible outcomes including better health, more jobs, and commercial returns.”
The first investment from OneVentures Healthcare Fund III will provide $10 million to Prota Therapeutics to advance the development of a new treatment for peanut allergies in children.
The oral immunotherapy treatment is a world-first approach aimed at treating a range of food allergies. The first product is for the treatment of life threatening peanut allergy – a leading cause of death from food allergies.
Unlike other peanut allergy treatments in development, this new therapy is the first to allow children with peanut allergies to incorporate peanut and peanut products as a regular part of their diet.
Prota Therapeutics is an Australian allergy immunotherapy start-up company formed in September 2016 to develop and commercialise novel probiotic oral immunotherapy allergy treatment developed by Professor Mimi Tang from the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute in Melbourne.