Johnson & Johnson Innovation, in collaboration with the Queensland state government, has announced the winners of the inaugural Advance Queensland - Johnson & Johnson Innovation QuickFire Challenge.
The announcement was made as part of the official opening of the Johnson & Johnson Innovation Partnering Office @ QUT, an initiative that aims to improve access to global health and medical innovation in Queensland – and beyond.
The winning entries include a possible treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, an early-warning device to detect heart damage, and a novel method to treat gum disease.
In announcing the winners, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said: “For the winners, there is now this excellent opportunity to translate their ideas and research into commercially viable products. Ultimately, the big winner from this will be patients, if the companies can get what they have to market. Winning the QuickFire Challenge has certainly put them in a strong position to achieve this.”
The Advance Queensland Johnson & Johnson Innovation QuickFire Challenge was launched in September 2015 as part of the Queensland Government’s $180 million Advance Queensland Initiative to support greater innovation, develop a knowledge-based economy and provide jobs now and for the future.
The global competition was managed by Johnson & Johnson Innovation, JLABS - a no-strings attached, resource-rich incubator for life science companies.
“We want to congratulate the three winners of the inaugural Advance Queensland - Johnson & Johnson Innovation QuickFire Challenge,” said Kathy Connell, Director of New Ventures Australia and New Zealand, for Johnson & Johnson Innovation, which is affiliated with Janssen.
“The quality of the research proposals from not only the winners, but all 12 finalists truly demonstrates that innovation can come from anywhere – and anyone. The finalists represented a diverse group of emerging entrepreneurs, each with a commitment to improving the lives of Australians and addressing important areas of unmet medical need. We look forward to watching the winners as they now start their journey from research concept to potential product development, right here in Queensland,” said Ms Connell.
The winners of each category were:
- Pharmaceuticals - Taiwan-based Golden Biotechnology Corporation aims to conduct pre-clinical testing of a chemical compound called antroquinonol, which offers potential as a possible treatment for Alzheimer's disease
- Medical Devices - Sydney-based Atomo Diagnostics hopes to develop a prototype device for the early detection of heart damage. The device is based on the company's existing point-of-care technology and will utilise cardiac markers developed by Brisbane-based Anteo Technologies; and,
- Consumer Health - Using nanotechnology, Melbourne-based Eikonic R&D has identified a chemical compound that targets the class of bacteria responsible for gum disease and tooth decay.
We are extremely excited to be officially launching the Johnson & Johnson Innovation Partnering Office @ QUT,” said Ms Connell.
“This new Office provides Johnson & Johnson Innovation with a strong platform to identify and nurture life science research collaborations. It will also facilitate access for academics, entrepreneurs and other early-stage innovators in Queensland and beyond to valuable knowledge exchange, scouting programs, and scientific, regulatory and commercialisation expertise from the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies.
“The relationship between governments, academia and industry is vital in supporting and advancing health and medical innovation in Queensland and Australia. By fostering innovation through collaboration, we can continue to strengthen the life sciences ecosystem in the region and ultimately provide greater access to health and medical innovation for people around the world,” added Ms Connell.
The new Johnson & Johnson Innovation Partnering Office @ QUT is located at the Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation at QUT’s Kelvin Grove campus.