$25m spur for vital bio-med projects

Biomedical projects at the cutting edge of innovation will receive a $25m cash injection, in a
boost for next-gen medicine including stem cell research, new treatments for autism and a
technology that allows medicine to be taken through the skin.

The $25m investment through the federal Biomedical Translation Fund will potentially benefit
thousands of Australians with medical conditions.

Axial Therapeutics will receive $10.6m to bolster its treatment of neurological diseases by
harnessing breakthroughs in the microbiome-gut-brain axis, including developing a new therapy
for children with autism.

Health Minister Greg Hunt said the treatment would also be used to advance the company’s
research into developing drugs for serious neurological conditions, including Parkinson’s disease,
based on the microbiome gut-brain axis.

“The BTF investment will allow Axial Therapeutics to advance its gut-restricted molecular
therapy for irritability in children with autism,” he said. “It will also be used to progress the company’s program of drug discovery for serious neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease, based on the microbiome gut-brain axis.”

Cynata Therapeutics was granted $10m to support its work on the commercial manufacture of
stem cells, which has unlimited expansion potential with scientists about to source the cells they
need without the use of multiple bone marrow donors. Stem cells can be used to treat a range of diseases including heart disease, osteoarthritis and strokes.

And $5m has gone to Acrux Limited to develop drugs that can be taken through the skin rather
than an injection or pills, which will allow selected drugs that would otherwise not be
commercialised due to being unable to be administered orally to go to market.

Mr Hunt said the investment – which consists of equal parts commonwealth and private sector
funding – would enable the industry-leading businesses to bring their scientific advancements to
new heights.

OneVentures founding partner Paul Kelly, whose company invests in industry-leading health
companies through the BTF, including Axial Therapeutics, said Australia was poised to become a
global biomedical technology leader.