A new start-up company led by researchers at The Australian National University (ANU) and Monash University has received funding to develop a method to block inflammation caused by a number of common diseases, including cardiovascular disease, Parkinson's, type 2 diabetes and severe asthma.
OmegaOne Therapeutics, established in partnership with Monash University, has been awarded a $500,000 grant from CUREator, a national biomedical incubator managed by life science collaboration Brandon BioCatalyst.
Professor Philip Board from ANU, who will spearhead the project alongside Professor Jonathan Baell from the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, said the funds will allow them to look into alternative compounds to existing therapeutics that suppress the immune system, thus causing increased infection rates and significantly limiting clinical use.
"Partnering target biology with medicinal chemistry drug development will allow us to validate what we believe will be the most successful small molecules to prevent sterile inflammation caused by a number of diseases, without toxic side effects or immunocompromising the patient," Professor Board said.
Kiara Bechta-Metti, Associate Director Commercialisation and IP at ANU and OmegaOne Therapeutics Director added: "More than the funding, the CUREator team has a wealth of experience in drug development, clinical trials and commercialisation. Their support and feedback will be invaluable."
CUREator Head of Operations, Dr Simon Wilkins, said the incubator's preclinical stream is designed to "bridge a critical funding gap".
"We are thrilled to be providing investment to OmegaOne through our inaugural funding round," Dr Wilkins said.
"CUREator will also provide continued support and guidance to help maximise the success of this project."
CUREator is backed by the Australian Federal Government's Medical Research Future Fund. The MRFF's $80 million Early Stage Translation and Commercialisation Support Grant (ESTAC) aims to assist businesses to develop projects that support medical innovation in Australia, providing opportunities for commercialisation.
CUREator is responsible for managing $40 million of this fund, dedicated to supporting commercialisation of both preclinical medical innovations and early clinical development of therapeutics.