Biotech start-up receives funding for anti-inflammatory research

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, a partnership between ANU and the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (MIPS), has been awarded a $500,000 grant from CUREator, a national biomedical incubator managed by life science collaboration Brandon BioCatalyst.

Jonathan Baell, a Professor of Medicinal Chemistry from MIPS who will be leading the project alongside Professor Philip Board from ANU, said that the funds will allow the team to combine their expertise across the drug discovery pipeline to look into alternative compounds to existing therapeutics that suppress the immune system, thus causing increased infection rates and significantly limiting clinical use.

“Chronic inflammation has the potential to increase the risk of various diseases, so with these funds the team will be looking further into validating small molecules as a new therapeutic strategy to prevent inflammation caused by a wide range of common non-infectious diseases, without toxic side effects or immunocompromising the patient,” said Professor Baell.    

OmegaOne Therapeutics was one of five successful Monash grant recipients to receive funding from CUREator, resulting in the formation of four new Monash-led biotech companies, with the fifth grant going to an existing Monash spin-out, RAGE Biotech. 

The research teams were guided by Monash Innovation together with faculty business development professionals to support the investment cases and build the new ventures, with the end-to-end process led by Monash's Director of Commercialisation and Business Development (Life Sciences), Dr Kathy Nielsen. 

CUREator is backed by the Commonwealth Government’s $80 million Medical Research Commercialisation Initiative, which aims to assist businesses to develop projects that support medical innovation in Australia and propel them through the research pipeline toward potential commercialisation opportunities.

OmegaOne Therapeutics is also supported by Monash University, who will invest approximately $200k to cover additional costs and provide support to help the companies to grow and attract further investment

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About CUREator

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.