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Artificial heart technology gets federal funding

17 May 2018

Joint media release with Minister for Health, the Hon Greg Hunt MP.

The Turnbull Government is helping to fund a revolutionary artificial heart technology that has the potential to save the lives of millions of people worldwide who cannot access heart transplants.

Through the Government’s Biomedical Translation Fund (BTF), venture capital firm OneVentures will invest in BiVACOR, an Australian company that is developing a rotary Total Artificial Heart (TAH) device that could provide a life-saving solution for individuals requiring a new heart.

Through the BTF the Government and private investors will provide over $2.6 million to OneVentures for investment in development of the external TAH controller in Australia.

The technology has the potential to change the need for heart transplantation, transforming the outlook for people with heart disease worldwide.

The BTF consists of at least equal parts Commonwealth and industry funding. It is managed by private sector fund managers who direct investment to commercialise promising Australian biomedical research.

In addition to the funding for BiVACOR, a number of other investments have recently been made through the BTF:

  • $1.5 million invested by BioScience Managers in Avita Medical Ltd for improved skin regeneration through a unique process using the patient’s own skin;
  • $3.2 million invested by Brandon Capital Partners in Aravax Pty Ltd for a novel form of peptide immunotherapy to treat peanut allergy; and
  • $1 million invested by Brandon Capital Partners in GI Therapies Pty Ltd to develop  a device to treat a range of gastrointestinal motility disorders.

Minister for Health Greg Hunt said the investments benefited Australian companies and had the potential to improve the health and wellbeing of people across the country and around the world.

“These companies are modern day pioneers bringing hope to people everywhere suffering with diseases, disorders, allergies, and injuries.” Minister Hunt said.

Minister for Jobs and Innovation Michaelia Cash said the BTF assists businesses at their most critical point—where they have a great idea but lack the funds to develop and get that idea to market.

“This tremendous work highlights the impact of innovation - from the generation of new products to making an economic impact, the creation of new jobs and on to helping create a stronger and healthier country,” Minister Cash said.

For more information on the BTF visit, business.gov.au/BTF.

Media contacts:

Minister Cash's office- 02 6277 7320

Minister Hunt's office- 02 6277 7220