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Investment in Queensland start-up to deliver new treatment options

14 August 2018

Joint media release with the Minister for Health, the Hon Greg Hunt MP, the Minister for Jobs and Innovation, the Hon Senator Michaelia Cash, and the Minister for Small and Family Business, The Workplace and Deregulation, the Hon Craig Laundy MP.

The Turnbull Government will support a world-leading laboratory in Northern Australia to develop a new treatment for people who have inflammatory bowel disease.

Inflammatory bowel disease is a chronic life-long autoimmune disease that affects about 85,000 Australians.

ParaGen Bio (PGB) Laboratories, based at James Cook University in Cairns, is a new immunology business developing the next generation of therapeutics.

It will receive $367,000 through the Australian Government’s Biomedical Translation Fund (BTF).

BTF fund managers OneVentures Management invested in PGB Laboratories, whose research identified a novel class of proteins from hook worms that could help reduce inflammation.

PGB Laboratories will harness the therapeutic potential of hookworms and develop treatments for inflammatory bowel disease.

The Australian Government has contributed $250 million towards the $500 million BTF program, with the balance made up of private capital. It is administered by three private sector fund managers.

The $367,000 investment in PGB Laboratories is a terrific example of how the fund is supporting promising new therapies in Australia.

Inflammatory bowel disease is chronic and debilitating, and results in significant costs for individual sufferers and the Australian economy at large.

The BTF is helping Australian start-ups to take their biomedical discoveries out of laboratories and helping to support Australian patients.

The fund assists businesses at their most critical point—where they have an idea, but lack the capital to develop and get that idea to market.

By working together, we are putting more of our cutting-edge therapies on the fast track to market, where they are needed by patients around the world.

For more information visit the BTF website.

Media contacts:

Minister Hunt's office: 02 6277 7220

Minister Cash's office: 02 6277 7320

Minister Laundy's office: 02 6277 7610