$40 million to develop new medications for chronic diseases

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

The Morrison Government’s Biomedical Translation Fund (BTF) is investing $20 million in Australian biotech start-up George Medicines to develop new medications for the prevention of heart attacks and strokes, as well as treatments for a range of chronic conditions such as high blood pressure, hypertension and diabetes.

The funding comprises $10 million from the Government and $10 million from venture capital company, Brandon Capital.

Minister for Health, Greg Hunt, said this announcement was another example of the Government’s commitment to medical research.

“Sadly, just under half of Australians had one or more chronic conditions in 2017-18. That’s why it’s so important the Government invests in vital research to treat these conditions,” Minister Hunt said.

“Once developed, it is hoped these new medications will be more effective, reducing the number of pills patients are required to take.

“This will mean fewer side effects and increased likelihood of patients taking their pills as prescribed.”

George Health Enterprises, the commercial arm of The George Institute for Global Health, with support from BUPA Innovations and Federation Asset Management, will also invest $20 million of its own capital in the company, bringing the total investment to $40 million.

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, Karen Andrews, said the project promised to deliver important health and economic benefits to Australia.

“The Government’s support for this biotech start-up is another example of our commitment to improving the health and wellbeing of Australians, while supporting Australian business,” Minister Andrews said.  

“The BTF fosters both potential breakthroughs in health treatments and business opportunities that will assist Australian companies, boost the economy and create high quality jobs.

“Two patents have already been filed based on research conducted in Australia and abroad.

“The signs are already very good that this will be a significant commercial success, with strong export opportunities.”

The BTF is operated by three private sector fund managers which select promising Australian biomedical ideas for support.

Media contacts:

Minister Andrews' office 02 6277 7070

Minister Hunt's office 02 6277 7220