Government invests in life-saving inhaler for global export
A revolutionary inhaler designed to improve the chances of survival and quality of life in patients suffering from anaphylaxis and cardiac arrest will be exported globally after being named one of 70 projects to receive a grant from the Palaszczuk Government today.
Innovation Minister Kate Jones today announced the latest recipients of Advance Queensland Ignite Ideas funding which will see the government support Queensland companies whose products are on the cusp of commercialisation, or ready to scale up for new markets.
Brisbane-based medical technology company De Motu Cordis Pty Ltd (DMC) is one of 70 companies supported through more than $8.3 million in Ignite Ideas funding announced today.
Ms Jones said the $100,000 grant would help the company to prepare for clinical trials before it meets with the United States Food and Drug Agency (USFDA) and Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) later this year.
“Passing USFDA and TGA requirements will lead to the start of human trials next year,” Ms Jones said
“We’re committed to investing in innovation to create sustainable jobs here in Queensland.
“That’s why we’re committed to supporting companies like De Motu Cordis – not only have they developed a product that has the potential to help thousands of people around the world, they’re ready to scale up and start exporting.”
Ms Jones said the latest round of Ignite Ideas grants would support 41 Brisbane companies and 29 companies in other regions.
“We’re investing in companies that will scale-up their development and employ more staff in the near future,” she said.
“Through a highly competitive, independently assessed process they showed they have an innovative product along with the talent and the right mindset to take their businesses to new levels and new markets.
“The Palaszczuk Government has now supported 271 Queensland businesses through $34.65 million (four rounds) of Ignite Ideas, creating more than 1000 new jobs.”
DMC Chief Operating Officer Tamara Mills said the company would head to the United States next week after being selected to take part in the prestigious TMCx program at Texas Medical Centre - the largest medical centre in the world - to accelerate US market access for the DMC product to treat anaphylaxis.
“The Ignite Ideas grant will be used to support DMC in commercially developing the first non-invasive product for the rapid delivery of adrenaline,” she said.
“This will be the first of a number of critical and emergency care indications within DMC’s product portfolio.”
DMC Founder and Chairman Professor John Fraser said unfortunately people were scared to use the epipen far too often in emergency and critical care situations.
“This results in poor outcomes for the patients, and an increased burden on the healthcare system,” Professor Fraser said.
“People, especially kids, hate needles – that’s a reality. In these situations, teachers and parents often call Triple Zero (000) or drive the child to a hospital, rather than immediately administer the drug themselves.
“DMC are commercialising a product that is kid-friendly and needle free – call it a ‘smart inhaler’ if you will, using the familiar concept of an asthma inhaler. Our patient research so far has shown that over 70 percent of children who suffer from a severe allergy also suffer from asthma.
“Because of that, both children and their caregivers wouldn’t hesitate to use an inhaler, where they are less certain about giving an injection.
“This grant comes at a perfect time. A recent study in the world-leading New England Journal of Medicine shows that adrenaline given to patients in an out of hospital arrest improves survival.
“Sadly, because the administration is so slow, patients were left with devastating neurological injuries. The brain can only survive with oxygen. All other organs can recover this injury, but the brain – once injured – will never recover.
“The 21 minutes of time it took to give adrenaline was way too slow. In the same way, we would never wait 21 minutes to give an electric shock or CPR. We need to bring the emergency care to the community, not wait for the patient to get to hospital.
“This New England Journal study commented that it was almost impossible to get adrenaline in quicker when using an intravenous cannula, as it requires a skilled clinician.
“Our device is simple enough that a mum or dad can use it in the street. Its simplicity is its brilliance. It allows us to give adrenaline within 2-4 minutes. This will improve blood flow to the brain and improve the patient’s quality of life.
“Queensland innovation is now being backed by Queensland Government funding to ensure that our patients receive the best possible care and the best possible opportunity to thrive.”
Queensland’s Chief Entrepreneur Steve Baxter said Ignite Ideas funding would help the 70 businesses take their next big step forward.
“Access to capital is one of the key challenges for early stage startups. The Ignite Ideas grants provide a source of funding that can take these businesses to the next level, helping them commercialise quickly.”
Ignite Ideas is part of the Palaszczuk Government’s $650 million Advance Queensland initiative.
Visit the Advance Queensland Ignite Ideas Fund web page at https://advance.qld.gov.au/entrepreneurs-and-startups-industry-small-business/ignite-ideas-fund for more information on the program and its recipients.