Innovative research explained during ministerial visit

ministerial visit

New-generation medical devices for diagnosis and vaccination were the focus when two high-ranking Queensland Government ministers visited the AIBN on 16 May 2013.

Minister for Health Lawrence Springborg and Minister for Science Ian Walker were taken on a tour of the AIBN facilities as part of a visit to The University of Queensland.

The tour showcased the funding successes and commercialisation activities at AIBN, with Professors Matt Trau and Mark Kendall detailing their work.

Professor Trau’s research employs DNA sequencing chips to diagnose breast cancer and inform therapy, using $5 million in recent funding from the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

The research involves refining diagnostic tools to pinpoint markers for cancer sub-types and monitor patients during treatment.

The device will improve and personalise treatment, which takes into account the sub-type of cancer, and allows for screening for the recurrence of the disease.

In another research project, Professor Trau is working with Australian Research Council DECRA Fellow Dr Muhammad Shiddiky to fight the spread of cancer using circulating tumour cell chips.

During the ministerial tour, Professor Kendall detailed work to develop needle-free vaccine delivery device Nanopatch towards clinical testing and product development.

The work has been boosted with the establishment of start-up company Vaxxas and a $15 million investment from an international investor consortium.

The Nanopatch has thousands of small projections designed to deliver the vaccine to abundant immune cells in the skin, whereas the traditional syringe hits the muscle where there are few immune cells.

It has the potential to overcome needle-stick injuries and cross contamination. Also, because vaccines are dry-coated to the Nanopatch, they may not require refrigeration, something which is particularly relevant to vaccination programs in developing nations.

Source: AIBN News

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