A new Monash biotech company has received funding to develop novel therapies for treatment of muscular dystrophies.
Myostellar, established by researchers from Monash’s Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute (ARMI), has been awarded a $500,000 grant from CUREator, a national biomedical incubator managed by life science collaboration Brandon BioCatalyst.
Professor Peter Currie, who is leading the project alongside Associate Professor Mikaël Martino, says the funds will allow them to develop a novel first-in-class therapy for stimulating skeletal muscle regeneration, with minimal fibrosis.
“To date, there are no clinically approved therapeutics which can specifically promote the regeneration and repair of skeletal muscle in a patient, and consequently development of a “first-in-class” therapeutic in this area will be a game-changer in the field of skeletal muscle diseases,” said Professor Currie.
“Muscular dystrophies are a group of inherited genetic conditions that gradually cause the muscles to weaken, getting progressively worse over time. It can be an extremely challenging condition and an urgent need remains for safe and effective treatments to improve the lives of patients and their families.”
Myostellar was one of five successful Monash grant recipients to receive funding from CUREator, resulting in the formation of four new Monash-led biotech companies, with the fifth grant going to an existing Monash spin-out, RAGE Biotech.
The research teams were guided by Monash Innovation together with faculty business development professionals to support the investment cases and build the new ventures, with the end-to-end process led by Monash’s Director of Commercialisation and Business Development (Life Sciences), Dr Kathy Nielsen.
The Myostellar team also includes Dr Bo Yun, and Dr Alison Greenway.
CUREator is backed by the Commonwealth Government’s $80 million Medical Research Commercialisation Initiative, which aims to assist businesses to develop projects that support medical innovation in Australia and propel them through the research pipeline toward potential commercialisation opportunities.
Myostellar is also supported by Monash University, who will invest approximately $200k to cover additional costs and provide support to help the companies to grow and attract further investment.
Delivered by Brandon BioCatalyst, CUREator is backed by the Australian Federal Government’s Medical Research Future Fund. The MRFF’s $80 million Early Stage Translation and Commercialisation Support Grant (ESTAC) aims to assist businesses to develop projects that support medical innovation in Australia through to proof-of-concept and beyond, providing opportunities for commercialisation. CUREator is responsible for managing $40m of this fund, dedicated to supporting commercialisation of both preclinical medical innovations and early clinical development of therapeutics.
For more information about CUREator visit: https://brandonbiocatalyst.com/cureator/
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