A nasal spray with the potential to fight Covid-19 and other respiratory viral infections will be tested in the hope of manufacturing it in Australia.
The INNA-051 nasal treatment, developed by the Australian biotech company Ena Respiratory, targets the primary site of most respiratory infections, including Covid, and activates immune defence mechanisms in the respiratory tract.
The technology could help fight coronavirus and other infections such as influenza and the common cold.
The federal government announced on Sunday that with a private company, Brandon Capital Partners, it would provide $11.7m to pay for the testing as part of the biomedical translation fund.
If tests are successful the product will be manufactured in Australia.
Other projects to benefit from the fund target conditions including autoimmune diseases and neurological conditions.
Elsewhere newly funded technologies aim to help patients remember to take their medications and to deliver medication to the eyes in a way that avoids problems when using drops.
Sunday’s announcements amount to almost $30m. The fund’s total pool is $500m.
Under the program, private partners and the federal government provide equal funding. The private sector partners are BioScience Managers, OneVentures Healthcare Fund and Brandon Capital Partners.
Federal health minister Greg Hunt said the investments would “continue the proud Australian tradition of discovery and translation that saves lives and improves lives”.
It meant the businesses could take their technologies to the next level.
The government wanted to develop manufacturing capacity in medical products, industry, science and technology minister Karen Andrews said.
“This fund is yet another way we can help commercialise great Australian ideas right here at home,” she said.
The Guardian / Australian Associated Press
22 November, 2020