According to The Australian Financial Review, a treatment for peanut allergy that promises to allow children to eat peanuts as part of their regular diet has become the first recipient of funding from the federal government's Biomedical Translation Fund (BTF).
Prota Therapeutics has been spun out of the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, where Professor Mimi Tang has development an allergy treatment that combines a daily probiotic drink with dried peanut flour sprinkled into an allergy sufferer's breakfast.
An initial trial of 62 children with peanut allergy showed that after taking the treatment for 18 months, 82 per cent proved resistant to anaphylactic shock when resuming peanut consumption, six weeks after the trial ended.
The new injection of $10 million, which is half from the BTF and half in matching funds from venture capital firm OneVentures, will fund an expanded trial where 200 children will be tested on an improved formulation, which it is hoped can sustain tolerance to peanuts for six months and beyond.
The study will also compare the effects of combining probiotics with the ingestion of peanut flour, with the ingestion of peanut flour alone.
Chief executive Suzanna Lipe said "In addition to the importance of new treatments and diagnostics themselves, commercialising break-through medical research provides Australia with new highly-skilled jobs, the opening of significant export opportunities, increased capacity and capabilities in the Australian life sciences sector, and a boost to the economy as a whole."
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