The Morrison Government is providing $18.7 million to 10 leading research institutions around Australia, to address illnesses facing many Australians and their families, including heart disease, COVID-19, epilepsy and childhood cancer.
The funding will be distributed among 17 projects to further work towards new treatments, diagnostic tools and therapies centred around stem cell use.
The projects funded through the 2020 Stem Cell Mission grant opportunities will address diseases including COVID-19, Crohn’s disease, heart failure, neuroblastoma, Friedreich’s ataxia, Epilepsy, kidney disease, and digestive disease.
The University of Sydney will receive around $6.3 million for three projects, including work to develop a clinical trial for the use of stem cell grown heart muscle in patients with ‘no option’ end-stage heart failure.
The economic cost of heart failure in Australia each year is estimated to be around $1 billion, and with half of all patients dying within one year, the toll on Australians and their families is enormous.
The University of Adelaide will receive more than $441,000 for their research to prevent premature fusion of cranial sutures in babies.
This condition, called craniosynostosis, can result in skull and facial defects and increased pressure on very young brains, which can lead to neurological problems.
The researchers will try to identify a non-surgical approach to ensure the best opportunity for normal brain and craniofacial development.
Stem cell therapy is a proven treatment for blood disorders such as leukaemia, Hodgkin’s disease and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Stem cells have the potential to treat many types of incurable diseases, bringing hope for treatments and cure where previously there was none.
The Stem Cell Mission is a priority of the Morrison Government’s $20 billion Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) and will provide $150 million towards research over 9 years.
The Mission supports world-leading translational stem cell research, developing and delivering innovative, safe and effective stem cell medicines to improve health outcomes.
The MRFF is a long-term, sustainable investment in Australian health and medical research helping to improve lives, build the economy and contribute to the sustainability of the health system.
Further information about the MRFF is available at www.health.gov.au/mrff
2020 Stem Cell Therapies Mission Grant Opportunity
|Murdoch Children’s Research Institute||Evaluating safety and efficacy of bioengineered heart tissue for congenital heart repair||$999,000|
|Murdoch Children’s Research Institute||New therapies preventing heart damage during chemotherapy||$879,000|
|Murdoch Children’s Research Institute||Stem cell models of glomerular kidney disease for understanding disease and developing treatments||$934,000|
|Murdoch Children’s Research Institute||
Insights into CDKL5 neuronal regulation: pathways to improving neurological outcomes for CDKL5 Deficiency Disorder
|University of Melbourne||Stem cell therapies for digestive disease||$584,000|
|University of Melbourne||iPSC clinical trials – population wide screening of patient iPSC’s to reassess high value drug targets for motor neuron disease||$1 million|
|University of Sydney||Induced pluripotent stem cell derived cardiomyocytes: a new therapy for “no-option” end stage heart failure
|University of Sydney||Stem Cell Derived-Retinal Organoids to Test Novel Genetic Therapies||$498,000|
|University of Sydney||
Improving decisions about access to stem cell interventions
|Monash University||Locally administered extracellular vesicles for perianal fistulising Crohn’s disease||$936,000|
|The University of Adelaide||A Precision Medicine Based Approach to Treat Craniosynostosis in Children||$441,000|
|The University of Adelaide||Developing an Evidence-Based Model for Building Trust in Australian Stem Cell Research and Therapies||$995,000|
|University of Wollongong||Novel SMART AAV vectors for gene therapy for Friedreich’s Ataxia||$983,000|
|The University of Queensland||Transforming the paradigm of epilepsy care with precision medicine||$1 million|
|University of South Australia||Identification and assessment of new treatment options for the childhood cancer Neuroblastoma||$982,000|
|South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute Limited||Engineered human stem cells for mutation-specific eradication of myelofibrosis||$853,000|
|The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)||the sySTEMs initiative: systems biology-augmented, stem cell-derived, multi-tissue panel for rapid screening of approved drugs as potential COVID-19 treatments||$998,000|