The Liberal National Government will provide $960,000 for intensive research into new 4D diagnostic technology to allow accurate assessment of lung function in patients of all ages including the very sick.
The Australian Lung Health Initiative headed by Professor Andreas Fouras is one of 10 highly promising research projects to be funded under Stage One of the bold Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) Frontiers initiative.
The project aims to deliver an original technology that is rapid, easy to use and safe, with less than 10 per cent of the radiation used by X-rays.
Patients would not have to remain still or follow instructions, making it suitable for infants, children, older people and the very sick who are difficult to assess with current technology.
In Australia, 7.1 million people—almost one in three—live with a lung disease.
There are more than 30 types of lung conditions. Lung cancer, for example, is Australia’s biggest killer claiming more than 9,000 lives in 2017—more than breast, prostate and ovarian cancers combined.
The five-year project will build on Australian company 4Dx Limited’s patented XV Technology™, a four-dimensional lung function imaging analysis, and new lose-dose imaging science. Professor Fouras is founder, chairman, and chief executive of 4Dx.
The Australian Lung Health Initiative was formed to bring together world-leading Australian scientists, engineers, manufacturers and medical researchers to revolutionise lung screening and treatment.
As well as 4Dx, it includes medical technology company Micro-X, the University of Adelaide, Monash University, South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute, and Telethon Kids Institute,
Devices developed from the project could have a substantial health impact here and around the world, as well as huge commercial potential.
The funding is drawn from the Government’s ground breaking Frontier Health and Medical Research program, which is directing $570 million to Australia’s most innovative and transformational medical research.
Frontiers creates an opportunity for Australia’s best and brightest to form formidable multidisciplinary teams to transform ideas from concept to outcome. Frontier awardees needed to articulate how their idea was novel and would position Australia as a global leader.
Frontiers has a unique, two-stage structure developed in consultation with Research Australia.
In Stage One, 10 selected applicants will receive funding of up to $1 million each over one year to develop detailed planning for their cutting-edge research projects.
Each of the selected 10, like the Australian Lung Health Initiative, will be able to apply for Frontiers Stage Two with the opportunity to secure up to $50 million or more to realise their ground-breaking research plan.
Applications were assessed by an International Scientific Peer Review Panel to ensure those recommended for funding would deliver new to world ideas and opportunities.
This investment has the potential to transform healthcare and stimulate growth in the Australian medical technologies, biomedical and pharmaceutical sector, a vital part of the innovation economy.
The Coalition Government’s strong economic management ensures we continue to invest record amounts of funding into ground-breaking medical research, Medicare, mental health, life-saving medicines, and hospitals.