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Grant to help local start-up develop type 1 diabetes cure


An Adelaide-based medical technology start-up has received $50,000 in State Government funding to develop a revolutionary breakthrough in the treatment and possible cure of type 1 diabetes.

Beta Cell Technologies is among six businesses to receive the latest round of grants from the $10 million Early Commercialisation Fund administered by the State Government’s innovation agency, TechInSA.

The fund is a competitive application funding program designed to help entrepreneurs and businesses accelerate the commercialisation of ideas and services from proof of concept through to product development and early commercialisation.

Beta Cell, co-founded by implantation and burns experts Professors Toby Coates and John Greenwood AM, together with Julian Burton OAM, of the Julian Burton Burns Trust, plans to design and develop a seeding device which can reproduce human cells to effectively create an ectopic ‘pancreas’ on the skin.

Human trials for Beta Cell’s skin pancreas technology are expected to commence in mid-late 2018 and, if successful, could provide the 142,000 Australians who suffer from type 1 diabetes with a potential cure.

Other recipients of the most recent round of SAECF funding include:

  • Coolsan Australia – for the development of a sanitation device for large-scale chilled food manufacturing storage
  • Life Whisperer – applying Artificial Intelligence for early detection of viable embryos for IVF
  • Nexus eCare – for the development of linked health apps, My eCare® and My eCare Diary®, to improve chronic disease management
  • Pfonr – mobile phone networking technology to manage professional and personal networking
  • Rogue Lumens – hardware and software solutions for marketing and communications.

TechInSA Chief Executive Joe Thorp said the innovation and energy happening in South Australia’s high-tech sector is impressive.

“By encouraging and supporting ambitious South Australians to take their ideas through to commercial success, TechInSA is helping to create a future built upon innovation, technology and knowledge that will have profound benefits for all South Australians,” said Mr Thorp.

Image Caption: Beta Cell Technologies will use its grant to develop a possible cure for type 1 diabetes.

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