NanoVic and Victorian Government Launch BioNano Initiatives in US

Nanotechnology Victoria has announced the formation of two major initiatives in bionanotechnology, launched by the Victorian Premier, Mr Steve Bracks, and the Minister for Innovation, Mr John Brumby, at the BIO2007 Conference in Boston, USA on May 7th.

Mr Bracks and Mr Brumby, together with Dr Bob Irving of NanoVic, announced two new initiatives: INTERSTITIAL NS and QUINTAIN NS to conduct product development in the medical and biotechnology industries based on nanotechnologies developed by NanoVic and its partners.  The initiatives each contain 4 complementary projects for which NanoVic has commercial rights, and are managed by key personnel.  Each is seeking between A$20 million and A$25 million in development funding, to take products to market in which NanoVic and its partners have invested or committed over A$8 million to date.  Mr Bracks said the Victorian bio-nanotech company was set to revolutionise the way medicine was delivered particularly in young children, and those patients who are needle-phobic. “The technology developed by these ventures has the potential to generate enormous health benefits worldwide,” Mr Bracks said.   

INTERSTITIAL NS is a therapeutic delivery venture, with core products in transdermal delivery and pulmonary delivery of nanoparticle medicines, and exciting future opportunities in liquid crystal formulation and affinity maturation.  Monash University, through Victorian College of Pharmacy and the Faculty of Engineering, are vital contributors to this activity.  NanoVic has recently led the development of prototype delivery devices for both the transdermal and pulmonary medical applications.

QUINTAIN NS is a diagnostic systems venture, with core products in nanoparticle imaging of cardiovascular disease, nanoarrays for detection of pathogens, enzyme-based sensors, and nanoparticle detection of both meningococcal disease and agricultural products.  Critical technology partners include RMIT University, Monash University at Gippsland and in Clayton, Swinburne University of Technology, the Baker Heart Research Institute, and the University of Melbourne.

Dr Bob Irving, Director of Interstitial NS and Quintain NS, said he was excited at the prospects of the two new ventures which will commercialise nanotechnology innovations in delivery and diagnostics to provide better health outcomes with reduced costs to the community. “These developments with local companies will help to consolidate the key skills, technologies and manufacturing abilities in areas of nanomedicine, where Australia and Victoria have strength,” Dr Irving said.  NanoVic is attending BIO 2007 and will have prototypes of a selection of these products on display.

Dr Irving and NanoVic managers Dr Sarah Morgan and Dr Jeanette Pritchard are holding discussions with potential development partners and investors, prior to resolving the ultimate corporate forms of INTERSTITIAL NS and QUINTAIN NS.

Leading Victorian universities; Monash University, RMIT University and Swinburne University of Technology are shareholders and research and technology providers to NanoVic , with financial backing from the State Government of Victoria.

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