AusMedtech - Medtech Success Stories

The Australian medical technologies sector has a reputation for innovation and quality. The Australian companies in this industry are at the forefront of developing ground-breaking products to improve the health and well-being of global communities. Medical devices and diagnostics companies in Australia are producing success after success.

Featured here are some of the exciting recent developments made by AusBiotech members.

Global demand for mobile wrist watch

Global Kinetics Corporation has gone from a two-handed start-up in 2007 to a global player with more than 40 employees in mid-2015. Its rapid expansion rests on market demand and serious investment in its innovative Parkinson’s KinetiGraph (PKG) – a Parkinson’s disease symptom monitoring and reporting device which uses a wristwatch-style movement monitor.

Read more in a case study published in the Australian Government Department of Industry, Innovation and Science publication dealflow.

A regenerative tissue patch is improving cardiac surgery outcomes

The CardioCel patch is like a living band-aid – applied by heart surgeons, it can repair or regenerate heart and heart value tissue to treat conditions such as congenital heart disease.

Originating from bovine material, CardioCel is being manufactured and marketed by the Perth-based ASX-listed healthcare company Admedus Ltd.

Read more in a case study published in the Australian Government Department of Industry, Innovation and Science publication dealflow.

Novel drug delivery solutions through the skin

Acrux is a drug delivery business developing and commercialising a range of pharmaceutical products for global markets. Acrux is using an innovative technology to administer drugs through the skin. There are many types of medications for which the skin is the preferred means of drug delivery over oral or intravenous options.

Acrux has developed a unique range of fast-drying, invisible sprays and liquids which are applied to the skin. Acrux products deliver medicine either locally into the tissues or transdermally into the bloodstream. This has a number of benefits to patients, including better control of drug levels within the blood (minimising potentially toxic peaks or ineffective troughs) and convenience of use compared with injections and tablets.

Read more in a case study published on the Australian Government Department of Industry website.

Using unique surface coatings to create effective and efficient diagnostic tests

Anteo Diagnostics Ltd is a Brisbane-based company developing proprietary surface coatings for applications in the diagnostics, point-of-care and life science industries. Anteo’s Mix&Go™ surface chemistry enables the development of better diagnostic tests and unique products for life science researchers.

In the life science research field Mix&Go is used to develop unique research tools for a broad range of applications, helping researchers to be more efficient and successful in their research. Further uses in the life sciences include high throughput drug screening and purification of biological materials.

Read more in a case study published on the Australian Government Department of Industry website.

Harnessing experience in bionics to treat neurological and psychiatric conditions

The Bionics Institute is a not-for-profit biomedical research institute that has made innovative contributions to the medical technology industry through its involvement in the development of the cochlear implant (bionic ear) and more recently through the design and manufacture of an innovative prototype bionic eye.

To assist Australians suffering from neurological and psychiatric conditions, the Bionics Institute now applies its knowledge and technology to the field of neurobionics. The Institute develops devices which stimulate damaged areas in the brain to treat the symptoms of certain psychiatric and neurological diseases.

Read more in a case study published on the Australian Government Department of Industry website.

Using Midkine to diagnose and treat cancers

Cellmid develops innovative diagnostics and breakthrough therapies for cancer. Identifying and understanding molecules that stimulate tumor growth is important in diagnosing and treating cancer. Cellmid is using Midkine (MK) to develop novel therapies and diagnostics test for a number of cancers.

MK is a protein which promotes tumor growth, spread and drug resistance, and is elevated in many types of cancer and often very early in the disease. MK is easily detected and measured in blood, making non-invasive testing feasible. Together these properties make MK a uniquely powerful cancer diagnostic tool, and a potentially breakthrough therapeutic target in multiple cancer types.

Read more in a case study published on the Australian Government Department of Industry website.

Monitoring movement to improve patient assessment, rehabilitation and OH&S

dorsaVi Ltd develops innovative wearable sensors and motion analysis technologies for use in clinical practice, elite sports and occupational health and safety (OH&S). dorsaVi's technology enables many aspects of detailed human movement, muscle activity and position to be accurately monitored, quantified and assessed.

dorsaVi has brought motion analysis outside the lab by developing wireless wearable sensors that measure body movement and muscle activity. dorsaVi has also developed a biofeedback system for back pain and other musculoskeletal injuries. Accurate capture and assessment of a person’s movement can assist clinicians develop tailored rehabilitation plans.

Read more in a case study published on the Australian Government Department of Industry website.

Skin repair and regeneration

Elastagen is a Sydney-based, clinical stage medical company developing technology to repair damaged skin. The company's Elastatherapy® treatment uses the human protein elastin to naturally rejuvenate, repair or regenerate damaged and aged tissues, with applications in aesthetics, scar remodelling, wound repair and surgical adhesives.

The application of elastin as a medical biomaterial has to date remained untapped due to technical challenges in producing tropoelastin, the building block of elastin. Elastagen has developed and patented technology to overcome these challenges. Elastagen's elastin producing technology not only has applications in cosmetics, it also has potential for broader medical uses, such as medical dermatology.

Read more in a case study published on the Australian Government Department of Industry website.

A clearer picture of breast cancer risk

Founded in 1989, Genetic Technologies Ltd is a Victorian-based diagnostics business specialising in cancer diagnostics and women’s health. To help women better understand their risk of developing breast cancer, Genetic Technologies developed BREVAGen™, an oral swab test designed to provide an assessment of breast cancer risk for women.

BREVAGen™ calculates an individual’s genetic risk of breast cancer by detecting differences in seven specific genetic markers. Knowledge of breast cancer risks, taken together with the risks and benefits of the intervention, can be used to choose an appropriate disease management strategy.

Read more in a case study published on the Australian Government Department of Industry website.

The Bionic Eye, an innovative cortical prosthetic implant

Grey Innovation is an engineering technology commercialisation company which works across a number of industries, including the medical technology sector. Grey Innovation partnered with Monash University, the Alfred Hospital and MiniFAB to develop an innovative Bionic Eye implant to benefit up to 85 per cent of the clinically blind. The device will be implanted directly on the region of the brain that processes vision signals (the visual cortex) and will stimulate the brain, bypassing damaged or dead parts of the visual pathway.

Grey Innovation provides its extensive experience in technology development and commercialisation, to turn the Bionic Eye into a commercial product. This technology aims to assist vision impaired people around the world gain increased independence and quality of life.

Read more in a case study published on the Australian Government Department of Industry website.

Protecting the kidney during heart procedures

Osprey Medical has developed a device that protects patients' kidneys during heart procedures. The device reduces the amount of dye injected into a patient undergoing x-rays during heart procedures. This protects the patient's kidneys from the dye's potentially damaging effects.

Osprey Medical's AVERT System is designed to reduce the amount of dye leakage, and therefore the amount of dye needed for x-rays, while maintaining x-ray visibility and quality. The AVERT System does this by modifying the pressure profile of a standard injection of dye, allowing for a more focused delivery of dye.

Read more in a case study published on the Australian Government Department of Industry website.

Using a unique biomarker to diagnose cancer

Sienna Cancer Diagnostics is a Melbourne based biotechnology company dedicated to researching enzymes (biomarkers) which indicate the presence of cancer and developing novel cancer diagnostic technologies. Sienna’s technology platform is based on the biomarker telomerase, and the hTERT protein by which it can be detected.

Telomerase is present in cancer cells and is recognised as a remarkable marker for cancer. Harnessing this important and unique biomarker for the purpose of cancer diagnosis is a world first. A urine test using this biomarker will be used by pathology laboratories, initially to test for bladder cancer, with other cancer types added in the future. A urine-based diagnostic test with strong performance characteristics is expected to not only reduce the number of cystoscopies per year, but also provide an earlier indication of cancer.

Read more in a case study published on the Australian Government Department of Industry website.

Sensor technology to manage incontinence

Simavita has developed a Smart Incontinence Management (SIMTM) medical device for home and institutional aged care. SIMTM helps restore continence and minimises dependency on costly care staff and incontinence-pads. SIMTM is a fully-instrumented continence tool, providing accurate data and personalised toileting plans via Wi-Fi-enabled smart devices.

Using disposable sensors, SIM collects and analyses patients’ micturition data to accurately profile and then plan individual continence care needs. Care plans are developed by clinicians to restore and maintain normal, productive toileting - helping to keep the aged healthy and independent for longer. By encouraging healthy toileting, Simavita hopes to reduce over-reliance on incontinence-pads and carers. This can lead to decreased infections, a lower number of injuries from falls and less patients being escalated to acute care.

Read more in a case study published on the Australian Government Department of Industry website.

Assessment and rehabilitation platform targeted at children with brain injury and movement disorders

In October 2014, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute and Melbourne-based digital health company, Curve Tomorrow, took out first place in the Launch! session at the Annual Fall Health 2.0 conference in Silicon Valley, California. The winning technology, SONNY Movement, is an assessment and rehabilitation platform targeted at children with brain injury and movement disorders. SONNY Movement aims to improve accessibility to healthcare and health outcomes for children, while also streamlining assessment.

SONNY Movement incorporates the latest technology and trends including gesture control, cloud and social gaming, allowing the efficient automated capture of more accurate movement measurements, which helps inform the most appropriate rehabilitation program.

Read more on the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute website.

 

Case studies are shared with permission from the Australian Government Department of Industry, Innovation and Science.