The New South Wales Government has awarded $5 million to National ICT Australia’s (NICTA) start-up company Saluda Medical for the development of a technology that will improve chronic pain management.
The grant comes from the NSW Government’s Medical Devices Fund (MDF), a technology development and commercialization program funded by the State Government through the NSW Ministry of Health. MDF aims to promote new and innovative technologies with the potential for global benefit.
Dr. John Parker, CEO of Saluda Medical, said the company’s research on pain management at NICTA has garnered worldwide attention.
Saluda’s goal is to bring this research to commercial reality and see our technology used in every neuromodulation application in the future,” said Dr. Parker.
“This will benefit potentially millions of people suffering chronic pain and other neuropathic diseases. The valuable support and recognition from the New South Wales Government allows us to begin this commercialisation journey with confidence.”
Chronic pain management often relies on long-term medication which is accompanied by the risks of various side-effects and addiction. Pain relief can be achieved through electrical stimulation of the patient’s spinal cord, but the stimulation itself could be uncomfortable as well, according to the media release.
Researchers at Saluda have developed a sophisticated technology that will measure nerve response to electrical stimulation. Using the information the stimulation level can be adjusted according to the intensity that the patient can tolerate. The stimulation is delivered via a minimally-invasive spinal implant.
NICTA CEO Hugh Durrant-Whyte already envisions Saluda to be one of Australia’s most successful medical start-up companies.
“NICTA was the crucible for this ground-breaking, early-stage research. I believe there is a great potential for wealth creation for Australia through the development of this patented technology. We are grateful to the NSW Government for recognising the opportunity for this State,” Mr. Durrant-Whyte said.
According to the media release, Saluda was already successful in securing a private investment of a similar amount earlier this year. Anthill magazine reports that the investment came from millionaire John Kinghorn’s foundation.