WA medical startups get $4.3 million grant to kickstart business ideas

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The Western Australian government has awarded more than $4.3 million in funding to nine health and medical startup companies as part of the 2022-23 Future Health Research and Innovation (FHRI) Fund. 

The Innovation Seed Fund is aimed at backing WA innovators to develop and commercialise their concepts, create high-level health sector jobs and boost the state’s local manufacturing capacity. 

Among the grant recipients is EarFlo, a startup company that develops a device designed to non-invasively treat glue ear in young children. 

The development of the EarFlo device will boost the company’s manufacturing capacity and experience which can support the future of medical device innovations in Western Australia and diversify the state’s economy. 

Designed to look like a sippy cup, the EarFlo device is intended to help children avoid developmental delay and costly, invasive grommet surgery.

VitalTrace’s Dr Lee Hubble has also secured funding from the grant program to support the development of a commercialisation-ready and clinically compatible foetal monitoring biosensor, called DelivAssure, to improve maternal and foetal outcomes in childbirth. 

DelivAssure is designed to help clinicians easily identify foetal distress during labour, allowing them to take early action to prevent complications, such as brain damage and reduce unnecessary C-sections. 

Funding was also awarded to Dr Samantha South, who is improving therapeutic delivery to slow or halt the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, and Professor Peter Leedman, who is developing a novel RNA-based therapy for liver cancer. 

“These start-ups have the potential to change lives, and this funding will help them secure capital and develop into sustainable businesses,” said Medical Research Minister Stephen Dawson. “The Innovation Seed Fund is all about building the number of local health and medical innovation start-ups and supporting them to take their groundbreaking ideas to market.” 

To view the full list of awardees in the 2022-23 FHRI Fund’s Innovation Seed Fund program, visit the FHRI Fund page