MTPConnect’s Targeted Translation Research Accelerator (TTRA) initiative for diabetes and cardiovascular disease (D&CVD) will soon call for expressions of interest to establish two Research Centres and open the first round of Research Project funding.

The $47 million TTRA initiative, supported by the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF), is providing a new integrated research program to improve the prevention, management and treatment of diabetes and cardiovascular disease (D&CVD) in Australia. Research efforts will focus on the most pressing areas of unmet clinical and research needs in D&CVD, which are leading causes of death and disability in Australia.

The TTRA program is designed to support and incentivise translation as a natural course of activity for those applying and receiving funding.

MTPConnect is pleased to announce partnerships with ANDHealth, Medical Device Partnering Program (MDPP) and UniQuest to provide advice and mentoring for funding recipients.

MTPConnect Managing Director & CEO, Dr Dan Grant, has welcomed the TTRA partners, citing their credentials as preeminent organisations specialising in translation and commercialisation of digital health, medical technology, medical devices, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals.

“We are delighted to announce our partnerships with ANDHealth, MDPP and UniQuest for the TTRA as we embark on a mission to improve the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and management of diabetes and cardiovascular disease in Australia,” Dr Grant said.

“Our experience leading a number of Medical Research Future Fund programs has proven the value of building in a component for guidance and support for research applicants,” he said.

UniQuest is Australia’s leading technology transfer company, whose innovation portfolio includes Australia’s first blockbuster vaccine Gardasil®. UniQuest’s Executive Director of Commercialisation, Dr Mark Ashton says bringing commercialisation experience to early stage research will transform ideas to impact.

”We are looking forward to drawing on the industry expertise of our team at the Queensland Emory Drug Discovery Initiative (QEDDI) and our 35 years’ experience in commercialisation to support applicants in the translation of their research, with the view to improving the outlook for patients with diabetes and cardiovascular disease around the world,” Dr Ashton said.

MDPP Executive Director, Professor Karen Reynolds leads the ideas incubator to support the development of novel medical devices and assistive technologies.

“MDPP is honoured to once again partner with MTPConnect and support the development of novel preventive, diagnostic and therapeutic approaches and products to improve outcomes for diabetes and cardiovascular disease. With the rapid changes within the community, health and business environments, the TTRA will provide a strategic and coordinated effort to translate cutting-edge research to knowledge for two disease states that affect millions of Australians each year,” Professor Karen Reynolds said.

ANDHealth Founder, CEO and Managing Director, Bronwyn Le Grice says as Australia’s national digital health Initiative, it welcomes the opportunity to support digital health innovators with a commercialisation focus.

“COVID-19 has highlighted the critical need for the Australian healthcare system to embrace technology to improve accessibility, quality and affordability of care. As we look beyond Telehealth, to the immense potential of virtual and asynchronous care, it is critical that we provide specialised support to our researchers who are developing the next generation of digital medicine and digital therapeutics products,” Ms Grice said.

The TTRA is currently undertaking an initial national health sector needs assessment in diabetes and cardiovascular disease. This consultative approach with researchers, clinicians, consumers and end- users will ensure that future efforts of the TTRA will supplement existing initiatives and fill emerging research and clinical gaps not currently addressed in the sector.

The TTRA will stimulate collaboration across relevant clinical, research and industry organisations and leverage strengths across the sector to ultimately produce novel preventative interventions, diagnostics, medical devices, therapeutics and digital health approaches and products for D&CVD that reduce the burden on patients, families and communities.

Application dates will be announced in November, for Expressions of Interest to establish two Research Centres, and for the first round of Research Project funding.