Aussie nano tech project gets AU$15m in global VC funding

Needle-free drug patches set to go commercial

A Queensland-based nanotech start-up has secured AU$15m in funding from a group of international biotechnology investors.

Venture capital firm One Venture is backing the creation of start-up vehicle Vaxxas, which will allow the University of Queensland’s Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN) Professor Mark Kendall to work towards commercialising his patented Nanopatch technology,

The technology delivers vaccines to immune cells in the skin, instead of using a syringe method, which injects into the muscle. The Nanopatch, which is smaller than the size of a postage stamp and has the potential to be self-applied, was first conceived in 2003.

Co-investors in the new vehicle include US-based HealthCare Ventures, Brandon Capital, and the Medial Research Commercialisation Fund.

The University of Queensland’s main commercialisation company, UniQuest, has led the commercialisation of the Nanopatch technology to date, and will hand over the responsibility to Vaxxas following this investment.

Brandon Capital Partners Managing Director Dr Stephen Thompson says launching Vaxxas as a company is a critical next step for the Nanopatch technology.

“In Australia, we invest heavily in our excellent research and development capability but have a relatively poor record of taking those technologies to world markets,” he said.

In addition to improving the efficiency of delivery, the Nanopatch does not require refrigeration, making transport much cheaper and easier, particularly to developing nations around the world. ®

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