, February 15, 2024 –

Brandon BioCatalyst’s CUREator, in partnership with ANDHealth, is set to deliver a BioMedTech Incubator (BMTI) focused on developing research discoveries and medical innovations with commercial potential to address dementia and cognitive decline thanks to a $50m grant from the Federal Government.


The partners have joined with Dementia Australia, the national peak body for people impacted by dementia and cognitive decline, to deliver the program over five years.


The necessity of proactive measures to address dementia in the community is underscored by a projection from Dementia Australia that there will be 812,500 people living with dementia by 2054.  It’s estimated that there are currently 421,000 Australians living with Dementia, supported by a caregiver network of 1.6 million.


Funding for the BMTI Dementia and Cognitive Decline program comes from the $20b Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF). It will support innovative companies with non-dilutive funding to commercialise their therapies, devices and products to improve the lives of people living with and impacted by the disease.


The unique program is designed to set participants up to be ‘investor-ready’ upon program completion, with participating companies receiving access to research, translation and commercialisation expertise across early-stage therapeutics, medical devices, diagnostics and digital health.


Structured using an investor’s perspective, performance accountability is embedded into the program, with funding released in tranches upon the attainment of milestones and timelines designed to progress the participants’ journey to commercialisation.


“We applaud the federal government’s commitment to funding programs focused on unlocking the full potential of Australia’s globally recognised research. Nurturing the development of translational and commercialisation skills in life sciences drives growth in a sector that employs individuals in high-skilled roles and facilitates the creation of therapies that save lives and enhance well-being locally and globally,” said Brandon BioCatalyst CEO Dr Chris Nave.


“Programs such as the BioMedtech Incubator for Dementia and Cognitive Decline have proven that they can accelerate cutting-edge technologies from proof of concept to market and into the hands of patients. These types of investments are critical as Australia looks to home-grown innovation to support its ageing population and drive healthier, longer lives for all Australians,” said ANDHealth CEO & MD Bronwyn Le Grice.


Playing an essential role in the program will be Dementia Australia, which will lead a community advisory board comprising people impacted by dementia to ensure the views of the community, health providers, patients, and carers inform projects and guide the development of new technologies and treatments.


“Dementia Australia is pleased to be actively involved with the delivery of this program with Brandon BioCatalyst and ANDHealth,” said Dementia Australia Executive Director Services, Advocacy & Research, Dr. Kaele Stokes.“We are committed to supporting the delivery of this important program by ensuring the voice of the consumers – both those living with dementia and their families and carers – are prioritised throughout this program and providing dementia-specific expertise for the incubator.”


Aged Care Research & Industry Innovation Australia (ARIIA), Indigenous Australians, consumers, community members and health providers will also be involved, reviewing potential projects at each stage of the selection process and ensuring projects address the breadth of patient, carer and workforce needs.  The program, scheduled to open applications later in 2024, will provide updates via its websites.