Cash prize awarded to early-stage biotech project

Atmo Biosciences was awarded a $7,000 award from BioCurate at the AusBiotech 2019 conference today, after winning a pitching event judged by an expert investment panel.

To encourage emerging technologies, and continue building the life sciences pipeline, BioCurate generously donated a $7,000 prize in recognition of today’s best presenting team, as voted by a panel of experts.

Mr Malcolm Hebblewhite, Chief Executive Officer, presented for Atmo Biosciences is an Australian digital health startup commercialising a world-first ingestible gas-sensing capsule technology developed at RMIT, Monash University and Alfred Health. The Atmo Gas Capsule (AGC) detects gaseous biomarkers as it passes through the gut and transmits the data wirelessly to the cloud.

For the second consecutive year, an Early Stage Investment Forum was held at the annual AusBiotech conference, giving biotech and medtech start-ups and spin outs the opportunity to pitch to an experienced panel of investors. The Forum is one aspect of the work AusBiotech does to help emerging science flourish during its early commercialisation pressure points.

After a selection process with an independent panel, 11 projects from across Australia were chosen to present a six-minute pitches, followed by four minutes of questions from the panel. The panel was made up of Dr Eric Hayes, Director of Partnerships, BioCurate; Dr Anand Gautam, Senior Director & Head of External Science and Innovation, ANZ & Southeast Asia, Pfizer; Dr Jan Lewis, Associate Medical Director, AbbVie; Sarah Meibusch, Principal, One Ventures; Dr Steve Suchting, Investment Director, Life Sciences, and Dr Simon Graindorge, Operation Partner, Life Sciences, IP Group; Dr Chris Nave, Managing Director, Brandon Capital Partners; and Kathy Connell, Senior Director, New Ventures, ANZ – Johnson & Johnson Innovation.

Ms Lorraine Chiroiu, CEO, AusBiotech, says, “The emerging science presented today is the ‘tip of the iceberg’ of the exciting work being developed in Australia. AusBiotech is pleased to give those projects that do not fit our successful Australia Biotech Invest and Partnering event the opportunity for early and important feedback from a panel of experts.”

“BioCurate is committed to helping build a thriving life-sciences sector – our specific focus and expertise is supporting the translation of early-stage technologies, like those we’ve seen here today, to ensure such projects reach the critical stage at which they become ‘investable propositions’. We are very pleased to be provide this prize and recognition to Atmo Biosciences and commend all the efforts of today’s pitching teams” says Dr Glenn Begley, CEO, BioCurate.

The AusBiotech national conference is an annual national conference bringing together more than 1,400 key stakeholders in the Australian and international life sciences sector.

More about Atmo BioSciences

Gut disorders are among the most common ailments in the world, affecting one in five people, with many cases remaining undiagnosed or unresolved for long periods. However, intestinal physiology has historically been a ‘black box’. Clinicians have been forced to rely on indirect diagnostic measures and trial and error to determine individual physiology, disease state and response to therapy.

Recently there has been an explosion of interest in the microbiome and the realisation of the major role that gut microbiota play in both gut, and non-gut diseases such as diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease. Improved management of common yet debilitating conditions such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), using the AGC insights and better targeted therapies to manipulate the microbiome (such as diet or antibiotics) could transform the quality of life of hundreds of millions of sufferers.

A personalised medicine approach to gastrointestinal diseases – and wellness generally – requires a complete understanding of an individual patient’s intestinal physiology, their personal microbiome composition and its functional profile. Whilst there are emerging businesses focussing on monitoring individual microbiome composition, it is currently not possible to directly measure microbiome function – this is a major unmet clinical need. By directly and selectively detecting the clinically important gaseous biomarkers produced in the gut at the source of production by the microbiota, the right therapy can be delivered to each patient. Atmo’s proprietary gas sensing capsule has the potential to revolutionise gastrointestinal clinical practice and become a new gold standard for monitoring gut wellness, dysfunction, and disease.

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