23 Nov 2015

Peanut allergy vaccine receives commercial funding boost

The AIRMed Allergy research group.
L-R Back row: Dr Jade Jaffar, Ms Jodie Abramovitch,
Dr Sara Prickett, Professor Robyn O'Hehir
L-R Front row: Ms Neeru Varese, Ms Kirsten Deckert,
E/Professor Jennifer Rolland, Ms Anita Hazard, Ms Tracy Phan
The effort to develop a vaccine that could change the lives of sufferers of peanut allergy has taken another step forward with the announcement of $4.85 million of further funding to support the Melbourne-based research.

The Director and Head of the Allergy, Immunology and Respiratory Medicine department in The Alfred and Monash University, Prof Robyn O'Hehir said peanut allergy is a rapidly growing problem in Australia and around the world.

This new investment from the Brandon Capital managed Medical Research Commercialisation Fund, together with the support of an additional $1.44M National Health and Medical Research Council grant (announced in November), will ensure Prof O'Hehir and her team at The Alfred and Monash University can continue the research effort that she began close to 15 years ago.

"We have a way to go yet, but a successful vaccine would have a global impact, and could transform the lives of thousands of children and adults," says Professor Robyn O’Hehir.

Victorian Minster for Health, Jill Hennessy said, "It's great to see the private sector investing in medtech. By working together, we will continue to grow Victoria's preeminence in medtech, and ultimately that means better health outcomes for Victorians."

The peanut allergy research at The Alfred has received philanthropic support from the Ilhan Food Allergy Foundation, in addition to funding from the Alfred Hospital Trust, and additional grants from the National Health and Medical Research Council.

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