The Faculty of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences’ (EMS) Senior Research Fellow, Dr Brendan Kennedy, leads the cross-disciplinary research team behind the newly established Perth Company, OncoRes Medical.
The company has recently secured up to $6 million of funding to commercialise a surgical tool, developed by Dr Kennedy’s team of researchers at the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research and the University of Western Australia.
The funding, from the Medical Research Commercialisation Fund (MRCF), will be used to develop a hand-held imaging probe to assist surgeons treating breast cancer.
The probe will help surgeons delineate cancerous tissue, with the aim of cutting down the amount of follow-up surgery required by women with breast cancer.
Dr Kennedy’s research team, has spent the past five years developing a benchtop prototype, which has tested 100 specimens.
“Our vision is to provide the surgeon with more information and the patient with a better outcome,” Dr Kennedy said.
“If we can reduce the number of repeat surgeries by removing all of the tumour in the first operation, it will directly impact the lives of patients and reduce the considerable healthcare costs associated with repeat surgeries”.
About 25 per cent of patients undergoing breast-conserving surgery require a second operation to remove malignant tissue.
Dr Kennedy has joined OncoRes as Chief Scientific Officer. The company has $4 million of committed funding from the MRCF, with a further $2 million commitment expected to follow subject to meeting specific milestones.
Health Minister Roger Cook said OncoRes marked a coming of age for health and medical research and innovation in WA.
“The establishment of OncoRes should serve as an inspiration for other researchers, showing that innovation can, and should, happen here,” he said.
OncoRes expects to have a device ready for clinical trials within two years.
Original article published in Business News Australia
Lauren Humfrey (UWA Faculty of Engineering Mathematical Sciences) (+61 8) 6488 2260