$10 Million for Research into Precision Medicine

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

The Liberal National Government is investing $10 million in research that will help use a person’s DNA and their environment to help create personalised medicine.

The funding will go to Australian National University (ANU) for the Phenomics Translation Initiative, a two year program to develop new diagnostic and treatment options for people living with chronic and debilitating diseases including lupus, type 1 diabetes and age-related macular degeneration.

It will build on ANU’s internationally recognised capability and infrastructure to fast track our understanding of how our DNA can improve how diseases are diagnosed, treated and possibly cured.

Phenomics research helps us understand how our environment makes us more or less susceptible to a wide range of common diseases, including how individuals react to therapies.

This research will enable therapies and treatments to be tailored to the patient rather than treating the patient generically based on the disease – the treatment is personalised for that patient.

Precision and personalised medicine promises to transform the way we practice medicine.

A person’s phenome is a snapshot of their unique biology that results from complex interactions between their DNA and their environment, which includes factors relating to diet, lifestyle and exposure to pollutants.

Analysing these biological “fingerprints” helps researchers better understand the underlying causes of disease and ultimately to develop personalised therapies and treatments.

Senator for the ACT Zed Seselja today welcomed this funding as a significant investment in Canberra.

“This $10 million investment in Canberran researchers follows on from our $500 million investment in the massive expansion of the War Memorial, and the $63.8 million delivered for the National Gallery of Australia in MYEFO,” Senator Seselja said.

This funding comes from the Government’s landmark Medical Research Future Fund.

The Medical Research Future Fund is an endowment fund, which will mature at $20 billion, providing a sustainable source of funding for vital medical research.

It is the single largest boost in health and medical research funding in Australia’s history.

Our Government’s strong economic management means we can make sure more patients have access to more life-saving medicines and medical research that will save lives.