University of Melbourne – Certa Therapeutics awarded over $20 million from the Biomedical Translation Fund

Certa Therapeutics, led by CEO and founder Professor Darren Kelly has been awarded $22 million by the Biomedical Translation Fund (BTF), the largest ever investment to date by the Fund in its history, and $3m from Uniseed. Certa Therapeutics aims to develop personalised treatments for kidney disease using genetic technologies, specifically DNA testing to allow the identification and pre-emptive treatment of those suffering from such disease who develop fibrosis or scar tissue, which is a precursor to end-stage kidney failure.

These treatment methodologies fall under the rapidly growing field of precision medicine, and the specific targeting of fibrosis in kidney disease patients will help reduce the need for much more expensive and complicated treatments. The technologies being developed by Certa could be worth up to $5 billion annually, and will prove a breakthrough in kidney disease treatment.

Professor Kelly and his team at Medicine, St Vincent’s Hospital have a strong track record in research translation and commercialisation, with his first spin-off company, Fibrotech being sold off to Shire Pharmaceuticals in 2014 in one of Australia’s largest biotech deals at the time, with a total likely sale value of over US$550 million. Professor Kelly is a world-recognised leader in innovation, research translation and commercialisation and is the Faculty’s Associate Dean, Innovation and Enterprise.