Seonix was recently awarded $471,000 in Accelerating Commercialisation funding to assist the company in the commercialisation of its genetic test which will enable identification of people at high risk of developing glaucoma, resulting in potential earlier diagnosis and prevention. The innovation is based on the world’s largest study of glaucoma genetics and has been published in the prestigious journal Nature Genetics. Seonix founder Professor Jamie Craig, from Flinders University is the lead author and ophthalmologist for this work.
I assisted Seonix throughout their Accelerating Commercialisation grant application and this company is a strong example of a successful grantee company. The Accelerating Commercialisation grant provides support for companies commercialising technologies which are new to the world and have a strong IP position. There are a number of merit criteria which the program considers when evaluating applications. The program is known for both its extensive support of companies throughout the application process as well as its rigorous approach to due diligence and examination of the applications to the program. This results in effective allocation of government funding to companies which ultimately will help to grow Australia’s economy, jobs and lead to numerous additional national benefits through the Australian innovation ecosystem.
I’d like to share some of the key elements, which resulted in Seonix presenting a strong application to the Accelerating Commercialisation program, resulting in funding:
- The test solves a significant problem currently associated with the accurate risk stratification of glaucoma suspects. The solution to this problem presented by Seonix, will provide clearer referral pathways and treatment options for clinicians and patients.
- Successful commercialisation is likely to result in significant national benefits. The impact on the national economy, Australia’s reputation in MedTech and the Australian MedTech eco-system will be significant in the event of successful commercialisation. Patient access to the test could be transformative in terms of earlier diagnosis and better health outcomes for a debilitating condition resulting in blindness, which is preventable and impacts a large proportion of the global population.
- The test is highly novel and the company was able to provide extensive evidence of market pull for this solution, including existing trial partners and large organisations in eye healthcare willing to become trial partners of the product.
- The company was able to provide strong evidence of a commercial outcome, following the successful completion of the Accelerating Commercialisation project. This provides confidence that government funding acts as a bridge to success (versus a jetty).
- The technology has a strong chance of market adoption, which is expected to increase in line with current trends in healthcare.
- The management team and board are committed, passionate and highly experienced in the industry sector, with a long-term view of growing a sustainable business.
It was a true pleasure to work with this company and in particular CEO Dr Nick Haan. The leadership team is highly experienced, yet were open and responsive to feedback. This is always an important factor as we endeavour to help companies to present their application in the best way possible for our program. When questions and feedback are welcome, it can also be indicative of a leadership and company culture that is receptive to thinking outside of the square. This mindset is likely to also lead to continued innovation, enabling companies to pivot / adjust and therefore maintain long term market position.