Otifex Therapeutics Pty Ltd, an emerging Australian specialty pharmaceutical company developing a therapy for childhood Otitis Media with Effusion (OME), has been granted a United States Patent protecting the commercialisation of its novel betahistine nasal spray product.
The US Patent follows the Company’s announcement last year of its European Patent grant. Otifex CEO Dr Christopher Wraight said, “The granting of a patent by the United States Patent Office is a significant step in the commercialisation of our nasal spray for OME. The patent provides Otifex with protection in the key US market and adds to the Company’s growing portfolio of granted patents which currently include Europe, China and Hong Kong.”
OME is the leading cause of acquired hearing loss in children and is caused by fluid build-up in the middle ear, behind the ear drum. The fluid build-up is caused by a failure of the Eustachian tubes (ET) to properly ventilate the middle ear space. OME is often treated surgically with the insertion of tympanostomy tubes (“grommets’) into the ear drum to ventilate the middle ear. Otifex’s nasal spray product is designed to increase ET function and improve middle ear ventilation, restoring hearing without the need for surgery.
Otifex Therapeutics Pty Ltd (www.otifex.com) is an emerging Australian specialty pharmaceutical company developing a new treatment for the most common cause of acquired hearing loss in childhood, Otitis Media with Effusion (OME or “glue ear”). Treating OME often means surgically inserting “grommets” (tympanostomy tubes) to help return middle ear pressure to normal; there are currently no non-invasive alternatives. Otifex is developing a novel nasal spray to make it easier for the ears to ‘pop’, improving middle ear pressure and helping OME resolve naturally. Our product has the potential to be the first effective non-surgical treatment for OME. Otifex was formed in 2009 on concepts developed at The University of Melbourne. In late 2010 the Company attracted seed investment funding from the Medical Research Commercialisation Fund (MRCF) and Uniseed. Together with MRCF member the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute (MCRI), Otifex formulated a clinical development strategy to bring this new nasal spray product to the clinic.
Dr Christopher Wraight Chief Executive Officer
Office: +61 3 9657 0700
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About Medical Research Commercialisation Fund
The $51 million Medical Research Commercialisation Fund (MRCF) Collaboration is an innovative investment collaboration established in 2007 and managed by Brandon Capital Partners (www.brandoncapital.com.au). The MRCF invests in early stage development and commercialisation opportunities emanating from its membership of 32 Australian medical research institutes and allied research hospitals, which includes the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute. The MRCF IIF, LP fund is supported by AustralianSuper, StatewideSuper and the Australian Government under its IIF program. The MRCF also acknowledges the support of the State Governments of Victoria, New South Wales, Western Australia and Queensland.
Uniseed is a $61 million commercialisation fund operating at the Universities of Melbourne, Queensland and NSW, with investment capital provided by the three universities and Australian Super, one of Australia’s largest superannuation funds. Uniseed’s mandate is to facilitate the commercialisation of university-generated intellectual property by targeted investment in highly promising technologies. Uniseed has made over 30 investments in technologies arising from its partner universities including Vintela (AVCAL Best Early Stage Deal 2005) and QRx-Pharma (largest biotech IPO in ASX history).
About The University of Melbourne / UoM Commercial Ltd
The University of Melbourne enjoys an outstanding reputation with independently published world rankings consistently placing it as a leader in higher education in Australia, the Asia-Pacific and around the globe. Its national and international performance confirms its position, across a broad range of disciplines, as Australia’s leading comprehensive research-intensive university. From its ground-breaking work towards development of the bionic eye, to the individual research projects of its academics and students, it is uniquely placed to respond to major social, economic and environmental challenges. UoM Commercial is a company, wholly owned by the University of Melbourne, that makes the University’s vast collective knowledge and expertise accessible to commercial organisations, industry and government. Commercialisation within the University of Melbourne can take a number of different forms including licensing new technology, providing consulting services and developing customised learning programs.