Australia’s ProTA accelerates the development of immunotherapy to treat peanut allergy
Melbourne, Australia: Allergy immunotherapy company ProTA Therapeutics Pty Ltd (ProTA) will accelerate the development of a possible treatment for life-threatening peanut allergy with the appointment of its new CEO.
ProTA has appointed former Mesoblast Vice President Operations Dr. Suzanne Lipe, as the company’s founding Chief Executive Officer. Dr Lipe will drive the development of the treatment to ultimately achieve global commercialisation.
The company estimates the market for life-saving treatments for food allergies is in excess of USD 1 billion in the United States alone.
ProTA has licensed the promising treatment developed at Melbourne’s Murdoch Children’s Research Institute by Prof. Mimi Tang. The treatment has been found in a clinical trial to induce tolerance to peanut in more than 80 per cent of children treated, allowing them to include peanuts as part of their regular diet.
The treatment combines a probiotic with the gradual introduction of peanut protein, which could potentially provide a long-term cure for all food allergy sufferers, including adults.
OneVentures led the initial $15M Series A financing for ProTA in 2016. Further funding will come from OneVentures AUD170M Healthcare Fund III, which is dedicated solely to investing in Life Science companies in Australia. This fund was established as part of the Federal Government’s Biomedical Translation Fund initiative and was awarded AUD85M from the Federal Government, which was matched by OneVentures investors.
Principal of OneVentures and Chairman of ProTA Dr. Graeme Wald said, “The growing problem of food allergies presents ProTA with a multi-billion dollar opportunity, not only in peanut allergies but in several other foods. There is therefore a pipeline of products for the company to develop, which should enhance the company’s value. This is an exciting time for ProTA, as we move forward on developing life-saving treatments for food allergies.”
OneVentures Managing Partner, Dr. Paul Kelly, said, “The appointment of Dr. Lipe will provide crucial drug development experience to ProTA as we progress our products through clinical development and to achieve commercialisation outcomes.”
Dr Suzanne Lipe said, “I am excited to join ProTA and work closely with founder, Professor Mimi Tang, to develop life-saving treatments aimed at switching off the potential deadly allergic reaction to peanuts, that could lead to a cure for peanut allergy.”
Dr. Lipe has over 20 years of experience in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry where she has held executive management positions providing strategic direction and operational management for drug development and commercial programs, including clinical trials management, regulatory and drug approvals, manufacturing, sales and marketing, licensing and commercialization of research through partnering.
Prior to joining ProTA, Dr. Lipe held a number of key positions at Mesoblast Limited. She joined Mesoblast in 2008 as Vice President of Operations, managing the transition from an early stage preclinical company to filing the first IND and CTN applications for clinical trials for the company’s mesenchymal stem cell products (MPCs).
Dr. Lipe holds a Bachelor of Science with Honours (Pharmacology), Ph.D (Medicine) and an LL.B. from the University of Melbourne.
OneVentures is an Australian venture capital firm with $320M under management launching its first fund in 2010. OneVentures utilises its strengths in business building to accelerate portfolio company performance. OneVentures has delivered exit value to investors of $1.5B including 4 Nasdaq companies. A global growth focus drives investment selection with portfolio companies addressing multi-billion dollar problems from breakthroughs in healthcare (e.g. needle free vaccine delivery) through to the transformation of online education (e.g. next generation courseware and personalised learning) and the connected world (IoT, SaaS and virtual reality).
About ProTA Therapeutics Pty Ltd
ProTA Therapeutics is a private company established in late 2016 to develop and commercialise treatments for food allergy. The technology is based upon years of research by Prof. Mimi Tang of the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute in Melbourne.
Dr Suzanne Lipe
Rashmi Punjabi, Honner
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