Three Wollongong teams awarded grants under Medical Device Fund

University of Wollongong biomedical engineer Dr Robert Gorkin said researchers are redefining what the condom could be.
University of Wollongong biomedical engineer Dr Robert Gorkin said researchers are redefining what the condom could be.

Wollongong researchers have won a $1 million grant to further develop and market a next-generation, non-allergenic condom and take it to human trials.

Eudaemon Technologies was one of three Wollongong based companies – and seven statewide – to share in $9.85 million in state government grants under the 2018 NSW Medical Devices Fund (MDF).

iFix Medical received $1.15 million to further develop its 3D-printing pen and bioink that works directly on the eye to seal wounds in the treatment of corneal ulceration.

A $1.5 million grant was also awarded to Cenofex Innovations for its device to improve treatment for lymphoedema patients.

Eudaemon Technologies hopes its condom will be on the market within two years, with the grant enabling researchers to launch a human trial by the end of 2018.

“We are redefining what the condom could be,” University of Wollongong biomedical engineer Dr Robert Gorkin said.

“There are 1 million new STIs diagnosed every day, 80 million unplanned pregnancies per year, a $60 billion global burden and the biggest issue for condoms is feel.

The next-generation condom being developed in Wollongong.

The next-generation condom being developed in Wollongong.

“Our product is designed to overcome the No 1 issue with condoms because ultimately the choice of using this medical device is up to the consumer.”

The creators of the iFix system – which also include University of Wollongong researchers – also hope to start human trials next year.

The system aims to better prevent infection, relieve pain and accelerate healing in corneal ulceration – a condition that accounts for 55,000 hospital presentations in Australia each year.

Meanwhile Port Kembla-based Cenofex Innovations will be able to further develop its medical device that’s set to transform the treatment of lymphoedema.

The device is capable of actively moving lymphatic fluid while incorporating a patient’s need for comfort, portability, and ease.

Parliamentary Secretary for the Illawarra Gareth Ward congratulated the local innovators.

“The MDF invests in the development and commercialisation of medical devices and related technologies,” he said. “These innovative, homegrown devices have the potential to dramatically improve the lives of people across NSW and beyond as well as boosting our local economy.”

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said since the MDF began in 2013, more than $50 million in grants had been awarded to 31 technologies. 

“The NSW Government is committed to supporting innovators in the medtech industry in getting their brilliant ideas off the ground and ultimately saving millions of lives around the world,” Mr Hazzard said.

                                - with Sydney Morning Herald

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