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Biomedical Translation Fund case study: Brandon Capital Partners

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Publication Date: 
October 2020
Case study from: Industry Innovation and Science Australia annual reports

Brandon Capital Partners manages seed and venture capital investment. Their work supports the development and international growth of life science companiesin Australia and New Zealand.

Brandon Capital Partners currently manages five funds. They total over $740 million in medical research support. This includes the Medical Research Commercialisation Fund (MRCF)-BTF.

Development of Personal KinetiGraph (PKG®)

Brandon Capital Partners is backing Global Kinetics Corporation’s innovative Personal KinetiGraph (PKG®).

PKG is a Parkinson’s disease symptom monitoring and reporting wristwatch‑style medical device. It captures and assess the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

The device has now completed over 40,000 tests for Parkinson’s patients across 16 countries.

The device is being manufactured in Australia. It will be shipped to an expanding global footprint.

The technology was co-developed by Professor Malcolm Horne and Dr Rob Griffiths. The Professor is from the Australian medical research institute Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health.

Over 45,000 Parkinson’s patients have used the technology. It provides precise quantification and reporting. It monitors specific disease-related movement signatures associated with the disease.

The watch captures continuous movement information. This is then used to create a detailed report. The company delivers this to the patients’ doctor. The report enables personalised treatment and management decisions. The device contributes to the highest possible quality of life for patients.

The PKG® system provides continuous, objective, ambulatory assessment of movement disorder symptoms. Example include tremor, dyskinesia and bradykinesia. The watch monitors the patient during day to day activities in and out their home.

The interactive watch collects:

  • movement data
  • medication reminders
  • proprietary algorithms
  • a detailed diagnostic report

The system records and reports when a person with Parkinson’s takes their medication. Medication boosts dopamine levels to treat the slowness or paucity of movement caused by Parkinson’s.

The data set is proving to be a valuable and affordable tool for neurologists. It is also increasingly helping the national health care systems.

“The benefit of the PKG® has been quite profound and, in many cases, it is enabling Parkinson’s patients to stay in their jobs and enjoy an improved quality of life”, said John Schellhorn, CEO of Global Kinetics Corporation.

“In addition to the improvement for patients, it can also lower the cost to the healthcare system, by ensuring that Parkinson’s patients are getting access to optimum treatment”, said Mr Schellhorn.

How the government has helped

Brandon Capital Partners committed over $11 million to Global Kinetics. This came from its $230 million Medical Research Commercialisation Fund. The Australian Government’s Biomedical Translation Fund (BTF) under licence backs the fund.

Global Kinetics Corporation managing director and CEO John Schellhorn said “BTF funds, together with other Australian Government assistance, have enabled the company to commercialise the PKG® system”.

“The accompanying expert advice and assistance - about how best to launch our products into the global market, has been a tremendous value-add. In a start-up, you need to have access to both money and expertise to be able to move quickly to commercialise.”

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