New drugs to remove scars and treat ice addiction, depression and pancreatic cancer could become a reality as the federal government pumps hundreds of millions of dollars into medical research.
More than $600 million will be split across almost 900 research projects and 2000 researchers around the country, contributing toward the development of new treatments and cures, Health Minister Sussan Ley announced on Monday.
‘Our research workforce is one of the strongest in the world and I have no doubt that through their expertise, talent and creativity, these researchers will make huge advances in improving human health,’ Ms Ley said.
Cancer research will receive $122 million while $50 million is earmarked for mental health.
In NSW, University of Sydney researchers will get funding to examine a new drug for treating severe ice addiction and to investigate the dangers of synthetic cannabinoid additives which have been responsible for two deaths in Australia this year.
There’s also $2 million for a new trial determining whether the anaesthetic drug ketamine can be used for treatment-resistant depression and $2.6 million for a study to find the genes that cause dementia.
In South Australia, researchers will examine the mental and physical health outcomes for victims of child abuse and neglect.
And in Western Australia, renowned plastic surgeon Fiona Wood will receive funding to work on a world-first drug to remove scars.
Other projects will investigate whether increased dietary fibre during pregnancy prevents allergies in babies and what impact shift work has on pregnant women and their babies.
National Health and Medical Research Council chief executive Professor Anne Kelso said the grants would support discovery and innovation, clinical trials of new therapies and public health interventions and improvements in healthcare delivery.