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Funding support for molecular therapy to tackle chronic lung disease

18/07/22 - A $500,000 grant awarded to Australian pharmaceutical start-up company RAGE Biotech will be directed towards improving the lives of people suffering from hard-to-treat inflammatory lung disease. The grant to accelerate development of an inhaled RNA therapeutic for chronic lung inflammation has been awarded by mRNA Victoria, a Victorian Government initiative delivering programs to support the development and commercialisation of mRNA research. Professor Steve Wilton AO, Director of WA’s Perron Institute and recognised internationally for his achievements in advanced molecular therapeutic interventions, is a Scientific Co-Founder of RAGE Biotech. He developed the lead compounds for the potential novel molecular therapy for inflammatory lung disease with Professor Merlin Thomas (RAGE Biotech Founder/Chief Scientific Officer and Monash University). “The work is promising for chronic lung inflammation and a number of other respiratory disorders, and we look forward to further developments of anti-inflammatories,” Professor Wilton said. RAGE Biotech was formed in 2020 with investments from the Perron Institute, IP Group, Monash Investment Holdings and The University of Western Australia. Professor Merlin Thomas said: “We are delighted with the support from mRNA Victoria, recognising the potential of RNA technology to change the lives of people struggling with inflammatory lung disease. “At RAGE Biotech, we have applied this disruptive technology to an important therapeutic target that has so far been impossible to hit.” RAGE Biotech CEO Dr Christopher Wraight added: “The support from mRNA Victoria will help accelerate the commercialisation of our novel mRNA drugs by demonstrating their potential in a broader range of lung diseases. “Outcomes of the funded program will leverage our efforts to seek appropriate commercial partnerships, through which we will advance our RAGE inhibitors into late-stage clinical trials and ultimately to market, benefiting patients worldwide.”

Prof Steve Wilton AO in the Perron Institute lab

Media contact:

Tennille Kroemer, Communications Manager, Perron Institute Mobile: 0426 044 223 Email:

Perron Institute for Neurological and Translational Science • For over 40 years, the Perron Institute (WA’s longest established medical research institute) has continued to build its reputation as a world-class medical research institute which has made significant breakthroughs across a broad spectrum of neurological conditions.

• Perron Institute has facilities within the Queen Elizabeth II Medical Centre, Nedlands and Murdoch University in Perth, and brings together laboratory scientists, neurologists, neurosurgeons, clinical psychologists, physiotherapists and other health professionals to tackle the major challenges in neurology.



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