Health Minister Mark Butler has announced $16.9m for 15 medical technology projects some of which involve gene sequencing or genetically engineered cells.

The announcement highlighted $3 million in recently awarded funding under 2021 Genomics Health Futures Mission Projects for researchers from Sydney Children’s Hospital Network (SCHN), the University of Sydney, NSW Health Pathology and the CSIRO to explore how genome sequencing could be used to rapidly target diseases or genetic conditions with available therapies. The project, called NEWBORN GEN SEQ TRAIL (Newborn Genomic Sequencing in screening: Therapy Ready And Information for Life) will be led by Clinical Professor Bruce Bennetts, Department Head of Molecular Genetics at SCHN.

Nine of the projects will receive a total of $6.7 million from the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) Targeted Translation Research Accelerator (TTRA) program. All of these projects target aspects of diabetes and cardiovascular disease, which are leading causes of death and disability.

They include a clinical trial of the use of genetically engineered islet cells to restore glucose control in people with type 1 diabetes.