Meet the Canberra CSIRO ON Accelerate teams – ErythroSight

The CSIRO ON Accelerate program is designed to help teams of researchers launch new innovative companies into the market. The teams are challenged to validate and develop high-potential innovations and solutions based on their research work to change the world. The annual ON Accelerate program kicked off last week with a focus on business models, market validation, capital raising and storytelling.

A rigorous selection process took place at the end of 2023 and included a 2 day bootcamp with investors, experts and mentors. Over 50 applications from around Australia were received with only 11 teams being chosen to participate in the program. Since its inception, CSIRO ON Accelerate has created 70 new companies and secured more than $305M in commercialisation grants.

The calibre of those participating in the program is exceptional, with alumni including Quantum Brilliance, Wildlife Drones, Nominal Systems and Nomad Atomics, all companies formed and based in Canberra that are taking their innovation to the world.

One of the companies proudly joining the list of Canberra’s ON Accelerate participants is ErythroSight, a dynamic team from ANU comprising of Dr. Yvette Wooff, Associate Professor Riccardo Natoli, Dr. Adrian Cioanca, Rakshanya Sekar, and Dr. Riya Palchaudhuri. These researchers are on a mission to change the world with their cutting-edge new treatment by harnessing patients’ own blood to treat vision loss diseases, including age-related macular degeneration.

This condition affects 1 in 7 individuals over the age of 65. ErythroSight’s innovative approach is offering hope to these patients as the disease currently has few treatments, and those that do exist are costly and largely inaccessible. This novel treatment will overcome many of these existing hurdles and potentially prevent vision loss for the 288 million people worldwide who suffer from this debilitating disease.

As they embark on their ON Accelerate journey, the team is excited to progress the development of a clinic-ready product to provide much-needed treatment to millions of sufferers. “We’re eager to turn our preclinical data into something meaningful for patients, and we’re looking forward to engaging with experts, investors, and mentors in the program.”

When asked what their advice for aspiring innovators would be, the team emphasises the importance of talking to everyone and anyone you can.  “You never know who will be interested, who may have a piece of the puzzle you are looking for, and who may help you make your idea a reality,” says Yvette.

The ErythroSight team is proud of their progress and for being accepted into the CSIRO ON Accelerate as well as the precursor program, ON Prime. They are excited that experts and mentors from across Australia will be supporting and encouraging their adventure.

Yvette believes that there is great potential here in Canberra for investment in innovation and local entrepreneurs. They are currently looking for seed funding for regulatory support, and partnerships in blood product manufacturing. The team would love to be connected with people with pharmaceutical experience in therapeutic development and potential licensing deals. So if you could be their missing puzzle piece, make sure you reach out!

Thank you, ErythroSight, for sitting down with us! The Canberra Innovation Network wish you the best of luck with your future endeavours.

If you are interested in CSIRO ON Accelerate or ON Prime, make sure you chat with Irene Zhen.