University of Melbourne’s Oral Health Cooperative Research Centre (2010-2018) and commercial partners Mondelez International, GC Corporation and CSL Limited have taken out Cooperative Research Australia’s Award for Enduring Industry-Research Collaboration at its Innovation Awards at Parliament House in Canberra on Thursday night (March 31).
Oral Health CRC, led by Laureate Professor Eric Reynolds AO, has been one of the most successful CRCs in the program’s 30-year history with dental health products commercialised, generating millions of dollars in annual sales and impacting countless lives all around the world.
Oral Health CRC invention Recaldent is a chewing gum and in a tooth creme called Tooth Mousse that delivers calcium and phosphate ions into the tooth, repairing and strengthening enamel damaged by bacteria. Professor Reynolds was awarded the Prime Minister’s Prize for Innovation in 2017 for the invention, which is based on a protein discovered in dairy milk.
Products using Recaldent have generated sales of over A$2bn, and it has been estimated the CRC invention has saved over A$12bn in dental treatment costs worldwide.
Oral Health CRC-developed products selling globally include Tooth Mousse, Tooth Mousse Plus, Dry Mouth Gel/Tooth Mousse, MI VarnishTM, Fuji VII-EP GIC, and MI Paste®ONE. Multiple patents have been licensed to GC Corporation (Japan) and CSL Limited. The CRC also developed a vaccine for severe gum disease, which is now being commercialised by CSL.
The trailblazing Oral Health CRC also made significant impacts in addressing oral health problems in the Australian community, particularly within vulnerable population groups including children, the elderly, and rural and Indigenous communities.
During its lifespan, Oral Health CRC trained more than 120 students (PhD, Doctorate of Clinical Dentistry, Masters and Honours), many of whom are now employed in the Australian scientific workforce fighting against the scourge of oral disease.
Accepting the CRA award at Parliament House, Professor Reynolds said:
“It’s incredibly satisfying to know that millions of people are now using the technologies that we have developed and that they are having a major impact in lowering not just the economic but also the social burden of oral diseases, and therefore improving quality of life.
“The collaboration with all the commercial companies who partnered with us is still ongoing years after funding from the Commonwealth ceased. In fact, the collaboration with Mondelez International, GC Corporation and CSL Limited is now going on twenty plus years and shows an enduring and profitable partnership, a legacy we are immensely proud of.”
Supporting Oral Health CRC’s award nomination, CSL Chief Scientific Officer, Senior Vice President, and Head Of Research Andrew Nash said:
“CSL has been a major industry participant in the Oral Health CRC and sees the long-standing partnership with the University of Melbourne as an outstanding example of industry and university collaboration that will generate significant impacts in health.”
Cooperative Research Australia CEO Jane O’Dwyer said:
“Oral Health CRC and University of Melbourne’s long-standing partnership with CSL Limited, Mondelez International and GC Corporation serves as an outstanding example of enduring industry and CRC/university collaboration that has generated significant benefits for oral and general health worldwide.
“The scientific and commercial synergies and collaboration between the parties has enabled the research programs to succeed and develop a range of commercial products that is used to reduce the social and economic burden of oral diseases in over 50 countries.
“Cooperative Research Australia is delighted to present Oral Health CRC and its collaborators and commercial partners Mondelez International, GC Corporation and CSL Limited a richly-deserved Award for Enduring Industry-Research Collaboration.”
Notes for Media
· Eric Reynolds is available for interview (see media contacts below)
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Cooperative Research Australia strengthens and promotes the transformative potential of collaborative, industry-led research through knowledge exchange, professional development, and advocacy. Our members form the lynchpin in the Australian innovation system and are focused on creating new products, services, industries, and value in our economy.