Associate Professor Michael Bowen, 2021 recipient of the Prize for New Innovators.

Associate Professor Michael Bowen - external site founded Kinoxis Therapeutics in 2018. His innovative research has been critical in the discovery and development of KNX100, a novel molecule that has considerable potential to treat opioid-use disorder, which kills more people in Australia each year than car accidents.

Michael was awarded the $50,000 Prize for New Innovators in the 2021 Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science - external site . The Prize for New Innovators is awarded annually to an early- to mid-career innovator from industry and the research sector whose work has the potential to enhance the economy through the translation of scientific knowledge into substantial commercial impact.

Michael’s work is a demonstration of the innovation and all-round impact that can be achieved through research partnerships between universities, industry and government. The first-in-human clinical trial for KNX100 is scheduled to commence in early 2022, and will be run in Australia.

The countdown is on to our first human trial, which will make KNX100 the only novel compound in clinical trials anywhere in the world for opioid-use disorder.


Associate Professor Michael Bowen, Kinoxis Therapeutics

We’ve now also discovered that KNX100 has the potential to treat agitation and aggression in patients with dementia, without the side-effects seen with other drugs. We’re preparing to run a clinical program for this indication.


Associate Professor Michael Bowen, Kinoxis Therapeutics

Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science


There are seven categories in the Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science. These include:

Science and Innovation Prizes

Prime Minister’s Prize for Science

$250,000 awarded to an Australian scientist or group of scientists who have made a significant contribution to the advancement of knowledge through science.

Prime Minister's Prize for Innovation

$250,000 awarded to an Australian innovator or group of innovators from industry and the research sector, who have translated scientific knowledge into a commercial product with significant economic and social benefits to society.

Frank Fenner Prize for Life Scientist of the Year

$50,000 awarded to an early- to mid-career life scientist whose research is already making, or has the potential to make, an impact on our lives.

Malcolm McIntosh Prize for Physical Scientist of the Year

$50,000 awarded to an early- to mid-career physical scientist whose research is already making, or has the potential to make, an impact on our lives.

Prize for New Innovators

$50,000 awarded to an early- to mid-career innovator from industry and the research sector whose work has the potential to enhance our economy through the translation of scientific knowledge into substantial commercial impact.

Learn more and nominate for the Science and Innovation Prizes.

Nominees must be Australian citizens, or permanent residents of Australia.

The Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources is committed to improving the diversity of nominations. We particularly welcome nominations of women, Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people, members of the LGBTIQA+ community, and people from regional and remote parts of Australia.

Nominations close at 5:00 pm AEDT on Thursday, 10 February 2022.