Creating next generation medicines: new industry collaboration announced

Hudson Institute of Medical Research and Monash University have announced a new research collaboration with the Swiss-based healthcare company Roche (F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd and Hoffmann-La Roche Inc.) The collaboration aims to develop next generation treatments for autoimmune diseases, focused on proteins targeting novel molecular pathways.

Associate Professor Marcel Nold's research on novel treatments at Hudson Institute
Associate Professor Marcel Nold

The partnership will enable the multi-disciplinary research team and Roche to work together to advance and translate existing and new intellectual property into novel treatments.

The collaboration has arisen from work by Associate Professor Marcel Nold and Associate Professor Claudia Nold (National Heart Foundation of Australia Future Leader Fellow) from Hudson Institute and Monash University’s Department of Paediatrics and Dr James Whisstock and Dr Andrew Ellisdon from the Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute. All four scientists are part of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Advanced Molecular Imaging.

Based on results from the research collaboration, Roche has the right to exclusively licence the intellectual property for development and commercialisation of proteins targeting novel molecular pathways in return for significant development and commercial milestones payments and royalties on product sales. The research collaboration team will combine skills in clinical immunology, cytokine research and drug development approaches to translate their research outcomes into transformational treatments. The program will further take advantage of new structural biology technology available at Monash including nanocrystallisation robotics and the FEI Titan KRIOS. The latter instrument is a multi-million dollar electron microscope that will be used to guide the design of new biologic drugs.

Associate Professor Claudia Nold's research on novel treatments at Hudson Institute
Associate Professor Claudia Nold

“We are delighted to partner with a world leader in new biologic development and commercialisation – this enhances and accelerates the path to market of Monash-Hudson intellectual property,” says Dr Alastair Hick, Director of Commercialisation at Monash Innovation, who brokered the deal on behalf of Monash and Hudson Institute.

Professor Bryan Williams, Hudson Institute Director, said that many scientists dedicate their lives to pursuing discoveries that improve and save lives.

“It is a medical research scientist’s ultimate goal to see their laboratory work translated into patient treatments, but it requires strong partnerships and funding like this to move research beyond the laboratory,” said Professor Williams.

“Unfortunately many good medical discoveries never move past the laboratory bench. This research has reached this commercial stage because of the foresight of Melbourne businessman and philanthropist, Mr Peter Fielding who recognised the gap in funding, and supported A/Prof Marcel Nold’s work through its critical development stages.

“This is a shining example of philanthropists, our community, medical researchers and the commercial sector working together to accelerate Australian innovation and advance the impact of discoveries in healthcare,” he said.

Professor John Carroll, Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute Director, said the partnership between all stakeholders is highly aligned with the goals of the National Innovation and Science Agenda.

“Building collaborations with the best researchers, clinicians and international industry partners will enable us to better solve complex biomedical challenges and optimise the ability to translate research outcomes into improved treatments, a major policy item for the current federal government,” Professor Carroll said.

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