Australian institute teams up with China Grand Pharma to develop world-first drug

23 Dec 2019

Griffith University’s Institute for Glycomics has signed a significant commercial agreement with China Grand Pharma to develop the world’s first small molecule drug to treat diseases caused by human parainfluenza virus.

Griffith University signed the exclusive licence and co-development agreement with China Grand Pharma to co-develop and commercialise the human parainfluenza drug candidate globally.

The deal comprises significant upfront research and development and licence fees, as well as development and sales milestone payments with a tiered royalty on product sales.

This translational research program is a significant step in building China Grand Pharma’s drug discovery pipeline.

‘We are delighted to partner with the Institute for Glycomics to develop and commercialise this promising new technology,’ says Michael Wang, Vice President of China Grand Pharma.

‘We believe that combining the Institute’s unique platform with our capabilities in the pharmaceutical and healthcare sector will allow for the rapid and effective development of new therapeutics to combat this deadly virus and contribute to better global health.’

Human parainfluenza virus (hPIV) commonly causes upper and lower respiratory illnesses in infants, young children, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems, including transplant patients, however anyone can get infected. There is currently no therapeutic available to specifically treat hPIV infection.

Professor Mark von Itzstein AO, Director of the Institute for Glycomics, is the lead researcher and co-inventor of the new scientific discovery. Professor Itzstein was the leader of the research team that discovered Relenza, the world’s first drug for influenza.

‘This multimillion-dollar agreement represents Australia’s largest pre-clinical stage university engagement with Pharma to discover a novel antiviral drug and reflects our strong scientific team and IP portfolio,’ says Dr Chris Davis, the Institute’s General Manager and Chair of the Queensland branch of Ausbiotech Ltd.

The Institute for Glycomics is one of Australia’s flagship biomedical research institutes. Established in 2000, the institute strives to be a world leader in the discovery and development of next-generation drugs, vaccines and diagnostics for diseases of global impact.