Creating next generation medicines: new industry collaboration announced

MELBOURNE, MONDAY 14 NOVEMBER, 2016: At today’s launch of the Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute (BDI), Monash University and the Hudson Institute of Medical Research 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.

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 performed by Marcel Nold and Claudia Nold from the Hudson Institute and Monash University’s Department of Paediatrics and James Whisstock and 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.

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.

Based on results from the research collaboration, Roche has the option 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.

“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.

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.

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.


Further details:

Claudia Nold is a National Heart Foundation of Australia – Future Leader Fellow.


Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute

Committed to making the discoveries that will relieve the future burden of disease, the newly established Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute at Monash University brings together more than 120 internationally-renowned research teams. Our researchers are supported by world-class technology and infrastructure, and partner with industry, clinicians and researchers internationally to enhance lives through discovery.


Hudson Institute of Medical Research:

Hudson Institute of Medical Research is a leading Australian independent medical research institute, an affiliate of Monash University and Monash Health, and a partner in the Monash Health Translation Precinct (MHTP).

Based in Clayton, Melbourne, Australia, Hudson Institute’s 400 world-class scientists are at the forefront of excellence in translational research, taking novel science-based treatments to the clinic to advance disease prevention, diagnosis and treatments.

Our six specialist centres conduct cutting-edge research into cancer, infection and innate immunity, reproductive and baby health, genetic diseases and endocrinology.

Hudson Institute’s 75 years of research excellence and discovery include the development of current IVF technology, a range of antibodies, changes in practices for the prevention of SIDS, and the discovery of inhibin, leading to diagnostic tests for Down syndrome and some ovarian cancers.


Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Advanced Molecular Imaging

The $39 million ARC-funded Imaging CoE develops and uses innovative imaging technologies to visualise the molecular interactions that underpin the immune system. Featuring an internationally renowned team of lead scientists across five major Australian Universities and academic and commercial partners globally, the Centre uses a truly multi scale and programmatic approach to imaging to deliver maximum impact.

The Imaging CoE is headquartered at Monash University with four collaborating organisations – La Trobe University, the University of Melbourne, University of New South Wales and the University of Queensland.