CSL Limited (CSL) hosts the CSL Research Acceleration Initiative annually and funds projects that address unmet needs in five therapeutic areas – immunology, hematology, cardiovascular and metabolic, respiratory, and transplant.
CSL announced this years’ successful applicants at the end of April 2021. A total of four research projects from three Australian organizations have been awarded an investment of $386K (500,000 AUD) for 2 years. The awardees will also have access to CSL’s R&D experts to facilitate programs.
University of Western Australia: Cardiovascular
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is an inherited heart disorder and the leading cause of sudden cardiac death in people under 35 years old and children from 5 to 15 years old. There is currently no cure for the indication except treatments providing symptomatic relief.
Professor Livia Hool is developing a drug candidate that can potentially reverse or prevent the heart muscle from turning dangerously thick in patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
“There are tens of thousands of Australians who have no idea they have this disease. If we could deliver a treatment and a way to reverse the damage to their hearts, this could save many lives,” Professor Hool said.
University of Queensland: Respiratory
Professor Woodruff and Associate Professor Coulthard are striving to find a better way of recovery in patients with solid organ transplants. They researched drugs to prevent and repair damage in endothelial tissues located in the heart and blood vessels, so patients’ survival and the recovery rate in solid organ transplants will increase.
The drug is also a possible treatment for acute respiratory distress syndrome.
QIMR Berghofer: Immunology and Hematology
QIMR Berghofer took two out of the four partnerships CSL has awarded. Associate Professor Michelle Wykes aims to find an immunological target to address rare autoimmune diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus, Sjogren’s syndrome, and dermatomyositis. Partnering up with CSL, professor Wykes will develop antibodies from the target.
Professor Christian Engwerda is investigating a target to improve stem cell transplantation and treat autoimmune conditions. The target will help treat Graft vs Host Disease (GvHD), a complication of hematopoietic stem cell transplant.
“The CSL Research Acceleration Initiative is designed to enhance research commercialization through partnerships in promising discovery programs.” CSL’s Head of Global Research Innovation, Marthe D’Ombrain said, “Ultimately we hope that these partnerships will lead to a stronger pipeline of promising discoveries being translated into new medicines.”
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