The first award under BioCurate’s new “Proof of Concept” fund has been granted to the Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute (BDI). This award will support the key research needed to determine the effectiveness of targeting two proteins that could lead to novel, targeted treatments for triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) and other poor prognosis cancers.
The research, led by Professor Roger Daly, who heads the BDI’s cancer program, has already identified two proteins that are required by TNBC cells to grow. These proteins represent potential targets for small molecule drugs that could be used to treat this type of cancer.
Triple negative breast cancer represents around 15 percent of breast cancers and is an aggressive form of cancer with limited therapy options. Chemotherapy is the most common treatment, but has detrimental side effects that negatively affect quality of life.
“Our aim was to identify new targeted treatments that could avoid the side effects of chemotherapy. To do this we applied a screening approach that characterises cellular proteins that transmit growth regulatory signals in the cancer cell,” said Professor Daly.
“Understanding this is important, because now we can identify new targets to go after that may open up new therapies against this devastating disease.”
BioCurate Acting CEO, Dr Damien Bates said: “Following a rigorous selection process we are excited to provide our first Proof of Concept funding to this early stage research. We believe it has significant clinical potential and aligns perfectly with our mission to translate medical research into high quality pre-clinical candidates. Hopefully this will be a key funding bridge to further collaboration and investment.”
Professor John Carroll, Director of Monash BDI, said the BDI vision has long been to foster an innovation-led research environment where researchers are encouraged to develop and maintain strong links with industry.
“We are thrilled to work with BioCurate to help accelerate this research into the development of new cancer therapies,” Professor Carroll said.
BioCurate is part of the Monash Technology Precinct, Victoria’s second largest employment precinct outside the CBD, and one of Australia’s most diverse ecosystems of globally-connected innovators and enterprise across future technologies, advanced manufacturing, health, sustainable development and education.
Jointly formed by the University of Melbourne and Monash University, with support from the Victorian State Government, BioCurate identifies promising biomedical research discoveries and manages their translation into high quality pre-clinical candidates for novel human therapeutics. We operate in the under-resourced, yet critical, early phases of therapeutic development to drive early decisions and overcome common barriers to success.
BioCurate is operationally independent, with a team of experts that brings decades of scientific and commercial expertise, enabling us to recognise and realise real-world potential and providing a critical bridge between academia and industry. With an extensive, global network within the biotechnology sector, we are well positioned to drive the most feasible commercial path forward for Australian innovations.
About the Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute at Monash University
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. Spanning six discovery programs across Cancer, Cardiovascular Disease, Development and Stem Cells, Infection and Immunity, Metabolism, Diabetes and Obesity, and Neuroscience, Monash BDI is one of the largest biomedical research institutes in Australia. Our researchers are supported by world-class technology and infrastructure, and partner with industry, clinicians and researchers internationally to enhance lives through discovery.