The Queensland Institute of Medical Research (QIMR) and biotech company, Incitive Limited have signed a research and development agreement to develop Incitive’s lead compound, CCS, for the treatment of inflammation and autoimmune disease.
Incitive CEO, Mr Don Home advised that the Agreement is for the validation and pre-clinical evaluation of CCS to treat inflammatory bowel disease as well as other autoimmune disorders such as type 1 diabetes, arthritis, asthma and graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). The program aims to generate a data package demonstrating CCS’s efficacy, potency, stability and preclinical safety. If the preclinical research and developement program is successful it will provide the data package Incitive needs to pursue its licensing activities with major pharmaceutical companies. Such a package is a prerequisite to entering human clinical trials.
“QIMR has an international reputation in immunology research and has worked closely with other Australian biotechnology companies to develop their programs through to clinical trials,” said Mr Home. “We’re delighted to undertake the research for our lead product with QIMR and are confident that we will see great results from this partnership.”
“I’m looking forward to seeing this technology further developed through the appropriate commercial channels,” said QIMR scientist Dr Tracey Mynott, inventor of the CCS technology. “The translation of medical research into drug development is an exciting step and I look forward to the future progress of the project.”
Dr Mynott and her team at QIMR discovered CCS while investigating the properties of bromelain, a crushed pineapple stem extract. They discovered that bromelain could block the activation of specific immune cells called T cells and thus could be of use to treat autoimmune disease.
Autoimmune disease is a result of a misdirected immune system where the body starts to attack itself. It can affect almost any part of the body, sometimes even affecting multiple parts at once. Approximately 20% of the population (or one in five people), suffers from autoimmune disease.