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Alliance boosts drug and vaccine development

The Queensland Institute of Medical Research (QIMR) and the University of Queensland (UQ) have signed an historic, strategic alliance with Emory University (Georgia, USA) to collaborate on new drugs and vaccines for cancer and infectious diseases.

The Queensland Emory Development (QED) Alliance will build on existing, smaller-scale collaborative relationships between the three institutions to generate exciting new commercial opportunities from drug and biological research.

QIMR Director, Professor Frank Gannon, said the QED Alliance would be an extension of the Institute’s focus on translating research from the laboratory to the bedside.

“QIMR, UQ and Emory have many areas of overlapping research strength and capabilities in both cancer and infectious disease and all three institutions have a strong desire to increase their efforts to develop drugs and vaccines to treat these conditions,” Professor Gannon said.

“QIMR and UQ researchers will now have more opportunity to access US grants, such as those offered by the National Institutes of Health.

“We look forward to hosting a visit from Emory President, Dr James Wagner, and his colleagues for the signing of the inter-institutional agreement, and to welcoming Emory scientists to QIMR as the interactions between our researchers begin early next year,” Professor Gannon said.

The QED Alliance will seek to leverage its existing collaborations to secure additional industry, government and philanthropic support beyond the level that one research institution could achieve on its own, and therefore accelerate the transfer of discoveries into consumer-ready medicines.

In particular, it will focus on building researchers’ awareness of opportunities, resources and facilities available within the organisations to make drug development in infectious disease and cancer a more efficient process.