Drug Discovery Centre to develop life-saving medicines

Drug Discovery Centre to develop life-saving medicines

Illuminate newsletter index page, March 2019
March 2019

Dr Helene Jousset
Dr Helene Jousset, head of the Institute’s screening laboratory,
a vital part of the Drug Discovery Centre.

From June 2019, the Institute’s new Drug Discovery Centre is set to enhance Australia’s drug discovery capabilities in order to bring life-saving medicines to patients.

The latest technology

The Centre’s world-class facilities and state-of-the-art robotic equipment will enable researchers to undertake ultra-high-throughput screening – a critical step in the translation of biomedical research discoveries.

High-throughput screening methods are extensively used in the pharmaceutical industry.

They advance drug discovery by allowing hundreds of thousands of drug-like compounds to be efficiently screened in a cost-effective way.

Managed by a team of highly-skilled Institute scientists, the Centre’s facilities will support researchers across Australia to screen and discover chemical compounds needed to progress their research.

Bridging a vital gap in drug discovery

Institute director Professor Doug Hilton said for many years the translation of Australian research into new medicines had been hampered by a lack of capacity in drug development.

“Many promising discoveries were either never pursued, or researchers were forced overseas to develop their research into new therapies.

“Our Drug Discovery Centre will help to bridge this gap in the drug discovery pipeline,” he said.

Excellence on a global stage

The Institute’s head of new medicines and diagnostics Associate Professor Guillaume Lessene said the Drug Discovery Centre was a great example of how Australia could excel in health and medical research on the international stage.

“The more compounds tested, the better the chance of finding the precise chemical properties that will give rise to a successful drug. The ability for us to do this in-house is very exciting."

“The Centre’s accessibility to the whole sector will serve to increase Australia’s capacity for drug discovery, bringing hope to patients in Australia and around the world,” he said.

Super Content: 
Scientist in the National Drug Discovery Centre

The NDDC enables medical researchers to access ultra-high throughput screening, fast tracking scientific discoveries into new medicines.  

Venetoclax trial participants

Professor Andrew Roberts and collaborators have shown that patients with an advanced form of leukaemia can achieve complete remission with a novel tablet treatment.