Professor Michael Kassiou, the academic director of the Drug Discovery Initiative at the University of Sydney, will lead the Sydney node of MedChem Australia.
“Creating molecules for medicines from promising research ‘hits’ is a huge challenge and remains a major gap in Australian drug discovery efforts. MedChem Australia will fill this gap. Our team at the University of Sydney is thrilled to collaborate with the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences and WEHI to create this much needed national framework,” Prof Kassiou said.
Also co-leading the project from MIPS is Professor Susan Charman, Director of the Centre for Drug Candidate Optimisation (CDCO) – a collaborative research centre that provides expertise and infrastructure to multidisciplinary drug discovery teams to better understand the pharmaceutical properties (such as absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion) of drug candidates to improve compound design, selection and progression.
“MedChem Australia will address gaps within Australia’s current drug discovery environment by integrating the expertise of three of the country’s leading medicinal chemistry groups with our expertise in biopharmaceutical properties and pharmacokinetic characterisation to deliver high quality preclinical drug candidates. With this significant investment from the MRFF, combined with the backing of TIA, this national consortium will transform drug discovery in Australia,” Prof Charman said.
TIA is part of the Australian Government’s NCRIS (National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy) network that provides access to translational research infrastructure. Both CDCO and ATMCF are current members of TIA’s national consortium.
MedChem Australia will comprise similar scale nodes of activity at MIPS, WEHI and the University of Sydney. Each will maintain state-of-the-art facilities for drug design and synthesis and MedChem Australia will fund skilled medicinal chemists and project consumables for teams to progress projects that are selected on a competitive basis.