MELBOURNE, Australia—Avexa announced in May that it was awarded an Australian Government Commercial Ready Grant worth $4.3 million AUD to develop a new generation of HIV antiviral drugs using fragment-based drug design, a non-traditional research methodology. Avexa will work with the Australia Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization's (CSIRO) Molecular and Health Technologies division to discover inhibitors of the HIV integrase enzyme which conventional techniques are unable to identify. This program can also be applied to other antiviral targets.
Avexa is developing novel anti-HIV drugs, which are targeted again st the specific and unique functions of the virus. These drugs will have therapeutic potential for the treatment of many aspects of HIV infection, including new infections and infections which have become resistant to current drugs.
Australian Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane congratulated Avexa on being awarded the Australian Government Commercial Ready grant, saying the funding would support Avexa in its work to treat this devastating disease.
"There are many treatments for HIV-AIDS, but to date, there is no cure. This new approach may bring us closer to finding a cure. It will also reinforce Australia's role in being at the forefront of medical innovation."
The Commercial Ready Program is a competitive merit-based grant which supports innovative research. The grants provide funding for up to 50 percent of eligible project expenditures for early-stage R&D activities. It will contribute to funding the discovery and preclinical development required to advance the expected novel outcomes of the early phase of the program to proof-of-concept studies.
"This funding allows Avexa to benefit from the expertise of CSIRO in this new area of technology and to extend and support our existing HIV integrase program. The potential to discover a completely new generation of HIV integrase inhibitors is exciting both scientifically and commercially," says Julian Chick, CEO of Avexa.