The Defence Material Technology Centre (DMTC) has commenced a new project that will advance the development of a new Australian antibiotic by partnering its developer, Boulos & Cooper Pharmaceuticals, with manufacturing experts from CSIRO.
Early stage trials have shown the drug Ramizol developed by Perth-based company Boulos & Cooper to be effective against Clostridium difficile infection (or CDI) – an increasingly common hospital-acquired infection in both military field hospital and public health settings.
The emergence of resistance against the three current antibiotics commonly used for treating CDI has highlighted the need for new antibiotic treatment options. The project, announced under round three of DMTC’s Medical Countermeasures Program, comes after recent warnings, during World Antibiotic Awareness Week, that antibiotic resistance is one of the greatest threats to human health around the globe.
Boulos & Cooper has demonstrated that Ramizol is particularly active against Gram-positive bacteria, and is also chemically stable in a variety of conditions, reducing storage and transportation costs and increasing its potential to be safely and rapidly deployed to remote locations.
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As a key partner in the DMTC team, experts at CSIRO Manufacturing will trial innovative continuous-flow processing techniques to create the desired compound and also to demonstrate the capacity to scale up the manufacturing process in future.
“This initial phase of the project is critical to validate the technical pathway for scaling up the safe and cost-effective production of the new drug compound,” DMTC CEO Dr Mark Hodge said.
“It is also a strategic investment in bringing the best of industrial and research expertise together, in Australia, and ensuring the Intellectual Property and industrial expertise remains here.”
The project received strong support from the MCM Program’s strategic advisory group that includes Defence and other Australian Government departments with a role in national health security.
Supported by funding from CSIRO and the DST Group’s Next Generation Technologies Fund, the DMTC MCM Program is connecting best-practice industrial expertise with innovative research agencies.
“This project is another example of the value of DMTC’s activities within the defence innovation system, as we work to achieve outcomes for Defence but to also to build the breadth and depth of sovereign Australian industrial capabilities,” Dr Hodge said.