Fellowship supports search for new disease treatments

La Trobe University and leading Australian biotech company AdAlta have received new funding to identify and develop potential treatments for a range of human diseases using the company’s novel class of drugs, known as i-bodies.

La Trobe University’s Dr Chris Hocking has been awarded a Science and Industry Endowment Fund (SIEF) Business Fellowship worth $427,000 ($210,000 from the CSIRO), further strengthening the collaboration between La Trobe University and AdAlta.

The SIEF Business Fellowship Program aims to build deeper connections and collaborations between researchers and industry, accelerate the adoption of new ideas and technology, while also helping to grow into larger and more profitable organisations. Furthermore, the program provides practical industry experience for early career researchers.

The SIEF Fellowship grant will support Dr Hosking’s work with AdAlta’s Chief Scientific Officer, Professor Mick Foley, at the La Trobe Institute for Molecular Science.

“Under the SIEF grant we will screen the i-body library to identify and develop new i-body candidates against difficult to access drug targets, such as complex signalling proteins called GPCRs,” Professor Foley said.

“Chris is an excellent candidate for the Fellowship because he has extensive experience working with phase displays and screening libraries. Chris brings significant expertise to the AdAlta team.”

La Trobe Pro Vice Chancellor Industry and Engagement, Dr Daniel Grant, congratulated Dr Hosking.

“La Trobe recognises the importance of engaging with, and building strong partnerships with, innovative companies,” Dr Grant said.

“We have had a longstanding and productive relationship with AdAlta and this Fellowship is a great outcome for both parties.”

I-bodies are a promising, novel class of drugs that offer a new and more effective approach to treatment of a wide range of human diseases.

AdAlta pioneered a technology that mimics the shape and stability of a crucial antigen-binding domain, which was discovered initially in sharks and then developed as a human protein.

Media Contact: Ilona Marchetta, Media and Digital Specialist @ IR Department +61 416 156 136