Queensland-British Columbia Drug Discovery Alliance

Professor Ron Quinn

Professor Ron Quinn, Eskitis Institute for Drug Discovery at Griffith University

Two Queensland universities and two British Columbia research organisations are working together to discover new drugs from natural products, drawn largely from our state’s tropical regions.

This research alliance includes Eskitis Institute at Griffith University, the Australian Prostate Cancer Research Centre at Queensland University of Technology, the Centre for Drug Research and Development (Vancouver) and the Vancouver Prostrate Centre at Vancouver General Hospital.

With more than $6 million in funding, the Alliance carried out 10 drug discovery projects:

  • five campaigns utilising the established method of High Throughput Screening (HTS), which uses robotics to test libraries of compounds against drug targets
  • five campaigns utilising the more novel method of Fourier Transform Mass Spectrometry (FTMS), which uses a spectrometer (analyser) for determining the composition of molecules.

The projects brought a number of benefits to Queensland

Tropical expertise - building on the competitive advantage of the Eskitis data bank, a unique collection of samples of plant and marine invertebrates drawn largely from tropical Queensland.

An enhanced reputation - enhancing Eskitis as a biodiscovery service provider in North America.

Social - the discovery of new drug compounds

Economic - feeding into the drug development pipeline of large pharmaceuticals companies.