Further demonstrating AbbVie’s commitment to investing in innovative
and transformative Australian research, we travelled to Cairns to mark
the launch of Paragen Bio, the first every bio-tech spin-out from
James Cook University. Alongside partners Brandon Capital Partners
and OneVentures, AbbVie Ventures has committed $6 million funding
towards research into auto-immune diseases.
The Paragen Bio team, led by Professor Alex Loukas at JCU’s
Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine (AITHM), has
spent the past eight years researching hookworms. Proteins extracted
from hookworm saliva are a potential new class of molecules that
prevent the development of symptoms associated with a range of
inflammatory diseases, such as IBD and asthma. The $6million
investment will go towards advancing the development of novel
medicines sourced from hookworms to treat such autoimmune diseases.
This investment opportunity was initiated by AbbVie’s Business
Development Search and Evaluation Lead, Dr Laura Issa (at left with
Prof Loukas and our partner investors), who connected with the Paragen
researchers at a bio-partnering conference. Laura was able to
showcase the opportunity to our global search and evaluation,
discovery and ventures teams, and to leverage our local R&D
environment to increase the value of the investment opportunity.
This partnership with Paragen Bio is the first of its kind in
Australia for AbbVie Ventures.