AbbVie Funds Local Research Partnership

15 August 2018

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.