Griffith University has completed a year-long partnership agreement with the Australian infectious disease therapy development company BioDiem Ltd (ASX: BDM).

Director of Griffith University’s Institute for Glycomics, Professor Mark von Itzstein, led the research into developing a more soluble form of the broad-spectrum antimicrobial compound, BDM-I.

“Through the application of our expertise in carbohydrate chemistry and drug design, we have designed and synthesised a suite of new compounds with a view to improving the solubility of BDM-I,” Professor von Itzstein said.

BioDiem CEO Julie Phillips said the partnership agreement raised the potential for a dramatic increase in possible commercial applications of the drug.

“It has already been demonstrated that BDM-I is effective against a wide range of agents responsible for causing serious infectious diseases,” Ms Phillips said.

“By increasing the solubility of the compound it may be possible to administer BDM-I in a variety of new ways such as injections, creams/ointment/gels, topical sprays, eye drops, inhalation and more,” she said.

“We are delighted Professor von Itzstein and his team at the Institute for Glycomics undertook the research.”

Professor von Itzstein also led the research group responsible for the design and synthesis of the anti-influenza drug Relenza®, which has been approved for the treatment of influenza worldwide. As one of the key players in the drug’s development, Mark was jointly awarded the prestigious Australia Prize for Pharmaceutical Sciences in 1996.

“Here at the Institute for Glycomics, we are very focused on translating our discovery science and know-how into real health benefits for the community,” Professor von Itzstein said.

“Assisting Australian companies like BioDiem progress their drug development efforts very clearly meets that objective.”