Griffith University’s Institute for Glycomics has received a Federal Government grant to partner with China to create a world-first drug to treat children infected with Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD) across Asia-Pacific.

General Manager of the Institute for Glycomics Dr Chris Davis was among the 38 researchers and commercialisation professionals across Australia who would each receive $7000 in Priming Grants.

Dr Chris Davis.

Local MP for Moncrieff Steven Ciobo met with Dr Davis at the Gold Coast campus in recognition of the funding announcement.

Dr Davis said the Priming Grant was essential to building people-to-people links and developing their product.

“Networking is essential in China and this grant enables me to travel to Chengdu and create relationships with businesses who will be able to commercialise the project,” Dr Davis said.

“HFMD is a widespread virus across the Asia-Pacific region, causing death and an economic burden, so there is high demand for a drug which will treat the disease.

“We have the resources and knowledge at the Gold Coast’s Institute for Glycomics to develop this potential drug to human clinical trials, we just need the investment, complimentary expertise and capability from industry in China to commercialise the technology.

“If we can secure this deal, it will mean more long-term international investment into Griffith University, which means more local high-skilled jobs.”

Director of Griffith University’s Institute for Glycomics and Group Leader of the HFMD project Professor Mark von Itzstein said the translations and commercialisation of the Institute research was essential for its success in fighting diseases of global impact.

“We are delighted to have the support of a priming grant to find commercial partners for our HFMD project,” he said.

Mr Ciobo said the grants showed how fostering innovation creates commercial benefits and inspires jobs growth.

“These grants are designed to empower researchers and businesses to work with overseas experts to commercialise their projects,” Mr Ciobo said.

“This means more opportunities for Gold Coasters to grow their ideas by opening doors to foreign markets, which grows the local economy and creates more jobs.”

The Federal Government’s Priming Grant program is directly supporting researchers and small-to-medium enterprise (SME) by incentivising vital international relationships to commercialise projects.