New ACRF centre in Compounds Australia at Griffith to benefit from $2m grant

A $2 million grant from the Australian Cancer Research Foundation (ACRF), announced today, will fund a transformative compound management platform within the new ACRF Centre for Compound Management andLogisticsat Compounds Australia – Australia’s only dedicated compound management facility.

Compounds Australia, housed within Griffith University, manages compound libraries (>670,000 compounds), providing them to researchers in customised, assay-ready microplates for biological screening, thus facilitating identification of bioactive compounds with potential to become novel therapeutic candidates; and accelerating research into the discovery and validation of new molecular targets.

The successful grant, led by Professor Vicky Avery of Griffith University, will enable Australian cancer researchers to access the most advanced compound management capability available internationally, thus accelerating cancer target validation and drug discovery efforts nationally.

Compounds Australia Manager Moana Simpson.

“This is a fantastic outcome for cancer research made possible through the incredible support of ACRF and leading cancer researchers throughout Australia, such as our colleagues who contributed significantly to this proposal. We are extremely thankful for this substantial support,” Professor Avery said.

“The new ACRF funded centre will provide Australian cancer researchers with unparalleled compound management facilities.”

The Compounds Australia ARCF Centre for Compound Management and Logistics will underpin the step-change in capacity and capability required to transform compound management for cancer research in Australia. This much needed additional support will enable world-class Australian cancer researchers to be globally competitive.

“Griffith University warmly acknowledges this support to underpin a national resource for compound management for cancer drug discovery, which will help move it to the next level of technological development,” Griffith University Pro Vice Chancellor for Sciences Professor Andrew Smith said.

Ms Moana Simpson, Manager of Compounds Australia, says the ACRF investment in cutting-edge acoustic compound management technology, available at only a handful of facilities worldwide, will ultimately lead to the discovery of new candidate compounds to seed the cancer drug development pipeline.

“We welcome the generous support of ACRF, which will increase the capacity for cancer drug discovery research in Australia,” she said.

The new ACRF Centre for Compound Management and Logistics was championed by Professor Vicky Avery (Griffith University), Professor Ross Hannan (ANU), Associate Professor Kaylene Simpson (Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre), Professor Ross McKinnon (Flinders University) and Professor Kum Kum Khanna (QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute), all of whom are current users of Compound Australia’s research services.

“We at GRIDD are delighted that through this major funding award, the ACRF recognises the importance, benefit and impact of compound management to the broader cancer research community,” Professor Jennifer Martin AC, Director of Griffith Institute for Drug Discovery (GRIDD).

“The Compounds Australia ACRF Centre for Compound Management and Logisticsis a vitally needed support capability that will enable researchers throughout Australia access to and the provision of an incredibly large range of compounds needed for the discovery, development, validation and utilization of new drugs for the treatment of cancer,” ACRF Chief Executive Professor Ian Brown said.

The grants were announced at a reception hosted by the Governor General of the Commonwealth of Australia, His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd) and Lady Cosgrove, tonight at Admiralty House in Sydney.