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Epichem's laboratory in Technology Park Perth

Pharmaust gets $250k grant to fight “parasitic” disease

ASX listed Pharmaust, through its wholly owned Perth based subsidiary Epichem, has received a $250 000 Federal grant to conduct a research program into a little known illness by the name of Leishmaniasis disease.

The grant has been issued via a Federal Government initiative known as the "Australian Tropical Medicines Commercialization Grants Program" or ATMCGP.

The ATMCGP helps Australian businesses and public sector research organizations to develop pathways to commercialize Australian tropical medical research in partnership with international organizations.

It was put in place by the Federal Government to build connections between Australian research institutes and the global health sector, including international pharmaceutical companies and philanthropic organizations.

Leishmaniasis disease is a potentially fatal parasitic disease spread by various species of sand fly and it is already a human health issue in 98 countries. Pharmaust estimates that 350 million people are currently at risk of infection, most notably in poor populations living in remote areas.

Leishmaniasis is also a significant disease in a number of animals, especially dogs in many parts of Europe and North America.

Epichem will undertake the project in partnership with a Swiss-based not for profit organization known as the “Drugs for Neglected Disease” initiative or DNDi”.

DNDi is a research and development organization that works to deliver new treatments for neglected diseases and they have already experienced some success having produced 6 new treatments for various diseases since 2003.

As part of the research program funded by the grant, Epichem will provide the synthetic and medicinal chemistry services and will focus on developing new treatments for leishmaniasis in collaboration with the DNDi team.

Interestingly, any human drugs that result from the program will be the property of DNDi, however Epichem and therefore Pharmaust have the right to commercialize any treatments discovered by the program for leishmaniasis in animals.

Epichem is based in a state of the art laboratory recently opened in Technology Park in Perth. The company, which is staffed by multiple PHD’s delivers products and services in synthetic and medicinal chemistry to the global drug discovery and pharmaceutical industry in 35 countries around the world. 

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