BioDiem Ltd. Progresses to Proof-of-Concept Testing of BDM-I Antimicrobial Effect Against Parasites
Published: Feb 08, 2013
The initial in vitro research led by Professor Don McManus, based at the Queensland Institute of Medical Research (QIMR), found BDM-I could kill a Philippines-based strain (Schistosoma japonicum) of a parasitic worm.
The Company today said Prof McManus and QIMR would proceed with a broader proof-of-concept investigation looking at multiple parasite strains and at different lifecycle stages. If successful, BioDiem will then continue into an efficacy study in schistosoma-infected mice.
“Schistosomiasis is a major cause of liver, bladder and kidney disease and death across the developing world and it is recognised as a Neglected Tropical Disease,” said BioDiem Chief Executive Officer Julie Phillips.
“This next phase of research, while early days, may point us to a new way to treat the many tens of millions of people now living with this disease. It may also guide us as to how to prevent the disease progressing to this stage.”
People contract schistosomiasis, which has a health burden second only to malaria among parasitic diseases, via contact with unsanitary water. The larval form of parasitic worms found in fresh-water snails can penetrate human skin, and go on to live within the body resulting in progressive organ damage.
“It is our hope BDM-I could underpin a new treatment option for world health agencies as they grapple with this parasite in the many countries where sanitary water, for drinking and bathing, cannot be taken for granted,” Ms Phillips also said.
About BioDiem Ltd
BioDiem (ASX: BDM) is an ASX-listed company based in Melbourne with an international focus on discovering, developing and commercialising world-class research and technology targeting infectious diseases and related cancers. BioDiem’s core technologies include the Live Attenuated Influenza Virus (LAIV), the BDM-I antimicrobial compound and the SAVINE vaccine technology platform. BioDiem has also in-licensed vaccine technologies from Australian National University and the University of Canberra with initial target indications of dengue fever and hepatitis respectively.
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Fresh-water snails carry the schistosoma worms, otherwise known as blood flukes, which shed their larval form into the water. This larva can penetrate human skin where the worms go on to live in blood vessels and can cause progressive organ damage and cancer. Liver, bladder and kidney disease is a common health impact. The World Health Organization estimates more than 230 million people require treatment for schistosomiasis yearly. The number of people treated with conventional therapy for schistosomiasis rose from 12.4 million in 2006 to 33.5 million in 2010.
BDM-I is a synthetic compound targeting the treatment of serious human infections. BDM-I is in the preclinical stage with outlicensing as the intended outcome. BDM-I is active against a range of pathogenic micro-organisms including gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria, fungi and protozoa. Key patents have been granted in Europe, Japan and the US around BDM-I’s antimicrobial activity, including activity against Plasmodium falciparum, responsible for causing the most commonly severe form of malaria, and Trichomonas vaginalis, the protozoan responsible for causing a common sexually transmitted disease named trichomoniasis.
For additional information, please visit www.biodiem.com
Julie Phillips, Chief Executive Officer Shevaun Cooper
BioDiem Ltd Buchan Consulting
Phone +61 3 9613 4100 Phone +61 3 8866 1218 / +61 421 760 775
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