The Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (MIPS) at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia has established a strategic research partnership with the Osaka, Japan-based research company Takeda in order to develop new drugs for the treatment of gastroenterology conditions with unmet medical needs. The alliance is based on the belief that several gastrointestinal disorders remain improperly treated and insufficiently understood.
In order to increase knowledge and offer better treatments for diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome, abdominal pain, chronic itch, severe constipation and diarrhea, investigators from both MIPS and Takeda will conduct research focused on the underlying mechanisms of action of the diseases. The ultimate goal is to develop new and innovate treatment approaches able to improve the lives of millions of patients all over the world.
The three-year research program will be led by the Deputy Director of MIPS, professor Nigel Bunnett, in collaboration with the MIPS member Daniel Poole who believes that gastrointestinal diseases are causing great human suffering. “There is no cure for many gastrointestinal diseases and current treatments are either inadequate or have major side-effects. If we can understand the mechanisms that trigger these diseases we can go on to develop effective drugs to treat them,” explained professor Bunnett.
“Monash possesses the expertise, technology and materials at its research facilities necessary to conduct drug discovery, research and preclinical pharmaceutical development activities into gastrointestinal diseases,” Bunnett said. “A major thrust of the work will be to make use of our expertise in nano-medicine to deliver drugs to the source of disease within the body,” as the program will be focusing on drug discovery, research and development of pharmaceutical products on potential therapeutic targets to treat gastrointestinal diseases and disorders.
Bunnett is a worldwide expert in gastrointestinal disorders with a Ph.D from the University of Cambridge, and he believes that the research program will benefit from MIPS’ expertise in increasing knowledge on the causes of diseases such as IBD, and can also lead to the creation of powerful therapies for digestive and sensory diseases. He has spent most of his career at the University of California, San Francisco, joined MIPS in 2011, and is also a National Health and Medical Research Council Australia Fellow.
“Takeda’s gastroenterology (GI) Drug Discovery Unit is a highly specialized research team that works collaboratively with academic and industry partners. The team is actively seeking to leverage the best scientific and pharmaceutical expertise all over the world,” added the General Manager of the Pharmaceutical Research Division at Takeda, Tetsuyuki Maruyama, Ph.D. “We are so pleased to work with Professor Bunnett and his team who have a proven track record for collaborative delivery of clinical candidates. Together, we will advance GI research much faster than working alone, ultimately bringer greater benefit to patients sooner.”