News

Trial to determine effectiveness of COVID-19 prevention measure

A clinical trial has commenced to test the effectiveness of a low-dose regimen of the anti-malarial drug Chloroquine to prevent coronavirus illness.

The clinical trial is being funded by Defence and managed by the national Medical Countermeasures Initiative led by DMTC Limited. Experts with experience in clinical trials from DMTC are working alongside personnel at the trial site, the ADF Malaria and Infectious Diseases Institute.

The trial will focus on military healthcare and civilian healthcare workers at the frontline of the national response to COVID-19.

Chloroquine is a well-known drug that is already used around the world for the prevention and treatment of malaria as well as the treatment of some inflammatory and connective tissue diseases.

DMTC CEO Dr Mark Hodge urged caution in the race to provide answers to combating COVID-19.

“Clinical trials are essential to establish global benchmarks and ultimately to prove whether this drug, at these prescribed dose amounts, can prevent infection,” Dr Hodge said.

“Novel medications can take a long time to get through all the tests and approvals that are needed to confirm safety, quality and effectiveness. Re-purposing of an existing drug with a known safety profile has potential benefits in regard to expediting conclusive results.”

Because its safety profile is well understood, the trial can be undertaken rapidly to the high standards required by Australian and international pharmaceutical regulators. (more…)

Posted by Harry Baxter on May 1st, 2020 Tagged: , , , ,

Celebrating high achievers: Mitali Sarkar-Tyson

Collaboration Award – Winner: Dr Mitali Sarkar-Tyson

Dr Mitali Sarkar-Tyson from the School of Biomedical Sciences at The University of Western Australia received the coveted Collaboration Award at the 2020 DMTC Annual Conference.

(c) DMTC Ltd

Dr Sarkar-Tyson with CEO DMTC, Dr Mark Hodge, and special guest dinner speaker Adam Goodes (right)

Dr Sarkar-Tyson has shown an incredible work ethic and commitment to developing our sovereign industrial capability in the medical countermeasures domain over the last several years.

She is currently leading a DMTC project out of The University of Western Australia in collaboration with DST Group, the Peter Doherty Institute, the University of Wurzburg, the University of Exeter, DSTL and now Monash University. This project is developing novel anti-virulence compounds against a range of bio-warfare pathogens. In addition to the highly significant research she has conducted for this project, she has also contributed to 72 scientific research publications across the fields of antimicrobial resistance and molecular biology.

The DMTC Collaboration Award recognises an individual who embodies the spirit of collaboration, and Dr Sarkar-Tyson has truly embodied collaboration through bringing together a network of international researchers and coordinating a multi-disciplinary team that can respond to bio-threat pathogens and the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance.

Posted by Harry Baxter on March 23rd, 2020 Tagged: , , , ,

Celebrating high achievers: Flavia Huygens

Project Leadership Award – Winner: Professor Flavia Huygens

Professor Flavia Huygens received the Project Leadership Award at the 2020 DMTC Annual Conference.

Professor Huygens receiving the Project Leadership Award from CEO DMTC, Dr Mark Hodge (left) and special guest dinner speaker Adam Goodes (right)

Professor Huygens is Associate Director at the Institute of Health Biomedical Innovation (QIMR-Berghofer), a Professor at the School of Biomedical Sciences at Queensland University of Technology and a director of Australian med-tech start-up company, Microbio.

Professor Huygens has shown excellent project leadership over the last year in seamlessly bringing together a multidisciplinary team from academia and industry to develop a rapid diagnostic with her company Microbio, which is helping to address significant issues in the diagnosis of bio-threat pathogens.

She is the pioneer behind the technology of InfectID®, which uses novel and innovative bioinformatic tools to genetically identify blood/plasma borne bacteria. This technology has been shown to distinguish between more than 10 closely related pathogens without the generation of false positives. This type of technology is critical for the military to respond to outbreaks of infection or deliberate biological attacks.

The way Professor Huygens has managed the complexities of working across partners to meet the delivery requirements has been second to none.

More information on this project is in our 2019 Annual Report here.

Posted by Harry Baxter on March 23rd, 2020 Tagged: , , , ,