BTA 0.00% 57.0¢ biota holdings limited

respiratory syncytial virus - $2.7mil grant

  1. 635 Posts.
    Good to see Biota being awarded this $2.7mil R&D grant.
    Should help meet some of the cost in this drug development program.
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    BIOTA HOLDINGS LIMITED 2003-05-19 ASX-SIGNAL-G
    HOMEX - Melbourne

    Biota Holdings Limited (ASX: BTA) announced today that it has been
    awarded a $2.7 million R&D Start Grant to advance its RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus) drug development program.

    RSV is a highly contagious respiratory virus that is the major cause of infant bronchitis and a frequent cause of pneumonia. RSV infection in infants and in the elderly, particularly those with underlying respiratory or cardiac disease, can be serious, leading in some cases
    to hospitalisation and even death.

    "RSV outbreaks occur every year and there is a medical need for a safe and cost-effective antiviral treatment," said Biota's Director of Business Development, Dr Jane Ryan. The Company believes that a small molecule drug for treatment and prevention of RSV infection would have a significant competitive advantage.

    Biota's RSV program aims to develop an orally-available antiviral drug for the treatment and prevention of RSV infection. The program has targeted the 'F protein' (fusion protein) on the surface of the virus. Utilising the same 'structure based drug design' technology that gave birth to Relenza(TM), Biota scientists developed a model of the F protein and then identified compounds that inhibit its function.
    "Over the last twelve months, our research team has set and met aggressive timelines for this program, with the result that we now have a series of compounds we can describe as early leads," said Biota CEO, Peter Molloy. "The RSV program represents an important
    component of our respiratory drug discovery pipeline." In addition to influenza and RSV infection, Biota is also conducting research into drugs for the treatment of the common cold.

    ABOUT THE R&D START PROGRAM

    The Commonwealth Government's R&D Start program is a merit based program administered by the Industry Research & Development Board, established to advance Australian R&D and its commercialisation. R&D Start offers successful applicants up to 50% of eligible project
    costs.

    "The Start program provides a vital source of funding for
    pre-commercial stage drug discovery research in Australia," said Mr Molloy. The Company expects that the grant of $2.7m over two years will help advance the RSV research to the point where the lead compounds are optimised and potentially ready for preclinical development and partnering.

    For further information contact:
    Peter Molloy
    CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
    Tel: +61 3 9529 2311
    www.biota.com.au
 
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