Research Institute: Bio21
Amount granted: $2 million
Year granted: 2018
The ACRF Facility for Innovative Cancer Drug Discovery will be located at the Bio21 Institute, University of Melbourne and uses structural biology approaches to discover new cancer drugs. Structural biology is revolutionising cancer drug discovery and has played a key role in the development of very successful targeted molecular medicines including Imatinib (Gleevec) to treat myeloid leukaemia, Venetoclax for leukaemia and Gefitinib for lung cancer.
The chief investigators, Professor Michael Parker and Dr David Ascher of Bio21, Professor Rick Pearson of the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and Professor John Silke of the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, represent some of Victoria’s major cancer research institutions.
“Structural biology holds the key to developing innovative cancer drugs by providing detailed information about the shape of molecules that are involved in cancer-causing biological signalling pathways within cells of our bodies,” Professor Parker said.
“The ACRF funding will make it possible to create a facility that houses some of the most cutting-edge structural biology instruments and technologies to cater for the cancer research community in the Melbourne Biomedical Precinct and beyond. It will provide our partners with powerful tools to develop and deliver new cancer drugs to patients,” says Professor Parker.
“ACRF is proud to be providing the ACRF Facility for Innovative Cancer Drug Discovery with state-of-the-art equipment for the identification, development and delivery of drugs for cancers in this era of personalised medicine where there is currently no therapy available or where improved treatments are required. Structure-based drug discovery offers great potential to hasten advances to improved patient outcomes” ACRF CEO Professor Ian Brown said.
What your donations have achieved
Cervical cancer vaccine
We gave initial seed funding to Professor Ian Frazer’s research into the cervical cancer (HPV). Over 150 million doses of vaccine have been delivered worldwide to date.
The pill that melts away cancer
Our long term support of cancer research at WEHI has led to a treatment that melts away certain advanced forms of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia. It has been approved for clinical use in the US, European Union and Australia and is being trialled for other types of cancer.
Personalised cancer diagnosis
In 2015, we awarded $10 million seed funding to an ambitious cancer proteome project that aims to provide each cancer patient a personalised treatment plan within 36 hours. This will improve treatment outcomes and help avoid unnecessary treatments.
Zero childhood cancer
We are one of the founding partners of the initiative that will tackle the most serious cases of infant, childhood and adolescent cancer in Australia. It is a key step towards the program vision of one day helping to cure 100% of children with cancer.