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AVEXA/CSIRO COLLABORATE ON TREATMENTS FOR INFECTIOUS DISEASES.

Research and development biotechnology company Avexa Limited (ASX: AVX) has entered into a collaboration with CSIRO, one of the world's largest and most diverse scientific global research organizations. Avexa and CSIRO aim to share expertise in an effort to discover new drugs for the treatment of serious human viral diseases.

As part of the agreement, Avexa will screen CSIRO Molecular and Health Technologies' chemical library across its many antiviral assays to identify compounds that are selectively active in preventing virus replication.

CSIRO is involved in more than 850 current, and recently completed, research projects, working with leading scientific organizations and businesses in Australia, the US, Japan, and Europe, and with developing countries, especially in Asia. To date, more than 80 spin-off companies are based on CSIRO-generated intellectual property and expertise.

"Avexa is delighted to be working with CSIRO, Australia's premier research organization," said Avexa CEO, Dr Julian Chick. "We have already started working together and are making significant progress towards identifying novel compounds that could be new drugs of the future."

"A key strategic goal for CSIRO is to accelerate the growth of promising technology-based SMEs," said the chief of CSIRO Molecular & Health Technologies, Dr Graeme Woodrow. "By focussing on the current and future needs of Australian biotechnology companies such as Avexa, our intention is to make a significant contribution to science and Australia, and serve as a catalyst for industry innovation."

Avexa and CSIRO will work closely together to identify potential drug leads and optimize these leads into development candidates. At that point Avexa will, via its established development teams, pursue the preclinical and clinical development of the drugs. In this way Avexa and CSIRO will collaborate in a coordinated way in an effort to discover new medicines for the treatment of serious human viral diseases where unmet needs exist.

About Avexa

Avexa Limited is a Melbourne-based biotechnology company with a focus on research and development of anti-infectives. The company is developing drugs for the treatment of infectious diseases which have a significant unmet medical need. Avexa has dedicated resources and funding for key projects including antiviral drugs for HIV/AIDS and an antibiotic alternative for antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections. The company's lead program is AVX754, in-licensed from Shire in January 2005.

For more information, visit http://www.avexa.com.au.
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Publication:Worldwide Biotech
Date:Dec 1, 2005
Words:381
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