NHMRC development grant a boost for HIV research

Tracy Parish

01 March, 2011

Professor Paul Gorry.

Burnet’s HIV Molecular Pathogenesis laboratory has received an NHMRC development grant to develop an inexpensive assay to determine whether HIV patients can benefit from treatment with a class of drugs referred to as CCR5 antagonists.

The new low-cost assay will measure the coreceptor specificity of HIV in patient plasma samples and determine the suitability of patients to begin treatment with this class of drugs.

Currently available tests are highly specialised and expensive, often restricting access to these new drugs - especially in resource-poor countries.

Principal investigator and laboratory head Associate Professor Paul Gorry said the assay would benefit physicians and patients in providing greater treatment options, and assist clinical trials of new coreceptor blockers under development.

“Upon completion of the grant we will need further funding to commercialise the assay but anticipate it will be a market-ready product within the next four years,” he said.

The NHMRC development grant offers approximately $160,000 over 18 months and will enable the Gorry laboratory to continue its collaborative work with Monash University.

The project involves chief investigators Associate Professor Paul Gorry, Associate Professor Melissa Churchill and Dr Jasminka Sterjovski from the Burnet Institute and Associate Professor Martin Stone from Monash University.


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Tracy Parish

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