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IRL and New York researchers collaborate

01 Nov, 2010

Source: IRL

New Zealand research organisation Industrial Research Ltd (IRL) is expanding its presence in the United States to boost a partnership that has already created promising drug treatments for a range of debilitating illnesses.

IRL research scientist Dr Shivali Gulab will spend 2 years on site at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine (Einstein) at Yeshiva University in New York City, working closely with world-renowned biochemist Professor Vern Schramm and his team.

The collaboration between IRL's Carbohydrate Chemistry group and Professor Schramm’s team began in 1994, and the results include a number of potent enzyme inhibitors that have now progressed to late-stage human trials under licence to a US company.

One of these compounds targets T-cell mediated cancers, and results of Phase 2 human clinical trials are due out at the end of this year. Another compound has shown exciting results in patients with gout, a painful disorder affecting millions of people around the world. Other highlights from the collaborations between IRL and Einstein include drug candidates for malaria and for a range of major cancers that are currently in preclinical testing.

Einstein is one of the largest medical schools in the US. The National Institutes of Health provided more than US$155 million in funding to its faculty members in 2009, in addition to funding major research centres in diabetes, cancer, liver disease and AIDS.

Dr Gulab will have some big opportunities to raise the profile of IRL through her work at Einstein. “At the moment, I’m working on inhibitors for the enzyme that is a promising anti-cancer target,” she says.


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