Fibrotech acquisition paves the way for better fibrosis treatments

09 May 2014

Better treatments for fibrosis sufferers are on the horizon, following the $75m acquisition of University of Melbourne-affiliated biopharmaceutical startup Fibrotech Therapeutics by global drugmaker Shire.

The acquisition paves the way for the development of a better class of drugs to prevent the health burdens associated with fibrosis.

Fibrotech has developed a new class of antifibrotic agents with potential to treat the fibrosis prevalent in chronic kidney disease, chronic heart failure, pulmonary fibrosis and arthritis. The purchase also includes additional payments based on successful completion of development and regulatory milestones.

Shire will undertake further development of Fibrotech's lead product FT011, first synthesised in the Williams laboratory, led by Associate Professor Spencer Williams (School of Chemistry, Bio21 Institute). Assoc Prof Williams is also a member of Fibrotech’s Scientific Advisory Board.

University of Melbourne Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Jim McCluskey welcomed the acquisition.

“This acquisition is a great achievement by the University and its researchers and will have significant benefit to the Australian biotechnology sector,” he said.

“Breakthroughs by researchers at the University of Melbourne Department of Medicine, the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, the Faculty of Science, the Bio21 Institute and St Vincent’s Medical Institute have led the way in advancing knowledge on renal and fibrotic diseases, contributing significant improvements to the scientific understanding of fibrosis, which have led to this acquisition.”

Read the full media release.

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