Being relevant to market demands is key to developing new technologies and delivering solutions to societal challenges. Academics at UNSW include world leaders in their respective fields of Chemistry, making leading contributions to Australia's important role in the international research community; we are therefore ideally placed to enter into partnerships on commercial activities, providing high level research training in industrially relevant areas to graduate students and future research leaders.
The School of Chemistry is proud of its strong links with industry. Collaboration with industry ranges from co-supervision of honours students to research projects that are targeted to the development of novel technologies. Our academics are active in the development of next-generation products. Some examples are listed below:
A Cochlear implant is an established, effective and long-term solution for people with moderate to profound hearing loss. Cochlear pioneered the implant technology and is still the world’s industry leader. The projects, led by Prof Chuan Zhao from our school, relate to new materials and technologies to understand the device/human interface, improve the capabilities of the devices, enable new device design and create better outcomes for recipients.
Exonate is a biopharmaceutical company focussed on the discovery and development of small molecule drugs that modulate alternative mRNA splicing to address diseases of high unmet medical need. Alternative mRNA splicing is modulated in disease states resulting in pathological blood vessel formation (angiogenesis), which is a key driver of disease progression in ophthalmic conditions and cancer. Based on a deep understanding of the biology of VEGF alternative splicing, Exonate has worked with Prof Jonathan Morris from our school to discover a proprietary series of first in class therapeutics, the SPHINXes, and now has a lead candidate under development for the treatment of wet age-related macular degeneration (wAMD). In animal models this has demonstrated a high penetration into the eye when administered topically. It therefore has the capacity to be administered as an eye drop rather than the currently available drugs which are given as intravitreal injections.
Flurosol Industries Pty Ltd and Prof Pall Thordarson at the School of Chemistry UNSW are working on the development of novel dyes for use in the renewable energy sector, with particular focus on light capture for applications such as photo-bioreactors. Through this collaboration, several new dyes have been synthesised and their properties investigated. Flurosol’s work with the School of Chemistry at UNSW has been instrumental in allowing Flurosol to stay ahead of its completion and secure valuable intellectual Property. Now in its 5th year, this collaboration has now been extended to a successful ARC Linkage grant between Thordarson and Flurosol.
Novogen has set itself the lofty goal of conquering cancer through comprehensive cancer treatment. Novogen has a superior technology platform that has the unheralded ability to generate keys that unlock the gates to the pathway to conquering cancer. In cooperation with Prof Martina Stenzel, Novogen is committed to further improve their formulation employing cutting-edge delivery techniques developed in the school of chemistry.
Noxopharm Limited is an Australian drug development company with offices in Sydney and Hong Kong. The Company has a primary focus on the development of drugs to address the problem of drug- and radio-resistance in cancer cells, the major hurdle facing improved survival prospects for cancer patients. Several promising synthetic heterocyclic anticancer compounds have already been derived from the collaborative efforts of Noxopharm and Prof Kumar’s group, with further investigations continuing. The collaboration fits perfectly with Noxopharm's core business of identifying novel compounds with potent biological properties and synthesizing these for testing and eventual development into new therapeutics.
Pharmaxis is a specialist pharmaceutical company that researches, develops and commercialises new therapies for undertreated respiratory diseases. In collaboration with PharmAxis, Dr Luke Hunter develops new methods for creating selectively fluorinated molecules. These molecules are potent enzyme inhibitors with valuable therapeutic applications