Working with industry
The Maurice Wilkins Centre supports innovation in the biotechnology and drug development sector by providing companies with the expertise and facilities that their research and development programmes require.
Allergan, headquartered in Ireland, is a global pharmaceutical company with a focus on developing new medicines in critical therapeutic areas. Associate Investigator Associate Professor Kerry Loomes from the University of Auckland is working with Allergan to develop new therapeutic strategies to combat metabolic disease.
Founded and led by Associate Investigator Dr Sarah Diermeier in 2020, Amaroq is a biotechnology startup company based at the University of Otago with a focus on developing more precise cancer therapeutic drugs that target long non-coding RNAs specifically expressed in cancer cells
Auckland Clinical Studies Ltd.
This company provides Phase I and II clinical research to local and international pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. In 2020 and 2021, Maurice Wilkins Centre investigator Professor Rod Dunbar continued to collaborate with Auckland Clinical Studies, providing analytical services such as immune monitoring to support ongoing clinical trials sponsored by a major pharmaceutical company.
Avalia Immunotherapies Ltd.
Avalia Immunotherapies is developing immunotherapies that support the treatment of cancers and other diseases. Investigators Professor Gavin Painter from the Ferrier Research Institute and Professor Ian Hermans from the Malaghan Institute of Medical Research have patented a new immunotherapy technology and are working with Avalia Immunotherapies to further advance the technology and progress it to clinical trials.
Comvita New Zealand is an international natural health products company with offices across Asia, the USA and the UK. Comvita are working with investigators Professor Dame Margaret Brimble and Associate Professor Kerry Loomes to identify the active components and biomarkers present in Manuka honey.
Living Cell Technologies Ltd.
Living Cell Technologies (LCT) is biotechnology company, historically-focussed on cell therapy for diabetes. Numerous MWC investigators are sought by LCT for their expertise and to carry out contract research, including Professor Debbie Hay (Otago), Professor Dame Margaret Brimble and Associate Professor Kerry Loomes (Auckland).
Rain Therapeutics is a company based out of the United States which aims to develop targeted cancer therapies. It has secured funding for Phase II clinical trials of the hypoxia-activated pro-drug, Tarloxotinib, which was invented by Associate Professors Adam Patterson and Jeff Smaill. These MWC investigators continue to provide expertise and consult with Rain Therapeutics regarding this research.
Sapvax LLC was founded in 2016 and is developing a pipeline of products for the treatment of different cancers, with an initial focus on tumours expressing NY-ESO-1. Professors Dame Margaret Brimble and Rod Dunbar are the academic founders of this company, which is headquartered in the USA. In 2020-21 they continued to consult and carry out contract research for the company.