Arthritis treatment up for people’s choice award

4 Sep 2014

Professor Ranjeny ThomasThe University of Queensland’s efforts to translate research on autoimmune diseases into life-changing treatments has attracted a nomination in the Knowledge Commercialisation Australasia (KCA) Research Commercialisation Awards.

A deal between Janssen Biotech, Inc. and Dendright Pty Ltd, a start-up company of UniQuest, UQ’s main research commercialisation arm, has been named a finalist in the People's Choice and Best Commercial Deal categories.

The deal focused on the commercialisation of research from UQ’s Diamantina Institute’s (UQDI) Professor Ranjeny Thomas on targeted treatment for rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Professor Thomas is UQDI’s Arthritis Queensland Chair of Rheumatology, who have supported her research with funding over several years.

RA is caused by immune system dysfunction and affects millions of people worldwide, destroying joints and causing cardiovascular complications that can reduce the life span by a decade.

The proposed treatment targets the underlying cause of RA rather than simply treating the inflammatory symptoms.

If successful, the research could influence other autoimmune diseases such type 1 diabetes, improving the health of millions.

“The collaboration between Janssen and Dendright involves a really exciting development of a totally novel treatment for rheumatoid arthritis,” Professor Thomas said.

“I’m delighted to be contributing to the commercialisation of this cutting-edge technology in Australia and to be nominated for this award.” 

The winner will be decided by popular vote, which closes 5pm, 18 September. Winners will be announced at the KCA annual conference in Brisbane that evening.

For more information or to vote, click here.

Media: UQDI Communications Manager Kate Templeman,  +61 7 3443 7027 or 0409 916 801,