China-UniSA partnership to spearhead pharmaceutical innovations

D&R Pharmaceuticals General Manager Dr An and UniSA VC Prof David Lloyd sign an MOU to collaborate on the development of new pharmaceuticals. HEALTH
D&R Pharmaceuticals General Manager Dr An and UniSA VC Prof David Lloyd sign an MOU to collaborate on the development of new pharmaceuticals.

UniSA has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with one of China’s leading drug development and pharmaceuticals manufacturers, to support the development of new drugs, and treatments in stem cell biology and drug reformulation technology.

Based in Nanjing, D&R Pharmaceuticals is a group of companies that includes Real Pharma which has at least 20 products available in the Chinese market.

With a plan to establish an Adelaide-based company, D&R is expected to make significant further investments in high potential UniSA-based research projects.

D&R Pharmaceuticals has already committed significant funds to contract research focused on stem cell applications in regenerative medicine – research led by Professor Xin-Fu Zhou at UniSA’s School of Health Sciences.

UniSA Vice Chancellor, Professor David Lloyd says the partnership with D&R Pharmaceuticals holds exciting promise.

“Working together with D&R Pharmaceuticals we are going to be in a position to fast track our research,” Prof Lloyd says.

“This is cutting edge research that has the potential to make an enormous impact in the treatment of a range of conditions including Parkinson’s disease and acute spinal cord injury and to devise new applications for stem cells in a range of therapies.

“At the same time UniSA will be licencing the Ceridia drug reformulation technology, developed here at UniSA and led by Prof Clive Prestidge. This research has focused on solving the problem of drug absorption in the gut using sophisticated nanotechnology that improves the efficiency of medications.”

Prof Lloyd says the benefits to the partnership extend beyond the University.

“Being able to attract successful partnerships to SA is very important because once the links have been made, there is potential for an expansion of relationships and in the case of D&R Pharmaceuticals, I know they will be keen to see how they can foster connections between SA research and pharmaceutical companies in China,” he says.

Guests to the signing event held at UniSA’s City West campus last month included members of the Chinese Consulate Wang Xiaowei and Rao Hongwei; Managing Director of D&R Pharmaceuticals Hao Lei; General Manager of D&R Dr An Lufan; and Research Scientist at the Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Drug Screening at China Pharmaceutical University, Professor Liao Hong.

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