An Australian-first peptide synthesis research facility has opened at Children’s Medical Research Institute in Westmead, thanks to a State Government grant which was made possible by the Cancer Institute of NSW.
Health Minister, Brad Hazzard, recently announced that cancer patients would benefit from a $3.1 million NSW Government boost for research.
The Health Minister said the funding will support six projects, including the NSW Cancer Research Peptide Synthesis Facility at CMRI, which will receive $700,000 out of the $3.1 m for its work in developing new diagnostic tests and cancer treatments.
“The NSW Government is investing in significantly boosting state-of-the-art cancer research capability,” Mr Hazzard said.
“Sadly, there are few people whose lives have not been touched by cancer. Keeping NSW at the forefront of cutting edge research will lead to new drugs and better-targeted treatment options.”
Professor David Currow, Chief Cancer Officer and CEO of the Cancer Institute NSW, said the funding will foster collaboration among researchers and clinicians and make a difference to cancer outcomes around the world.
“This investment means our brightest research minds have access to the latest technologies that will accelerate their research into new treatments and therapies for people with cancer,” Professor Currow said.
Professor Roger Reddel, Director of Children’s Medical Research Institute and Chief Investigator of the NSW Cancer Research Peptide Synthesis Facility, said the equipment will help many important cancer research projects across NSW, now and in future.
“Peptides have a wide range of research uses, including obtaining new insights into how cancers grow, devising new diagnostic tests for early detection of cancer, and developing new anti-cancer treatments,” Professor Reddel said.
The NSW Cancer Research Peptide Synthesis Facility will provide a complete workflow for the synthesis of peptides to support a broad range of cancer projects in NSW and beyond.
The new equipment made possible by the grant, includes two Biotage Syro II Peptide Synthesizers, Biotage Isolera™ Dalton and a Biotage V-10 Touch.
The instruments at CMRI are two of only five in the world with tip synthesis functionality. This new technology, which has only become available recently, allows researchers to make hundreds of peptides at once (576 per instrument) in small amounts.
Placing this equipment in one location together means that this facility, which is the first of its kind in Australia, provides a complete world-class workflow for peptide synthesis to support local research projects with an international impact.
The University of Sydney has also funded a different instrument in the laboratory of Professor Richard Payne that can make large amounts of small numbers of peptides. This group will work in concert with the scientists at Children’s Medical Research Institute to provide cancer researchers across the state with these cutting-edge research materials.
The collaboration between CMRI and the University of Sydney takes advantage of both locations’ expertise and encourages researchers to work together to push forward their work on cancer.