Golden Biotechnology Corporation will work with Queensland researchers to determine if a new chemical entity named Antroquinonol could offer a potential treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. Speaking at the 2017 BIO International Convention in the United States, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said Taiwanese biotech Golden Biotechnology Corporation was collaborating with the Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation (IHBI) at QUT to conduct pre-clinical testing of a chemical compound called Antroquinonol, which is showing promise as a way to prevent and combat Alzheimer’s disease. Johnson & Johnson Innovation will also provide mentoring, business development training and scientific support in developing the collaboration between QUT and Golden Biotechnology.

“Golden Biotechnology Corporation was one of the three recipients of the Advance Queensland Johnson & Johnson Innovation QuickFire Challenge last year,” Ms Palaszczuk said. “The global health innovation competition drew nearly 100 applications from across the world. Out of that we got three recipients across three categories: medical devices, pharmaceuticals, and consumer healthcare with each receiving AUD$ 100,000. “A condition of the challenge was that the recipients had to spend their award money in Queensland on research and commercialization services.” Golden Biotechnology won the Pharmaceuticals category and as required, will now spend their AUD$ 100,000 in prize money in Queensland working with IHBI.

Queensland Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy, Leeanne Enoch , said research findings by the Institute of Brain Science at Taiwan’s National Yang-Ming University found that Antroquinonol improved learning and memory in mice with Alzheimer’s disease. “This is very hopeful. The next stage in the development of a potential therapy is to do the all-important pre-clinical testing before moving to human trials. This is where the Queensland University of Technology’s IHBI comes into the picture. It has the state-of-the-art equipment and expertise to do this all important work,” Ms Enoch said. “The work will be undertaken at IHBI under the direction of Professor Lyn Griffiths and Dr Francesca Fernandez in partnership with Golden Biotechnology. The work is part of larger contract being supported by Golden Biotechnology as well as the Queensland Government.” Golden Biotechnology’s General Manager Dr Miles Chih-Ming Chen said if the results of the study were promising, Golden Biotechnology intended to move to human clinical trials. “We are very hopeful. We appreciate the support we’ve received from the Queensland Government and Johnson & Johnson Innovation. Queensland is quickly gaining a global reputation for the quality of its translational research capability and building an environment committed to supporting the life sciences industry,” Dr Chen said. “This really gives us a lot of confidence as a company working in Queensland to progress our product.”

The Queensland Government provided the prize money for the Advance Queensland Johnson & Johnson Innovation QuickFire Challenge as part its AUD$ 405 million Advance Queensland initiative. The global competition was managed by Johnson & Johnson Innovation.

Johnson & Johnson Innovation opened a Johnson & Johnson Innovation Partnering Office @ QUT last year, located at IHBI on the Queensland University of Technology’s Kelvin Grove campus. Celebrating its one year anniversary this week, the office provides the all-important critical mass for the successful development and growth of Queensland’s life sciences industry. Queensland Premier and Minister Enoch are in the United States this week leading the Queensland industry delegation to the 2017 BIO International Convention, the world’s biggest life sciences conference. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia. More than 413,000 Australians are living with dementia. This is expected to increase to over half a million by 2025. According to a University of Canberra report, the cost of dementia to the Australian economy in 2016 was over AUD$ 14 billion.