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Feb 2017
Trish Foundation contributes to first-ever discovery
Jun 2017
Researchers funded by the Trish Foundation making great progress
Dec 2017
Announcement by NHMRC
Jan 2018
2018 Round of Funding Four new Projects announced
Jun 2018
Exciting regrowth of nerve fibres
Jun 2018
Dr Merson secures $1 million from NHMRC
Jun 2018
Findings submitted for publication
Jan 2019
New Research Projects commencing 2019 announced

Incubator Grant

The Foundation is pleased to announce the following Incubator Grant has been approved for funding:  

Novel drugs from cone snail venom for the treatment of MS

Investigator: Dr Charles Galea, Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences Funding

Dr Charles Galea from Monash University is investigating novel compounds that could lead to the development of new therapies for treating MS. Effective and low-cost treatments for MS are urgently needed, especially those targeting the progressive MS symptoms. Not only would this approach reduce the overall economic burden of disease, but more importantly, it would improve quality of life for patients and their families.

Immune cells involved in the development of MS have specific channels on their surface that are essential for their function. These channels form a pore on the cell surface, which allow chemical messengers (potassium) to pass through. Dr Galea’s previous work has shown that drugs blocking these channels on immune cells were associated with reduced MS-related symptoms in an animal model of MS. Importantly, this treatment only affected immune cells involved in the development of MS and not other immune cells important for combatting bacterial or viral infections and cancers.

Venom extracted from cone snails is known to contain a large number of compounds that can block these cell channels.  Dr Galea’s project will develop methods to identify potential therapeutic compounds in cone snail venom, and test their ability to block channels on disease-causing immune cells. These compounds will provide the basis for future research aimed at identifying new therapeutic drugs with improved properties (for example, drugs that could be taken orally and have fewer side-effects compared to existing drugs).  


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