From the lab bench to the clinic: Pneumonia vaccine shows commercialisation strengths

Streptococcus pneumoniae

Image: Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria, Manu5

Commercialisation potential of Faculty of Sciences’ research is in the spotlight after the development of a new Pneumonia vaccine.

Last month we reported that the University of Adelaide’s Research Centre for Infectious Diseases (RCID) were a step closer to a vaccine against the biggest bacterial killer on the planet, with funding secured for preclinical trials.

Led by Professor James Paton, the RCID team have been working on a vaccine for Streptococcus pneumoniae (the pneumococcus) that could save up to two million lives globally a year. The research also addresses the overuse of antibiotics that leads to resistance.

State MP Richard Harvey, Member for Newland, spoke in the House of Assembly last week about the new vaccine, and put a spotlight on this University of Adelaide research that had “made its way from the lab bench to the clinic”.

“This is one of many examples where Adelaide-based research is making exciting discoveries that drive investment from interstate and overseas into South Australia, by both leveraging funding from the federal government in the early stages and also, significantly, from private sources,” he said.

“State government support is playing an important role in helping to leverage such funding.”

As a scientist himself, Dr Harvey’s not a newcomer to the subject of Streptococcus pneumoniae. He worked with the RCID for more than 11 years and graduated with three science degrees from the University of Adelaide.

“Success such as this does a great deal to generate local research jobs in the short term and many more downstream high-skill opportunities for South Australians into the future as projects progress,” Dr Harvey said.

“Importantly, this demonstrates to students studying science in South Australia that there is a future for us, a career in science in South Australia, and that students studying science here for a career can indeed have a very real impact and address problems that impact millions of people around the world.”

Read Dr Harvey's speech below.

Tagged in Research News, School of Biological Sciences News, Research Centre for Infectious Diseases News, Biomedical Science News