Spinifex secures $3.25m investment to develop pain therapy

A pain drug development company spun out of The University of Queensland has received a $3.25 million investment commitment to develop its innovative new pain therapy.

Spinifex Pharmaceuticals, an emerging biotechnology company specialising in the development of therapeutics for the treatment of neuropathic pain, has attracted investment from a syndicate including Symbiosis Group Limited, Melbourne-based GBS Venture Partners Limited and Uniseed.

Spinifex Pharmaceutical Managing Director, Dr Michael Thurn said he was delighted by the investment commitment which will help to accelerate their drug development program.

"We've several promising small molecules currently under evaluation and we plan to be in a position to start a formal toxicology program on one of those molecules in 2006," said Dr Thurn.

"The two main causes of neuropathic pain are through diabetes, affecting an estimated 45 per cent of diabetics, and through complications arising from infection with herpes zoster [shingles], known as post-herpetic neuralgia.

"We see a significant world-wide market for our pain therapy, and this investment will progress our efforts in delivering a novel solution."

Spinifex's core technology relates to the discovery (made by University of Queensland researchers led by Professor Maree Smith) of a novel pathway for the treatment of neuropathic pain. Professor Smith's group successfully validated this pathway using small molecules in well-defined animal models of neuropathic pain.

Managing Director of investment company Symbiosis, Dr Mark Harvey, said Spinifex was an attractive investment, led by a strong team with extensive experience in the international and local biotechnology industry

He said the neuropathic pain market targeted by Spinifex's technology was currently valued at US$3 billion.

"With a solid intellectual property position and several 'drug-like' molecules already in hand we expe

Contact: Dr Michael Thurn
Research Australia

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