Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
$1.9m grant to Qld company's rheumatoid arthritis research.

Download PDFDownload PDF

Return to previous page


12 March 2001            01/095 


The Minister for Industry, Science and Resources, Senator Nick Minchin, today announced a Commonwealth Government R&D Start grant of $1.9 million to Brisbane-based company Promics. 

The company will use the grant for a research and development project that, if successful, will provide better relief for rheumatoid arthritis sufferers. 

Promics is based at the University of Queensland, where Senator Minchin today presented the company with a certificate of achievement in recognition of its commitment to innovation and its research work in rheumatoid arthritis. 

Promics' principal research work involves the development of drugs for the treatment of inflammatory disorders.  

The aim of its three-year R&D Start project is to prove the suitability of a new drug for treating rheumatoid arthritis in human patients. The World Health Organisation estimates the disease affects 165 million people and about 5 million require daily treatment.  

Senator Minchin said that the company's research would centre on new compounds that address the underlying disease, in contrast to existing therapies, which are often only palliative. 

"World-wide annual expenditure on rheumatoid arthritis treatments is estimated at $5.6 billion," Senator Minchin said. "There is tremendous earning potential when Promics' can commercialise its R&D efforts. 

"While an effective treatment of rheumatoid arthritis is obviously highly desirable, the company is also examining the opportunities in other human inflammatory disorders and the impact of Promics' research could be far reaching." 

The company's initial research has shown considerable promise in animal models of inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. It has the potential to be used not only in treating rheumatoid arthritis, but also numerous other inflammatory disorders such as, atherosclerosis, ischaemic heart disease, reperfusion injury and Alzheimer's disease. 

Senator Minchin said Promics was one of a number of innovative Queensland companies which have underlined the State's strong R&D focus. 

"The Commonwealth Government funded 17 innovative projects in Queensland totalling $6.5 million under AusIndustry's R&D Start Program in the first six months of this financial year," Senator Minchin said.  

"Support for R&D and commercialisation is a key element of the Commonwealth Government's policy to provide increased economic and employment opportunities throughout all regions of Australia. Promics joins a group of dynamic and forward-looking businesses taking advantage of the support measures offered by the Government. 

"The recent release by the Prime Minister of the Innovation statement, Backing Australia's Ability, will provide a further $2.9 billion of Commonwealth investment in Australia's research abilities, skills and underscores the Government's commitment to the future growth of an innovative Australian economy." 

Information on R&D Start and other AusIndustry programs can be obtained by telephoning AusIndustry on the Business HotLine 13 28 46, or viewing the AusIndustry website at  

Contacts: Jen Eddy, Senator Minchin's Office, 02 6277 7580

             Chris Butler, AusIndustry,  02 6213 7324 0411 130 677    


Return to previous page