Clarity’s Imaging technology is guiding cutting edge drug development
Today’s biopharmaceutical companies are under pressure to meet the demand for more personalised therapies, where drugs target an individual’s specific disease, and whole-body toxic side effects are reduced. This is where Clarity Pharmaceuticals Pty Ltd, a Sydney-based biotechnology company, is making a difference. Established in 2010 and focusing on cancer and cardiovascular disease, it is using positron emission tomography (PET) to track and image exactly where drugs go in the body; providing biopharmaceutical companies with invaluable drug development data.
Clarity’s imaging technology allows drug developers and clinicians to more accurately predict how drugs such as peptides, antibodies and proteins will work, so they can design therapies and patient management based on solid evidence. The information saves the biopharmaceutical companies time and money, allowing them to identify new drug safety and efficacy problems before they embark on, for example, expensive clinical trials. “In an environment where patients, clinicians and regulatory bodies all require more information on how drugs work in the body, the imaging data we can provide is becoming increasingly important,” says Dr Matt Harris, Clarity Pharmaceutical’s founding director and CEO.
“Our technology provides them with precise imaging of where their drugs go in the body and that’s very powerful for them,” he says. “Our imaging data can add significant value to preclinical drug development programmes.”
With its pre-clinical imaging studies on animals completed, and what Harris calls is its “exquisite scans” and proprietary IP developed; the company is now moving into an exciting development phase. “Clinical trials at the Peter McCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne for our imaging technology, which pinpoints where drugs travel inside the human body, will be completed by end of this year,” he says. Clarity’s technology is providing a valuable revenue stream. It’s in demand at home and in Europe, North America and Asia, with major drug companies among its client base. Beyond diagnostics Clarity’s technology can also be applied in targeted therapeutics to deliver high-energy radioisotopes to disease sites for localised radiotherapy.
The company is working on developing its own deep pipeline of radiotherapeutic drugs and is collaborating with organisations such as the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute in this work. “We believe in the technology so much that we are using it ourselves to develop cutting edge cardiovascular diagnostics and oncology drug therapies,” Harris says.
Harris believes Australia offers a great platform for innovative biotechnology companies such as his. “Close to 50 years of research work led by ANSTO has created deep expertise and given us a great competitive edge in nuclear medicine. Small companies like ours can leverage this world leading R&D and infrastructure to take new ideas to the next phase,” he says.
This article originally appeared in the PDF/hardcopy version of the Australian Government Dealflow Entrepreneurs Programme Aug-Oct 15.
Clarity Pharmaceuticals is a client of ATP Innovations, Australia’s largest business incubator.