Rising star, Clarity Pharmaceuticals awarded $2.5 million CRC-Projects Grant
Clarity Pharmaceuticals, an Australian radiopharmaceutical company focused on the treatment of serious diseases, especially cancer, has been awarded a Cooperative Research Centres Projects (CRC-P) grant. This grant is part of the Australian Government’s Cooperative Research Centres Programme. The grant, valued at $2,513,000, will fund the extension of Clarity’s capabilities of translating targeted therapies through clinical development and strengthen Australia’s radiopharmaceutical industry. Clarity Pharmaceuticals is a portfolio company inside Australia’s leading deep technology incubator, ATP Innovations.
The grant will leverage the nation’s strong foundation in radiopharmaceutical clinical development. Clarity and its partners will utilise the funding to build a globally competitive site for clinical trials in nuclear medicine, and the development of new capabilities and processes to deal specifically with innovative technologies, methodologies and products. This project, focused on a Phase 1/2a trial in childhood cancer using SARTATETM, will address this need by developing new regulatory and manufacturing capabilities. These processes will be available for other products being developed by innovative Australian companies and companies globally.
The grant will assist Clarity to develop SARTATE in a second indication, following its successful work in adults with neuroendocrine tumours. Clarity will also develop its second pipeline product through this process, a radiopharmaceutical for prostate cancer.
The participants in the grant include the University of Queensland (UQ) and Phebra Pty Ltd. The grant funding will be used to utilise world class infrastructure for imaging and radiopharmaceuticals to develop products and train highly skilled scientists in product development at the Centre for Advanced Imaging (CAI) at UQ. Phebra, as a highly successful specialty pharmaceutical company based in Sydney, will contribute their experience in drug formulation, GMP manufacture, regulatory compliance and product sales to maximise the success of clinical product commercialisation.
Dr Matt Harris, Clarity’s CEO stated that “this grant will expand Australia’s radiopharmaceutical capabilities and help promote further innovation in this growing sector. Importantly, the grant will help Clarity to increase its focus on other fields of unmet need such as paediatric cancer, an area of medicine where we believe imaging, precision medicine and tailored therapy can play a significant role in improving outcomes for these kids.”
Clarity licensed its “SAR” technology from the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) and the University of Melbourne (UM). The SAR technology was initially validated and commercialised through aservice business and then in 2011-12 Clarity developed its first product, SARTATETM, for pre-clinical testing. Clarity received grant support from Commercialisation Australia to develop a proof-of-concept clinical trial to test SARTATETM in humans as a novel cancer diagnostic for neuroendocrine tumours (NETs). Clarity successfully completed that trial in 2015 with the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre. The funding from the CRC-P grant will expand this work and fund capabilities and products focused on cancer therapy in paediatrics.
Dr Alan Taylor, Clarity’s Executive Chairman, added: “These programs are essential for building a knowledge industry in Australia. We are very excited to play our part in helping build a radiopharmaceutical industry in our own country. Clarity’s focus since the beginning has been to collaborate with academics and clinicians in Australia to build out expertise in this area. The outcome of which is the development of better cancer therapies for the treatment of cancers in adults and children, the benefits of which will be experienced first by Australian cancer patients. We are extremely excited that Clarity’s collaborative approach has not only benefited government organisations such as ANSTO, academic institutes such as University of Melbourne and University of Queensland, as well as clinical groups such as the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, but will provide tangible benefits to fellow Australians in the delivery of cutting edge cancer therapies.”