In early 2008 a discovery by University of Melbourne researchers exploring mechanisms to halt inflammatory diseases resulted in the striking of an exclusive licence agreement with leading European biotechnology company MorphoSys AG.
The drug in development by MorphoSys has the potential to treat patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), psoriasis, multiple sclerosis (MS), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma. The research was led by Professor John Hamilton and Professor Gary Anderson of the University’s Department of Medicine at the Royal Melbourne Hospital and the Department of Pharmacology. They are regarded as leaders in the field of basic GM-CSF biology and understanding its role in inflammatory disease pathways.
"This is a very exciting stage for the development of new treatments for RA and other debilitating inflammatory diseases," said Professor Hamilton. "It is extremely rewarding to be able to ultimately offer new options for treating these health conditions and improving the lives of millions of people."