We see opportunities in this sector, where medical innovation and biomedical technologies are causing a complete reset of how and what services and treatments are provided, particularly in areas such as preventative medicines and inflammatory diseases. Decisions, relationships, products and technologies being considered today are going to reshape marketplace. The Hardie Health Group is working hard to ensure that it is involved in some of the successes in this field.
Proteios Pty Ltd
We are engaged in three distinct research projects that seek to discover new molecules for the treatment of inflammatory diseases and for accelerating wound healing.
- Our most advanced program involves the development of peptides for the treatment of inflammatory skin diseases, including psoriasis and eczema. Specifically, we have discovered a peptide produced natively in the body that has remarkable anti-inflammatory properties. We have since developed a modified lead molecule called RP23 that has shown impressive activity in preclinical models when applied topically to skin.
- A hallmark of inflammation is the accumulation of white blood cells (leukocytes) that neutralise infectious agents and facilitate repair of tissues. The movement of these white blood cells to the site of injury or infection is controlled by small proteins called chemokines that bind and signal through specialised receptors called chemokine receptors. A number of inflammatory diseases (including inflammatory lung disease and arthritis) are characterised by dysregulation of this system and molecules that bind to chemokines are recognised as an attractive therapeutic approach. Our team has discovered small cyclic peptide molecules that bind tightly to chemokines and prevent inflammatory signalling. Optimisation of these molecules for use in disease models is currently underway.
- Chronic, non-healing wounds represent a major healthcare burden and are associated with significant mortality and morbidity, especially in diabetics. A specific hallmark of non-healing wounds is the excessive or persistent activation of a type of white blood cell (neutrophils) present in the wound area. This persistent activation ‘locks’ these wounds in a proinflammatory phase which results in further tissue damage. In this project we have identified a novel cyclic peptide which targets a key protein responsible for the upregulation of neutrophil functions and by specifically targeting this protein results in reduced inflammation and faster healing times in models of chronic non healing wounds.
Hardie Health our joint venture with the Malaita Island landholders from the Solomon Islands and the Ferrier Research Institute of Victoria University of Wellington, has recently been acquired 100% by Medical Kiwi Limited, an Aotearoa NZ based medicinal cannabis and health focussed company.
Medical Kiwi is helping to change the way the world delivers health outcomes, bringing their medicinal cannabis and natural wellness products to the global market. The alignment between Medical Kiwi and Hardie Health’s vision meant an easy decision to combine the two companies. Medical Kiwi will continue the Hardie Health work on the local plant species with known traditional medicinal qualities. Our novel compound, Balaenone, from one of these plants currently has patent applications pending in 8 countries.
In celebrating this merger, we are pleased that the Malaita Island landholders will continue their involvement and we acknowledge the on-going work that Professor Richard Furneaux, Associate Professor Peter Northcote and Dr Jonathon Singh from the Ferrier Research Institute, have delivered. The Ferrier Research Institute have world class expertise in natural products chemistry, a branch of organic chemistry that relates to the isolation and characterisation of chemical entities found in nature.
Medical Kiwi is dedicated to the growth of a credible medicinal cannabis industry in Aotearoa NZ and has already:
- built a strong health-based, scientific and business savvy team
- developed a clear plan for research, product development and distribution
- signed partnership agreements with global industry-leading companies
- completed the fit-out and commenced cultivation to GACP and GMP standards
- been granted a Medicinal Cannabis licence from the Ministry of Health to cultivate, manufacture and supply medicinal cannabis