VIIN Scientists Engage with Industry and Research Connections

30 October 2015


Infection with the bacterium Clostridium difficile is one of the world’s most significant gut infections.  In the USA alone, it causes more than 500,000 illnesses per year.  By 2019, the global market opportunity for treatments for Clostridium difficile disease is expected to be over USD 0.5 billion. Current treatments for Clostridium difficile disease, however, are limited.

A/Prof Dena Lyras from Monash University’s Department of Microbiology has teamed up with Melbourne-based biotech company Immuron to develop a dairy-derived antibody therapy for 'Cdif' disease.

Based on developing Immuron’s antibody technology for testing in pre-clinical models of Clostridium difficile infection, the Monash – Immuron collaboration was initially funded by an ARC Linkage grant.

As the project advanced and matured, however, A/Prof Lyras and Immuron found that they needed to investigate new sources of support for their project.

The Federal Government’s Research Connections programme, formerly known as Researchers in Business, provided timely support for the collaboration.  Research Connections provides matched funding of up to $100,000 for small and medium-sized Australian businesses seeking to undertake research projects with publically funded research organisations, including Monash University and VIIN’s other contributing organisations. 

'The success of our Research Connections application has allowed us to employ one post-doctoral researcher and to fund the purchase of the laboratory supplies we require for our collaborative project with Immuron,' said A/Prof Lyras.  'Most importantly, the support of the Research Connections programme has enabled this important industry collaboration to retain key personnel and their expertise.'

For more information about the Research Connections programme and whether it is relevant to your collaborations with industry, please contact Joe Dodd, one of the Research Facilitators for the Research Connections programme (details below).

For more information:

· A/Prof Dena Lyras:; 

· Immuron:

· Research Connections:

· The Australian Government’s Entrepreneurship Programme:

· Joseph Dodd, Research Connections SME Engagement Manager / Research Facilitator.  Email:; Mob: 0435 134 935


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