May 17, 2024  Print

WIMR researchers have again achieved an outstanding level of success in the most recent round of National Health and Medical Research (NHMRC) grants. Two WIMR teams have been awarded more than $10 million in NHMRC Clinical Trials and Cohorts Studies funding.

This funding highlights the importance of WIMR’s research commitment to ensure its research findings can be translated into clinical treatments that ultimately improve outcomes for patients.

NHMRC Clinical Trials and Cohort Studies grants support high-quality clinical trials and cohort studies that address important gaps in knowledge, leading to relevant and implementable findings for the benefit of human health.

Congratulations to the teams from the Centre for Infectious Disease and Microbiology, and Storr Liver Centre at WIMR for receiving NHMRC Clinical Trials and Cohorts Studies funding. 
The projects are:
Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia treated with phage therapy to improve outcomes (SABRE-Phi trial)
Staph aureus (golden staph) bloodstream infections are common and deadly, despite antibiotics.

Phages are viruses that infect and kill bacteria. The phage research team at Westmead has been treating patients with severe infections using phages produced by the group since 2022.

This trial will investigate use of a locally produced 2-phage combination (cocktail) that targets the golden staph bacteria to see if it provides an advantage in addition to antibiotics in treating patients with severe golden staph bloodstream infections.
Precision medicine in liver cancer: A national consortium for spatial and molecular phenotyping of hepatocellular carcinoma (the most common type of primary liver cancer)
This project aims to bring precision medicine, a treatment approach tailored to individual patients, to liver cancer care.

The WIMR team will use cellular and spatial genomics to understand liver cancer at the molecular level and build a national cohort for in-depth study, hoping to improve treatment and patient outcomes.

WIMR Executive Director, Professor Philip O’Connell said, “This important funding is recognition of our pursuit to integrate precision medicine into clinical practice and ultimately to deliver better patient care and health outcomes.

“At WIMR, we believe that precision medicine will revolutionise patient care, and I am proud that we are global leaders, embedding the concept into medical research.

“The remarkable precision of phages in targeting specific bacteria is an incredibly efficient approach for developing personalised therapies.  The ability to tailor individual treatment for liver cancer will transform patient outcomes for this devastating disease.

“I offer my congratulations to the successful research teams who have been awarded NHMRC Clinical Trials and Cohorts Studies funding.”

The full list of NHMRC Clinical Trials and Cohorts Studies grant recipients can be found here.