Sydney, Australia – Calix, a multi-award-winning Australian technology company, has been awarded a Global Connections Fund grant for work on a new pathway for the treatment of diseases. Calix will partner with the Centre for Research and Technology Hellas (CERTH) in Greece to target the development of a non-toxic powder effective against a wide range of pathogens without generating resistance.
The Global Connections Fund forms part of the Australian Government’s Global Innovation Strategy, which seeks to create more jobs and drive Australia’s economic growth by advancing Australian ideas and assisting in the commercialisation process. This program is administered by the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering with the support of its expert Academy Fellows network.
A collaboration with Principal Researcher Dr George Karagiannakis at CERTH was established to test whether Calix’s nano-active magnesium oxide (MgO) produced with very high surface area, was a source of reactive oxygen species (ROS).
ROS generation in animals and plants leads to a mechanism considered as the first defence to combat most diseases that originate from pathogenic anaerobic microorganisms. CERTH uses spin-trap electron paramagnetic resonance to quantify ROS.
Dr Mark Sceats, Chief Scientist of Calix and a Fellow of the Academy said, “The results confirmed that Calix’s nano-active MgO is a source of ROS and, furthermore, a higher dose of ROS was generated as the particle was dissolved in weak acids. This implies that direct application could be effective against disease, because acids exuded by the pathogens will trigger a burst of ROS when the particle meets the pathogen.”
Calix has dubbed this mechanism the “ROS bombTM” for pathogen suppression.
The grant will help Calix further investigate this, and then set up a broad Australian-European collaboration with CERTH to explore its use in combating diseases.
Phil Hodgson, CEO, Calix, said, “We live in an era where pathogens are becoming more resistant to our current means of protecting ourselves and our agriculture. There is a demand for products that treat diseases in humans, animals, and plants, bypassing the use of expensive, toxic antibiotics to which many diseases have become resistant. We believe that Calix could have a material and a process that could help solve this global challenge.”