Drug Development

graphic with a microscope and microscopic organisms

The Queensland Emory Drug Discovery Initiative (QEDDI) is a research partnership between Emory University and the University of Queensland (UQ) that aims to accelerate the discovery and development of new drugs to treat cancer, diabetes, inflammatory disorders and infectious diseases

The drug discovery initiative builds on the Queensland Emory Development Alliance and will benefit from the medicinal chemistry and drug discovery expertise of the Emory Institute for Drug Development (EIDD).

QEDDI's goal is to develop new medications through collaborations with their team of industry-experienced scientists and Emory's academic researchers.

QEDDI is expected to bridge the gap between discoveries in laboratories at UQ leading to small molecule drug candidates and new therapeutic drugs available to physicians and patients through the global marketplace. It also will focus on developing and enhancing strategic partnerships with major pharmaceutical companies.

The Queensland Emory Drug Discovery Initiative (QEDDI) will be led by UQ's main commercialization company, UniQuest, through a financial commitment from UQ.

QEDDI will have the capability to perform drug discovery, medicinal chemistry, and preclinical development to identify promising small molecule drug candidates and develop them to a stage where they may be of interest to pharmaceutical companies or investment companies for further development.

QEDDI offers unique licensing opportunities to industry from a pipeline of novel therapeutic, validated and de-risked drug leads, based on UQ’s most innovative biological research.

More than $16 million in funding to support QEDDI has been committed as of 2018.

  • UniQuest commercial returns - $12.247 
  • Queensland Government - $4.2 million

UQ will inject $30 million throughout the next 10 years into QEDDI through a reinvestment of returns from its already-successful commercialization activities.

Emory University will provide in-kind advice and support for QEDDI through Professor Dennis Liotta, PhD and George Painter, PhD.

QEDDI led by Dennis Liotta, PhD and George Painter, PhD, and Drug Innovation Ventures at Emory (DRIVE), an Emory-associated not-for-profit biotechnology company led by George Painter, PhD.

Dennis Loitta, PhD

George Painter, PhD

George Painter, PhD

UniQuest has recruited and employed a team of medicinal chemists that are working in a lab at the Institute of Molecular Bioscience (IMB).

The QEDDI team form part of and are supported by UniQuest's Intellectual Property Commercialisation group and report through its management structure.

Key personnel includes:

QEDDI’s strengths include medicinal chemistry, pharmacology, pre-clinical candidate selection, and commercialization.