Queensland scientists working on hendra antibody

QUEENSLAND scientists working on an anti-hendra virus treatment are in discussions with top American researchers about developing an antibody against the growing global threat of emerging diseases.

Gympie will host a hendra information night at The Pavilion on June 23, featuring vet nurse and hendra survivor Natalie Beohm and Gympie horse vet Justin Schooth.

In Washington DC yesterday, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk met with researcher Dr Dimiter S. Dimitrov from the National Institutes of Health who, along with Professor Chris Broder, were co-developers of the anti-hendra monoclonal antibody.

"Following the successful world-class research and development they did on the hendra monoclonal antibody, Queensland researchers are set to focus on other emerging diseases, potentially including Middle-East Respiratory Syndrome," Ms Palaszczuk said.

"The University of Queensland's Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, under director Professor Peter Gray, has been asked to lead the project.

"MERS and other emerging diseases pose a serious global threat, which is why a collaborative effort from some of the world's best researchers is urgently needed."

Professor Gray and his team worked with US colleagues in the development of the world-first anti-hendra monoclonal antibody, which was approved for human trials in April this year. The trials are running in Brisbane with Dr Geoffrey Playford as the lead investigator.

"We would be delighted for this work to come to Queensland, further enhancing our reputation of becoming a centre of biotechnology excellence," Ms Palaszczuk said.