Creating a prosperous, sustainable and healthy Northern Australia

Novel therapeutics for diabetes sourced from Northern Australian biota

Novel therapeutics for diabetes sourced from Northern Australian biota
  • Reference # H.5.2021062
  • Timeframe 3 years
  • Project Status Current
  • Location Cairns, Townsville
  • Total project value $2,276,796.00
  • Project manager Ian Biggs
  • Research Programs 5. Northern health service delivery innovation
  • Health service delivery


The project is looking to develop new treatments for Type 2 diabetes (T2D) from the protein secretions of parasitic worms.

Clinical trials have already shown  parasitic worms, such as hookworms, can protect infected humans from developing Type 2 diabetes by targeting inflammation – a  major contributing factor to some metabolic conditions, like Type 2 diabetes.

This project will target these proteins and replicate them in the lab using pharmaceutical industry standards. They will test the protein molecules and determine which are best suited to the next stage of development and possible further clinical development and trials.

Expected outcomes

The goal of this project is to discover and develop biologics to treat T2D and to secure relevant patents for this work. In doing so, the project team expect to attract further investment in the Cairns-based biotechnology company, Macrobiome and grow local R & D capacity and capability in the emerging bio-tech field.

With around 1.2 million Australians currently living with Type 2 Diabetes, at a cost of around $14.6 billion to the health system annually, this project has significant potential to decrease the public health costs associated with diabetes and other inflammatory diseases.