03 May 2022

Professor Stuart Pitson

A UniSA world leader in inflammatory cell signalling, Professor Stuart Pitson, will draw on $10 million seed funding in a collaboration with Monash University to develop better treatments for inflammatory lung diseases that affect approximately 550 million people globally.

Prof Pitson, based in the Centre for Cancer Biology, is the Chief Scientific Officer and co-founder of new Australian biotech company Ankere Therapeutics, which launched today.

Ankere will harness research into inflammation from Prof Pitson’s lab with small molecule chemistry from Associate Professor Bernard Flynn of Monash University’s Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Inflammatory lung diseases include asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pulmonary fibrosis, chronic and acute bronchitis, emphysema and cystic fibrosis, with some types having a survival rate as poor as 3-5 years post diagnosis.

“Some of these diseases have no cure, but Ankere hopes to develop better treatments for many sufferers,” Prof Pitson says.

“Ankere is an example of how a strong partnership between researchers with a shared area of focus has the potential to address the most pressing health concerns.

“The combination of research, expertise and capital at Ankere will support the project to advance its highly promising discovery which has the potential to lead to new therapies targeting inflammation.”

The funding round was jointly led by IP Group and Brandon Capital, through Brandon BioCatalyst, and will support the company through its pre-clinical development and into clinical trials.


Contact for interview:  Professor Stuart Pitson email stuart.pitson@unisa.edu.au
Media contact: Candy Gibson mobile: 0434 605 142 email: candy.gibson@unisa.edu.au

About Ankere Therapeutics

Ankere Therapeutics ‘Ankere’ is venture-backed company focused on developing new pharmaceutical agents that target inflammatory conditions, particularly those of the lung. The company was founded by Associate Professor Bernard Flynn Monash University Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (MIPS) and Professor Stuart Pitson (University of South Australia) and built on decades of research. Ankere is striving to develop transformative therapies based on excellent science that will enable people to live long and healthy lives.

About the Centre for Cancer Biology  

Based in Adelaide, South Australia, the Centre for Cancer Biology is a Medical Research Institute which carries out a world-class program of innovative research, making breakthrough discoveries in the fundamental causes of cancer, and translating these discoveries into new ways to prevent and treat this group of diseases. The CCB is an alliance between SA Pathology and the University of South Australia and boasts the largest concentration of cancer research in South Australia. The CCB is a member of Brandon BioCatalyst and the Association of Australian Medical Research Institutes (AAMRI).  


Other articles you may be interested in