Public Release: 

Australia-India collaboration aims to make migraine therapy a reality

Queensland University of Technology

Avesthagen will license QUT technology based on the work of QUT's Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, specifically in using a specific gene targeted vitamin therapy to reduce migraine frequency, severity and pain.

Avesthagen will validate the migraine marker in the Parsi population through its Avestagenome Project along with the specific gene targeted therapy.

The migraine diagnostic and targeted vitamin therapy will be launched in India with the migraine tests being done at AQUAS Pvt Ltd, a testing, diagnostic and services company, a subsidiary of Avesthagen Limited. The targeted therapy will be marketed by Avesta Nordic Pvt Ltd, a preventive healthcare and nutrition company of Avesthagen.

IHBI executive director Professor Lyn Griffiths leads the research team, which showed in two clinical trials that vitamin use reduced migraine disability, frequency and severity in sufferers of this common neurological disorder.

The collaboration with Avesthagen will enable the researchers to translate their findings into a diagnostic and a therapeutic that can improve the lives of people with migraine.

It will also enable the development of a safe and effective pharmaceutical vitamin therapy that can be cheaply produced at industrial quantities.

IHBI researchers and Avesthagen will also pursue linked funding opportunities from the Australian and Indian governments to undertake further migraine genetics research.

Griffiths heads the Genomics Research Centre, with researchers investigating the genetic and environmental factors involved in common chronic disorders.

The Centre has been involved in migraine genetics research for nearly 20 years and has identified a number of genes involved in migraine development.

The new treatment is targeted to the MTHFR gene and has been shown to be particularly effective in people with migraine with aura, a common sub-type of migraine that usually involves neurological disturbances, such as visual changes, before the head pain onset.

Griffiths said the collaboration with Avesthagen kept IHBI at the forefront of a developing research area in personalised medicine.

'Personalised medicine is about using genetics to understand each person's makeup, including their disease susceptibility, and finding the best treatment for that person,' she said.

'At IHBI, we are gaining a great understanding of genetic makeup and disease susceptibility because of expertise in genome and transcriptome analysis.

'We need Avesthagen's input to turn that into a therapy that people around the world can trust and afford.'

Avesthagen Limited has been at the forefront and one of the earliest companies to explore the convergence of food pharma and population genetics leading to predictive, preventive and personalised healthcare. The company was founded by Dr. Villoo Morawala Patell, the executive chairman.

After 15 years of dedicated research and development Avesthagen has, through its grid model using organism biodiversity as verticals combined with genomic-transcriptome-proteomic-metaobolomic-bioinformatics horizontal platforms as a basis of innovation, been able to deliver a prolific product pipeline in life sciences. Four commercial companies have emerged addressing pharma, nutrition, agriculture and diagnostics. Avesthagen Limited recently launched The Avestagenome Project as the new discovery and development project this time taking a largely endogamous community as a basis for innovation.

Patell said this relationship with Griffiths was of long standing.

'We have been able to finally come together on this very important project and opportunity to understand migraine better, and take the lab to the bedside,' she said.

'The diagnosis of a particular marker linked to a therapy is unique and we are excited by this opportunity to work with Australia, QUT and with Professor Lyn Griffiths to bring the technology to the Indian diaspora and provide a diagnosis and treatment for the neglected migraine condition.'

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