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Australian biotech finds key to unlock natural assets

BioProspect is one of Australia's leading natural product discovery companies.

The company identifies, researches and develops natural biological products which can be used worldwide to improve pharmaceutical, nutraceutical and agrochemical drug discovery.

BioProspect has made several important discoveries including QCIDE (the development of a natural insecticide from a rare Eucalyptus leaf found only in Northern Queensland) and AP778 Termite Control (a natural product made from endemic Australian trees which prevents and treats termite infestations).

BioProspect is a licensed biological prospecting and collection agent and provides a range of other services including the management of a natural extract library, chemical analysis and screening services.

Through licenses in Queensland and Western Australia, BioProspect is legally able to provide biota (flora and fauna specimens) to biotech organisations.

Biota collected by BioProspect can be used for unlimited scientific and medical purposes such as drug research, development and improvement to prevent and treat new and existing diseases.

BioProspect has catalogued every specimen found during the prospecting process. Each year about 10,000 new plant specimens are added to the company's resource database.

To ensure the ongoing value of its services, BioProspect actively pursues partnerships with innovative and cutting-edge organisations. One such example is BioProspect's new collaboration with American company Diversa, which was facilitated by Austrade.

The recently formalised partnership between BioProspect and Diversa gives Diversa the right to discover genes from collections of Australian biological material supplied by BioProspect.

The biota supplied to Diversa is being used to identify and develop valuable molecules with pharmaceutical applications for agricultural, chemical and industrial industry purposes.

BioProspect Chief Executive Officer Selwyn Snell said Austrade played a significant role assisting BioProspect to identify and formalise its collaboration with Diversa.

"The applications of BioProspect biota resources are so numerous that finding the best place to start forming global business alliances was always going to be a difficult job," Mr Snell said.

"Austrade provided enormous assistance to us," he said. "They took the time to learn about BioProspect and our services then used their on-the-ground knowledge of international markets to help us plan the best way forward."

"In our case, Austrade did more than undertake international market research for us," Mr Snell said."They were hands-on and proactively helped to set up and qualify leads so when it came time to travel to the United States we felt confident that we would be meeting with valuable business contacts."

"Diversa is a highly respected leader in genomic technology and we are humbled by our strategic alliance with the company," he said. "We are looking forward to continuing our relationship with Austrade as BioProspects looks to new export markets."

Diversa is a listed American company headquartered at San Deigo, California.

BioProspect's successful venture to the US was assisted by Austrade's global network of contacts and particularly the Austrade office in Washington.

Contact Information:

Brisbane
Qld 4000 
Telephone: + 61 7 3229 5755

http://www.austrade.gov.au/
Telephone: + 61 2 9390 2077 

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