Drugs from the Sea: Biomedicines, Biodiversity and Biopirates

Chris Battershill
Date Monday 1 March 2021
Time 6pm
Where The University of Waikato, Tauranga, Durham St, Tauranga
Presenter Prof Chris Battershill, Senior Lecturer, School of Science
Contact Joanna Kearney
Contact email
Series Tauranga Public Lectures
Admission Cost This is a free event but registrations are essential. Please register your attendance here and present your eticket at the door.

Postponed. New Date TBC.

Please note that this lecture will not take place if we are under COVID Alert Level 2 or above on Monday 1 March.

New Zealand has played a significant role in the global discovery programme of new drugs from the sea, especially anti-tumour active leads such as the late phase breast cancer drug, Halaven®. The lead compound for clinical trials was produced from the ‘wild’, a deep reef offshore from Kaikoura, and through aquaculture. Marine derived drug leads work! So why are there not more? The issues are ownership of the genetic material, competition with synthetic drug leads, the complexity of the natural molecules, and their supply. Now there is a further and prevailing issue - that of the loss of the very species that produce these invaluable leads. All but the latter issue are quickly resolvable, but loss of biodiversity means loss of chemical and genetic leads that will be of inordinate value to us, and future generations.

Professor Chris Battershill holds the inaugural Bay of Plenty Regional Council Chair in Coastal Science, based in Tauranga. Amongst other national and international collaborations, the new Chair oversees the New Zealand operation of the INTERCOAST programme, established by the University of Waikato and Bremen University in Germany to create a major centre of marine research excellence in the Bay of Plenty. Professor Battershill also heads the Coastal Marine Group in the School of Science and is the inaugural Director of the Coastal Marine Field Station in Tauranga.

The Spring St parking building is open 24 hours and is free from 5.00pm

Registration is essential. Please present your eticket at the door. You can register here