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Biotech firm to expand its antiviral drug research in Nelson

Media Release – 28 November 2022

Nelson biotech company Kimer Med is expanding into a new laboratory and looking to hire additional staff after signing an agreement with Cawthron Institute this week. The move means Kimer Med will now be doing more of its antiviral research in Nelson, after initially outsourcing aspects of its drug research and development programme to New Zealand universities and overseas biotechnology companies.

Two men in white lab coats standing in a science lab, while another man in jeans and a colourful shirt is seated between them.

Pictured L to R: Dr Mike Schmidt – Business Development Manager; Andy Clover – Communications & Funding Specialist; Rick Kiessig – CEO & Chief Science Officer in Kimer Med’s new laboratory.

Kimer Med chief executive, Rick Kiessig, said setting up the new premises was an important milestone that would provide the company with some real benefits.

“This is such an awesome lab – its clean, modern and well-designed. Working in such a great lab in Nelson will allow us to significantly increase the pace of our research.”

Kimer Med’s research is centred on the development of a broad-spectrum antiviral medication using large molecule recombinant protein technology. This is a different approach from other available antivirals, which are based on small molecules and usually virus-specific. If successful, the resulting drug will be indispensable in the fight against both current viral disease and emerging pandemic threats due to its ability to treat a broad range of viral infections.

Kiessig said he was thrilled to be able to work alongside scientists from the Cawthron Institute in their state-of-the-art facility, and grateful for their help in making it possible.

“Setting up the new lab also creates the need to hire more staff, so we are now looking to fill two positions, namely Lab Manager and Biomedical Researcher,” said Kiessig.

Cawthon’s Te Wero Aro-aramata Supervisor Michael Scott, said he was delighted by the agreement and how it aligns with Cawthron’s values of giving back to the Nelson community at large. “We are excited to be able to assist Kimer Med make further scientific advances in this area.”

About Cawthron Institute
Cawthron Institute is New Zealand’s largest independent science organisation. They deliver world-class science that helps to protect the environment and support the sustainable development of primary industries in New Zealand and worldwide.

 Image credit:
Tim Cuff

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