Dr Brad Sleebs - ACRF Chemical Biology division

Dr Brad Sleebs - ACRF Chemical Biology division

Davis Auditorium
Start Time: 
Wed, 15/09/2021 - 1:00pm
End Time: 
Wed, 15/09/2021 - 2:00pm

WEHI Wednesday Seminar hosted by Professor Guillaume Lessene


Dr Brad Sleebs

Lab Head, ACRF Chemical Biology division - New Medicines & Advanced Technologies Theme

Development of a novel treatment for anxiety disorders – from the bench to the clinic

Davis Auditorium

Online access via Slido and enter code #WEHIWEDNESDAY

Including Q&A session


Anxiety disorders are a chronic, recurring and potentially life-threatening illness that affects up to 20% of the population worldwide. Benzodiazepines and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are the most commonly administered drug for treatment of anxiety disorders. Although these drugs efficiently reduce anxiety, their use is limited because of undesirable effects such as sedation, ataxia and amnesia, addiction, drug tolerance and abuse liability.  There is therefore an unmet clinical need for anxiolytic drugs without these adverse pharmacological effects.


This seminar will summarise the preclinical and clinical development of a novel anxiolytic drug, called BNC210, developed at WEHI in partnership with Australian Biotech company Bionomics Ltd. BNC210 has a unique mechanism of action and demonstrates robust activity in pre-clinical anxiety models without inducing side effects associated with clinically used benzodiazepine and SSRI drugs. The impressive pharmacological profile of BNC210 has enabled its transition to the clinic and successful completion of phase I tolerability and pharmacological clinical trials. BNC210 is currently under development in phase II clinical trials for treatment of Generalised Anxiety and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders.


Dr Sleebs is a Laboratory Head in the ACRF Chemical Biology Division at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute. His past research includes development of anxiolytics and agents that target the BH3 family of proteins for treatment of blood cancers. His current research focuses on developing small molecule probes to better understand biological processes that are essential to the survival of the malaria parasite and the progression of cancer malignancies. In parallel, Dr Sleebs leads drug discovery programs in both oncology and infectious diseases in collaboration with institute colleagues and with industry partners.


All welcome!