Friday, March 16th 2012
The Consortium has been awarded a £1.2 million to fund the development of our Wave II Lentiviral Research Programme. This grant has been awarded by the MRC Developmental Pathway Funding Scheme. The aim of this research is to use a modified virus to replace the defective CFTR gene in the human airways.
Typically this type of viral vector can be designed in such a way to potentially allow far more efficient gene transfer than our existing clinical product, thus reducing the requirement for repeat administrations.
Gene therapy represents one of the most promising treatment avenues for cystic fibrosis and many other devastating conditions that currently have no effective cure. By investing more than £4m in this exciting research, the MRC reaffirms its commitment to driving the translation of laboratory and clinical science into new treatments for human disease. The investment will also strengthen further our significant collaborative links with the NIHR, which make this research possible.
Dr Wendy Ewart, Deputy Chief Executive of the MRC.
The new virus delivery approach has never been tried before but it could be more efficient. It is specifically designed to deliver the gene therapy to the lungs, but it will take several more years of development before it gets to the point of human trials.
Dr Deborah Gill, University of Oxford.
The £1.2 million investment from the Medical Research Council to support work in more effective delivery methods will help bring improvements in treatment and benefits for patients.
David Willerts, Minister for Universities and Science.