Largest British Fund for Biomedical Research Finances Project on Breakbone Fever in Leuven (K.U.Leuven)

Monday, October 26, 2009 General News J E 4
Breakbone or dengue fever is a viral disease prevalent in the tropics andsubtropics. The World Health Organisation estimates that approximately 50 to100 million people are infected with the virus every year. In approximatelyhalf a million cases the disease takes on a life threatening form: sufferersdevelop bleeding or go into shock. Children are especially sensitive to thevirus and as a result the majority of victims are children. The number ofcases has increased very rapidly in recent years.

Currently, the only way to counteract the spread of dengue is toexterminate the mosquitoes that carry the virus. Since no vaccines exist, itis of the utmost importance to develop medications for the treatment ofdengue, including preventive medication (as has also been done in the case ofmalaria, for example).LEUVEN, Belgium, October 26 /PRNewswire/ -- - The Laboratory for Virology and Experimental Chemotherapy (Rega Institute) and the "Centre for Drug Design and Discovery" (CD3) at K.U.Leuven will receive a total of 2.8 million euro from the British Wellcome Trust. - They will apply these funds to the search for possible new medication for the treatment of infections related to the 'dengue fever virus'. Dengue or 'breakbone fever' is widespread in tropical and subtropical regions. As of yet, there is neither a vaccine nor any form of treatment for this disease. - The findings of the researchers in Leuven will be developed further into medication, in co-operation with the pharmaceutical industry. - The Wellcome Trust is the largest independent fund for biomedical research in the United Kingdom. This is the first time that the fund is financing technology transfer on the European continent.



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