The University of Nottingham in the British Midlands Announces Development of Possible Hepatitis C Vaccine
The United Kingdom is home to Europe's largest biotechnology sector,generating revenues in excess of $8.6 billion per year. In central England isthe British Midlands region, which is at the heart of the UK's biopharma andmedical device industries.
The British Midlands is one of Europe's premier locations for theadvancement of medicine and life sciences. All of the region's 18universities have unique areas of scientific expertise, which fuel theregion's record of innovation in the field.
Some of the twentieth century's most important innovations in medicinetook shape in the British Midlands. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) wasinvented by The University of Nottingham's Sir Peter Mansfield. TheBirmingham Children's Hospital leads the field in treatments for congenitalheart disease and developed the world's smallest successful heart pacemaker ina three-day old infant.
Just last week, another potential breakthrough was announced by theBritish Midlands' University of Nottingham, which released a statementclaiming the discovery of a possible vaccine which can be used in thetreatment of Hepatitis C.
Dr. Alexander Tarr, a Research Fellow at Nottingham's Institute ofInfection, Immunity and Inflammation, presented a paper titled 'HumanAntibodies to Hepatitis C Virus - Potential for Vaccine Design', at theSociety for General Microbiology's 161st meeting which was held at TheUniversity of Edinburgh two weeks ago.
The research group had recently analyzed antibodies that can successfullyprevent infection with many diverse strains of Hepatitis C virus in laboratorymodels.
Dr. Tarr made a statement saying, "The clinical potential of this workcannot be overstated. Historically, successful vaccines against viruses haverequired the production of antibodies, and this is likely to be the case forHepatitis C virus. Identifying regions of the virus that are able to inducebroadly reactive neutralizing antibodies is a significant milestone in thedevelopment of a HCV vaccine, which will have distinct healthcare benefits forhepatitis sufferers, and could also help us design vaccines for other chronicviral diseases such as HIV."
"We are also currently exploring the possibility of improving livertransplantation success rates by passively infusing people with theseantibodies," said Dr. Tarr, "Additionally we are using the information gainedby identifying and characterizing the antibody responses to Hepatitis C virusto design new ways of making vaccine candidates. If the antibodies we havediscovered can be reproduced by vaccination, control of the disease might bepossible."
The Hepatitis C virus affects over 180 million people worldwide.Infection with the virus can lead to liver cancer, and is the most commonreason for liver transplantation in the United States and the United Kingdom.
About The British Midlands Development Corporation
The British Midlands Development Corporation is the North Americaneconomic development agency for central England. The Midlands region islocated just one hour north of London and includes the major commercialcenters of Birmingham, Nottingham, Coventry and Northampton.
As an agency funded by the UK Government, The British Midlands DevelopmentCorporation provides specialist advice and support to North American companiesseeking to establish a presence or expand a current operation in the region.The British Midlands Development Corporation provides access to businessnetworks, details about sources for grants and funding, business supportservices, and information to help companies identify opportunities to developand grow.
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