Four medical researchers have been the first in Europe awarded a CSL Research Acceleration Initiative partnership, including an investment of up to 400,000 CHF per program over two years, to fast-track the discovery of innovative biotherapies that address unmet patient needs. Providing life-saving medicines to patients in over 100 countries, CSL is driven by its promise to advance and deliver innovations that address rare and serious diseases as well as protect public health. The CSL Research Acceleration Initiative (RAI) establishes partnerships between CSL and global research organisations to enhance the progress towards commercialisation of promising discovery programs. In addition to creating long-term mutual partnerships to further innovation, the initiative includes funding as well as access to CSL R&D experts.
The 2020 European RAI awardees include researchers from the Philipps-University Marburg in Germany, and both the University of Bern and University Hospital Bern in Switzerland. Dr Marthe D’Ombrain, CSL’s Head of Global Research Innovation said, “Both Germany and Switzerland are known hubs for biomedical research, globally, and we are looking forward to collaborating with our new partners to support the exciting discoveries they are working towards”.
The investigators and technologies selected in the 2020 European initiative include:
- Prof. Uyen Huynh-Do, University Hospital Bern, Switzerland
Prof Huynh-Do is investigating a serum protein as a potential novel therapeutic for ischemia/reperfusion injury (IRI) that could benefit patients who have undergone cardiovascular surgery, organ transplantation, or suffered from ischemic stroke.
- Dr. Nicoletta Sorvillo, University of Bern, Switzerland
Dr. Sorvillo is exploring the role of citrullination in driving ischemia/reperfusion injury (IRI). IRI is the tissue or organ damage that results from an interruption and the subsequent restoration of blood supply to tissue. IRI can occur after ischemic stroke, myocardial infarction and after organ transplantation.
- Prof. Britta Engelhardt, University of Bern, Switzerland
Professor Engelhardt is studying the breakdown of the Blood Brain Barrier (BBB) and is exploring how this may be involved in driving both the symptoms and underlying causes of neurological disorders, such as multiple sclerosis (MS).
- Prof. Bernd Schmeck, Philipps-University Marburg, Germany
Professor Schmeck is exploring the ability to distinguish and potentially treat subtypes of a serious lung disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), with extracellular vesicles (EVs). COPD is currently the third leading cause of death worldwide.
The 2020 European RAI awardees’ research addresses important unmet medical needs across CSL’s therapeutic areas, including immunology, transplant, respiratory, hematology, and cardiovascular and metabolic disease.
Dr D’Ombrain said that the RAI recipients work is in important areas of medical research where there is often limited or no existing treatment for patient conditions. “We look forward to helping transform these ideas into ground-breaking therapies to improve the lives of people living with these conditions.”
Each year, CSL’s Global Research Acceleration Initiative works to identify promising research programs around the world which will benefit most from fast-tracked collaboration and support. The 2021 CSL Research Acceleration Initiative is currently in progress.
" We look forward to helping transform these ideas into ground-breaking therapies to improve the lives of people living with these conditions. "Dr Marthe D’Ombrain, CSL’s Head of Global Research Innovation