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BMS’ sponsored programme selects four research projects to investigate viral diseases

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Bristol-Myers Squibb's (BMS) European medical education programme Partnering for Cure has selected four research projects, designed to investigate new ways to cure viral diseases.

BMS will provide €300,000 to support the four research projects.

The selected projects will help to provide insight into the pathophysiology of viral diseases, as well as in the development of cure strategies for HIV, hepatitis B (HBV) and hepatitis C (HCV).

Partnering for Cure chair professor Jürgen Rockstroh said: "Since the programme was founded last year, Partnering for Cure enabled novel research into viral diseases to progress, while also facilitating the exchange of knowledge among industry-leading virology experts. These activities are vital in helping to discover future cures for diseases such as hepatitis and HIV."

"The projects will help to provide insight into the pathophysiology of viral diseases, as well as in the development of cure strategies for HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C."

The first recipient of the 2014 research awards include the Netherlands-based Elisa De Crignis for human liver organoids, a technology to unravel determinants of HBV infection and persistence.

UK's SalimKhakoo was selected for predictive factors, which will define candidates for stopping antiviral therapy with nucleos(t)ides analogues in chronic HBeAg-negative hepatitis B.

Portugal-based Pedro Borrego's gene therapy was awarded for HIV cure using RNA replicons targeting HIV entry and latency.

Netherland's Godelieve de Bree was selected for the properties of the lymphoid viral reservoir and the HIV specific CD8+ T cell response in early treatment of acute HIV infection.

Bristol-Myers Squibb virology department vice-president George Hanna said: "Through the Partnering for Cure programme and this latest round of awards, we are pledging our continued commitment to virology education, treatment and research."

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