Special Announcement – Major funding boost for Cystic Fibrosis research
SIGNIFICANT FUNDING BOOST FOR AUSTRALIAN CYSTIC FIBROSIS LUNG GENE THERAPY RESEARCH
We are very excited to share some news that will have a significant impact on the research to develop a cure for cystic fibrosis airway disease, happening right here in South Australia.
Cure4CF and the Cystic Fibrosis Airway Research Group we support, has recently been successful in winning a major grant to undertake a critically important research project that forms part of preclinical testing ahead of commencing human clinical trials.
The grant is being provided by the Fay Fuller Foundation, a wonderful Foundation committed to improving the health and wellbeing of South Australians, and is for the amount of $670,000, provided over the next two years.
The project will enable the Cystic Fibrosis Airway Research Group to establish and use the first Australasian CF rat colony to test the effectiveness of corrective gene therapy on CF lung health. It will also use a revolutionary X-ray imaging technology, which can map airflow during breathing, to accurately measure changes in lung health.
If this project proves successful, it will be a global breakthrough in the treatment and assessment of cystic fibrosis airway disease.
“Adding a corrective CF gene into the affected airway cells of people with CF is recognized as the only way to potentially prevent or effectively treat the disease. What this ultimately could mean is that if a baby born with CF is given airway gene therapy at birth, the disease should never develop; and for people living with CF today, it has the potential to halt lung disease in its tracks,” said David Coluccio, Chairman, Cure4CF Foundation.
“Success in this project, and a gene therapy to treat cystic fibrosis airway disease will be quite simply, life changing.”
The work is underway at the Allan Scott CF Research Laboratory at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital and is led by pioneering scientist, Associate Professor David Parsons and the Cystic Fibrosis Airway Research Group.
“Medical research at this level can at times be painstakingly slow and of course very expensive,” said Assoc. Prof. Parsons.
“But after 20 years of steady success we know that we are on the right track. The funding provided by the Fay Fuller Foundation will allow us to demonstrate that this airway gene therapy, carefully developed in Adelaide, can prevent or halt the progression of CF in the lungs.
“In the global efforts to find a cure for cystic fibrosis, this research is a significant advancement.”
Suffice to say, all of us at Cure4CF are overjoyed with this grant success and are enthused by the opportunity to further develop our partnership with the Fay Fuller Foundation.
David Minns, Chairman, Fay Fuller Foundation said, “For a number of years we have been following the work of the CF Airway Research Group and their pioneering methods and we saw their current funding needs as integral to driving their research forward.
“To have such world class scientists developing a gene therapy intervention here in South Australia is a wonderful story and one that we are keen to support.”
Of course, there is still a lot of other work being progressed throughout the whole research team which requires our support, and must be completed prior to moving this research to human clinical trials.
However, as a Foundation we remain committed to working together with each of you who are essential to our fight against CF. Together we will continue to do all that we can to bring us closer to our ultimate goal – a cure for cystic fibrosis.