The British Midlands Development Corporation has announced that the University of Nottingham in the British Midlands has released a statement promoting the development of a 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 is the British Midlands region, which is at the heart of the UK's biopharma and medical device industries.
The British Midlands is one of Europe's premier locations for the advancement of medicine and life sciences. All of the region's 18 universities have unique areas of scientific expertise, which fuel the region's record of innovation in the field.
Some of the twentieth century's most important innovations in medicine took shape in the British Midlands. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was invented by The University of Nottingham's Sir Peter Mansfield. The Birmingham Children's Hospital leads the field in treatments for congenital heart disease and developed the world's smallest successful heart pacemaker in a three-day old infant.
Just last week, another potential breakthrough was announced by the British Midlands' University of Nottingham, which released a statement claiming the discovery of a possible vaccine which can be used in the treatment of Hepatitis C.
Dr. Alexander Tarr, a Research Fellow at Nottingham's Institute of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation, presented a paper titled 'Human Antibodies to Hepatitis C Virus - Potential for Vaccine Design', at the Society for General Microbiology's 161st meeting which was held at The University of Edinburgh two weeks ago.
The research group had recently analyzed antibodies that can successfully prevent infection with many diverse strains of Hepatitis C virus in laboratory models.
Dr. Tarr made a statement saying, "The clinical potential of this work cannot be overstated. Historically, successful vaccines against viruses have required the production of antibodies, and this is likely to be the case for Hepatitis C virus. Identifying regions of the virus that are able to induce broadly reactive neutralizing antibodies is a significant milestone in the development of a HCV vaccine, which will have distinct healthcare benefits for hepatitis sufferers, and could also help us design vaccines for other chronic viral diseases such as HIV."
"We are also currently exploring the possibility of improving liver transplantation success rates by passively infusing people with these antibodies," said Dr. Tarr, "Additionally we are using the information gained by identifying and characterizing the antibody responses to Hepatitis C virus to design new ways of making vaccine candidates. If the antibodies we have discovered can be reproduced by vaccination, control of the disease might be possible."
The Hepatitis C virus affects over 180 million people worldwide. Infection with the virus can lead to liver cancer, and is the most common reason for liver transplantation in the United States and the United Kingdom.
The British Midlands Development Corporation is the North American economic development agency for central England. The Midlands region is located just one hour north of London and includes the major commercial centers of Birmingham, Nottingham, Coventry and Northampton.
As an agency funded by the UK Government, The British Midlands Development Corporation provides specialist advice and support to North American companies seeking to establish a presence or expand a current operation in the region. The British Midlands Development Corporation provides access to business networks, details about sources for grants and funding, business support services, and information to help companies identify opportunities to develop and grow.
The British Midlands Development Corporation is based in Chicago with branch offices in Boston, Washington DC and San Jose.