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LifeArc and DEBRA Austria: A Groundbreaking Initiative for Epidermolysis Bullosa

LifeArc, a self-funded medical research organisation, and DEBRA Austria, a patient organisation charity, have recently initiated an ambitious project to mitigate the effects of epidermolysis bullosa (EB), a rare and currently incurable skin disorder. This article delves into the specifics of this collaborative undertaking.

A Call for Projects

The duo has announced an open call for projects that focus on repurposing treatments to address EB. They have earmarked £2.5 million to fund these projects. The preferred applications will be from research groups at academic institutions or hospitals worldwide.

Note: Epidermolysis bullosa (EB) is a group of rare inherited disorders that adversely affect the skin's integrity and internal mucous membranes, causing chronic tissue damage, persistent inflammatory response, and fibrosis.

The Focus Areas

The project calls for a priority focus on chronic inflammation, fibrosis, and cancer initiation. The proposed therapies should be repurposable or repositionable, and supported by robust non-clinical data with a clear trajectory to clinical development.

LifeArc’s Role

LifeArc, the non-profit medical research organisation, is committed to its Rare Disease Translational Challenge, investing more than £100 million to address some of the major obstacles facing rare disease translational science. This initiative is a part of this challenge.

"Our translational challenges are long-term, collaborative research programmes shaped by what patients tell us they need and designed to tackle complex health issues by taking the best scientific ideas out of the lab and helping to turn them into medical breakthroughs that can be life-changing," says Catriona Crombie, Associate Director Technology Transfer at LifeArc.

DEBRA Austria’s Contribution

DEBRA Austria, a patient organisation charity, is dedicated to supporting people with any type of EB and funding promising EB research worldwide.

"In all our research funding efforts, the patient has to be at the centre. We are excited to be working with LifeArc on this £2.5 million funding programme and look forward to supporting the development of new treatments for this serious disorder," comments Rainer Riedl, Managing Director DEBRA Austria.

The Proposal

The call seeks innovative proposals to progress therapies where there is substantial evidence that they can be repurposed or repositioned to deliver increased resolution of non-healing wounds, prevention and/or reduction of chronic inflammation, inhibition and/or reduction of fibrosis, or decreased risk of squamous cell carcinoma initiation in patients with EB.

The Process

The funding round will be organised in a two-stage application process. The expression of interest (EOI) stage opens on 10 July 2023 and closes on 10 September 2023. Shortlisted EOI applicants will be invited to submit full applications between 4 October and 4 December. Successful applicants will be notified in March 2024, with projects expected to begin in Q2 2024.

About LifeArc

LifeArc is a self-funded, not-for-profit medical research organisation. For over 25 years, its work has resulted in five licensed medicines, including cancer drug pembrolizumab (Keytruda®), lecanemab for Alzheimer’s (Leqembi), and a diagnostic for antibiotic resistance. LifeArc is committed to spending £1.3 billion by 2030 in areas of high unmet medical need.

About DEBRA Austria

DEBRA Austria is a patient organisation charity dedicated to providing wide programs of support to people with any type of EB, as well as research support to develop effective new treatments and clinical care. Its mission is to support the development of efficacious, safe, and affordable medicines for people living with EB.

In Conclusion

This joint initiative by LifeArc and DEBRA Austria aims to bring rapid relief to patients suffering from EB. It's a testament to their unwavering commitment to having a positive impact on patient lives.

For more information about the call, applicant eligibility, research scope and exclusions, applicant process and guidance, click here.LifeArc, a self-funded medical research organisation, and DEBRA Austria, a patient organisation charity, have recently initiated an ambitious project to mitigate the effects of epidermolysis bullosa (EB), a rare and currently incurable skin disorder. This article delves into the specifics of this collaborative undertaking.

A Call for Projects

The duo has announced an open call for projects that focus on repurposing treatments to address EB. They have earmarked £2.5 million to fund these projects. The preferred applications will be from research groups at academic institutions or hospitals worldwide.

Note: Epidermolysis bullosa (EB) is a group of rare inherited disorders that adversely affect the skin's integrity and internal mucous membranes, causing chronic tissue damage, persistent inflammatory response, and fibrosis.

The Focus Areas

The project calls for a priority focus on chronic inflammation, fibrosis, and cancer initiation. The proposed therapies should be repurposable or repositionable, and supported by robust non-clinical data with a clear trajectory to clinical development.

LifeArc’s Role

LifeArc, the non-profit medical research organisation, is committed to its Rare Disease Translational Challenge, investing more than £100 million to address some of the major obstacles facing rare disease translational science. This initiative is a part of this challenge.

"Our translational challenges are long-term, collaborative research programmes shaped by what patients tell us they need and designed to tackle complex health issues by taking the best scientific ideas out of the lab and helping to turn them into medical breakthroughs that can be life-changing," says Catriona Crombie, Associate Director Technology Transfer at LifeArc.

DEBRA Austria’s Contribution

DEBRA Austria, a patient organisation charity, is dedicated to supporting people with any type of EB and funding promising EB research worldwide.

"In all our research funding efforts, the patient has to be at the centre. We are excited to be working with LifeArc on this £2.5 million funding programme and look forward to supporting the development of new treatments for this serious disorder," comments Rainer Riedl, Managing Director DEBRA Austria.

The Proposal

The call seeks innovative proposals to progress therapies where there is substantial evidence that they can be repurposed or repositioned to deliver increased resolution of non-healing wounds, prevention and/or reduction of chronic inflammation, inhibition and/or reduction of fibrosis, or decreased risk of squamous cell carcinoma initiation in patients with EB.

The Process

The funding round will be organised in a two-stage application process. The expression of interest (EOI) stage opens on 10 July 2023 and closes on 10 September 2023. Shortlisted EOI applicants will be invited to submit full applications between 4 October and 4 December. Successful applicants will be notified in March 2024, with projects expected to begin in Q2 2024.

About LifeArc

LifeArc is a self-funded, not-for-profit medical research organisation. For over 25 years, its work has resulted in five licensed medicines, including cancer drug pembrolizumab (Keytruda®), lecanemab for Alzheimer’s (Leqembi), and a diagnostic for antibiotic resistance. LifeArc is committed to spending £1.3 billion by 2030 in areas of high unmet medical need.

About DEBRA Austria

DEBRA Austria is a patient organisation charity dedicated to providing wide programs of support to people with any type of EB, as well as research support to develop effective new treatments and clinical care. Its mission is to support the development of efficacious, safe, and affordable medicines for people living with EB.

In Conclusion

This joint initiative by LifeArc and DEBRA Austria aims to bring rapid relief to patients suffering from EB. It's a testament to their unwavering commitment to having a positive impact on patient lives.

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