Bristol-Myers Squibb names three European award winners for research focused on viral diseases

Scientists selected to receive research grants as part of Partnering for Cure programme

Three European virology researchers have been awarded research grants to investigate novel ways to cure viral diseases. They were chosen by an independent, expert faculty as part of the Partnering for Cure programme, a Europe-wide initiative sponsored by Bristol-Myers Squibb.

The programme aims to accelerate innovative scientific research that could lead to cures for viral diseases, such as HIV, hepatitis B (HBV) and hepatitis C (HCV). It was launched by a faculty of independent virology experts with the shared goals of supporting breakthrough research and facilitating greater collaboration and knowledge-sharing with the virology clinical community.

'We are proud to announce the selected investigators of the first Partnering for Cure research initiative,' said George Hanna, Vice President, HIV Development, Bristol-Myers Squibb.

While significant advances have been made in virology over recent years, there is more work to be done

'Bristol-Myers Squibb has been a leader in virology for many years and we remain committed to supporting breakthrough research and education in virology with the goal of providing a forum for discussion of emerging science on the nature of chronic viral infections.'

The winners of the funding are: Matthieu Perreau, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois (CHUV) Service Immunologie et Allergie, Switzerland, for a project called: 'Identification of the memory CD4 T-cell population(s) harbouring replication competent HIV-1 within lymphoid tissues'; Ruxandra Calin, Department of Infectious and Tropical Diseases, Hôpital Pitié-Salpêtrière, France for a project entitled: 'Comprehensive analysis of HIV reservoirs in chronically infected HIV-1 treated patients with a low total cell-associated blood HIV-DNA'; and Valentina Svicher, AVIRALIA Foundation, Italy, for a project called: 'Identification and functional characterisation of genetic elements in HBV genome correlated with HBV reactivation driven by immunosuppression'.

Commenting on the programme, Christine Katlama, Partnering for Cure Faculty Chair, Hôpital Pitié-Salpêtrière, Paris, said: 'While significant advances have been made in virology over recent years, there is more work to be done to be able one day to cure chronic infectious diseases such as HIV, HBV and HCV.

'The Partnering for Cure initiative is tackling this head-on – joining with the clinical community to support research that will bring us even closer to our ultimate hope of a potential 'cure'.'