News
05 May 2022
EU
Asthma

March saw the conclusion of CURE, a four-year long research project funded by the European Union Programme Horizon 2020 which explored new approaches to improve the manageability of asthma. The project focused on the use of bacteriophage (virus) intervention, also known as phage therapy, to address imbalances in the respiratory microbiome contributing to the disease.

Over the last four years, CURE researchers worked to predict with accuracy and repeatability the microbiological, immunological, and clinical effects of adding several types of phages to the respiratory microbiome. They also tried to design an appropriate intervention to the disease. The results of their research can help deliver personalised treatment to asthma patients to better manage their care and eventually lead to a cure for asthma.

Final project conference was a success!

cure conference opening

Opening words at the CURE Conference

To showcase the results of the CURE project, EFA organised the CURE Final Conference “Towards a CURE for Asthma: Accelerating Innovation in Personalised Medicine and Phage Therapies” on 15th March, with the aim of informing the public on the advances in the research, facilitating policy discussion on the regulatory framework for the use of phage therapy in Europe. The conference highlighted the impact that innovation can have on personalised medicine, how this can contribute to an improved patient journey as well as shedding light on the benefit and advantages of phages as “medical” tools.

The full day online conference through a virtual event platform allowed the audience to interact with speakers and other attendees in real-time as well as benefiting from additional content and materials on CURE research and advancement. The conference was moderated by former BBC World News presenter Ms Anya Sitaram and CURE Project Coordinator Prof. Nikolaos Papadopoulos.

The conference was opened by Member of the European Parliament Ms. Tilly Metz (Greens/EFA, Luxembourg) and EFA President, Carla Jones with reflections on the implications of CURE from patient and policy-maker perspective. The conference explored different viewpoints and angles of phage therapy, including how novel technologies and a personalised approach can improve asthma treatment, a brief history of phage therapies, and finally a debate on the current regulatory framework for phage therapy in Europe, identifying its gaps and presenting best practices of how member States are trying to overcome the current limitations.

With final remarks by EFA President, Carla Jones and CURE Project Coordinator Prof. Nikolaos Papadopoulos, the CURE conference was followed by 250+ attendees from all over the world and from a variety of professional background including healthcare professionals, researchers, civil society and EU institutions representative.

Did you miss the Conference? You can find all the sessions on the CURE Website and EFA YouTube Channel.

Speakers

  • Tilly Metz, Member of the European Parliament/ Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance
  • Carla Jones, President, EFA
  • Nikolaos Papadopoulos, Professor of Allergy & Peadiatric Allergy, National Kapodistrian University of Athens
  • Barbara Gerratana, Senior Project Adviser, European Innovation Council and SMEs Agency (EISMEA)
  • Spyridon (Akis) Megremis, Research Fellow, Division of Evolution, Infection and Genomics, University of Manchester
  • Susanne Vijverberg, Assistant Professor Respiratory Medicine, Amsterdam UMC
  • Mikaela Odemyr, Vice President, Owner, Swedish Asthma and Allergy Association, Odemyr Counsulting
  • Paraskevi Xepapadaki, Pediatrician and Associate Professor, Pediatric Clinic, Allergy Department, University of Athens.
  • Nina Chanishvili, Head of the Research and Development Department, G. Eliava Institute of Bacteriophage, Microbiology and Virology
  • Martha Clokie, Professor of Microbiology, University of Leicester
  • Jean-Paul Pirnay, Director of the Laboratory for Molecular and Cellular Technology, Queen Astrid Military Hospital
  • Ryszard Międzybrodzki, Bacteriophage Laboratory, Hirszfeld Institute of Immunology and Experimental Therapy
  • Eric Pelfrene, Office of Vaccines and Therapies for Infectious Diseases, Human Medicines Division, European Medicines Agency (EMA)
  • Sabrina Green, Director of R&D TAILOR service center, Research Associate, Baylor College of Medicine
  • Maia Gotua, Professor, MD., Ph.D., General Director, GA2LEN Network Center of Allergy and Immunology
  • Cezmi Akdis, Director Swiss Institute of Allergy and Asthma Research Professor, University Zurich