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Loughborough University to help develop new life changing haemophilia A therapy

Loughborough University is working with a team of international partners on a new €5.6 million project to develop a cell based haemophilia A therapy.

People with haemophilia have prolonged abnormal bleeding as a result of trauma. Haemophilia A, also called factor VIII (FVIII) deficiency, is the most common form of the genetic disorder and is caused by the missing or defective blood clotting protein FVIII.

The HemAcure consortium, coordinated by University Hospital Würzburg, has received funding from the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme to try and significantly improve the quality of life of people suffering from haemophilia A.

The clinical product being developed by the consortium will use the patient’s own cells taken from a blood sample and corrected for the FVIII gene.  These cells, placed in an implanted pre-vascularized GMP contract manufactured Cell Pouch™ device, will release FVIII on a continual basis at a rate that would be expected to significantly reduce disease-associated haemorrhaging and joint damage – a common problem in people with haemophilia.

The constant delivery of FVIII is also expected to reduce or eliminate the need for multiple weekly infusions, which is the current standard of care.

Loughborough’s involvement in the project is being led by Dr Alexandra Stolzing from the University’s Centre for Biological Engineering in the School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering. She will be responsible for upscaling cell production, ageing biomarkers and cell safety testing.

Dr Stolzing, a Senior Lecturer in Regenerative Medicine, said: “We are delighted to be a part of this ground breaking project.  Not only could it make a significant difference to the lives of thousands of people, it will also dramatically reduce the financial pressures on patients and healthcare providers.”

The HemAcure consortium partners are: Loughborough UniversityUniversity Hospital Würzburg, IMS - Integrierte Management Systeme e.K., Università del Piemonte Orientale “Amedeo Avogadro”, GABO:mi Gesellschaft für Ablauforganisation :milliarium mbH & Co. KG and Sernova Corp.

The project is due to run for three years.

Notes for editors

Press release reference number: PR 16/04

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Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It has been awarded five stars in the independent QS Stars university rating scheme, putting it among the best universities in the world, and was named University of the Year in the What Uni Student Choice Awards 2015.Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’ and is in the top 10 in England for research intensity. It was 2nd in the 2015 THE Student Experience Survey and was named Sports University of the Year 2013-14 by The Times and Sunday Times. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

In September 2015 the University opened an additional academic campus in London’s new innovation quarter. Loughborough University London, based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, offers postgraduate and executive-level education, as well as research and enterprise opportunities.



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