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New therapeutic approach to treating cystic fibrosis

Development of a new therapeutic approach to treating cystic fibrosis in Belgium

Cystic fibrosis is the most common fatal genetic disease in western countries. It affects one out of every 2,500 births and patients have a 35-year life expectancy. There is currently no cure for cystic fibrosis. The Air Liquide Foundation supports research carried out by the Université Libre de Bruxelles in order to fight this disease.

A new hope for treatment

A novel class of antibodies known as nanobodies has been discovered, offering hope for treating cystic fibrosis. These nanobodies are smaller than traditional antibodies. The project examining this new approach is led by the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) with support from the Air Liquide Foundation.

The goal of the research

Cystic fibrosis is caused by a defect in the cell membrane transporter, which is unable to correctly transport chloride ions in the lungs. This is due to a genetic mutation that prevents the transporter from reaching the surface of the lung cell.

Cystic fibrosis is caused by a defect in the cell membrane transporter

The goal of the research: to identify nanobodies capable of restoring the body's ability to transport chloride ions, which is missing in patients suffering from this condition.

A benefit for patients: this therapeutic approach would eliminate most symptoms of the disease, including respiratory symptoms.

The Université Libre de Bruxelles

Founded in 1834, the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) is a multi-cultural university. More than one third of its students and researchers are international. Since it was founded, the ULB's research programs have received several awards for excellence, including four Nobel Prizes, one Fields Medal (for excellence in mathematics) and two Marie Curie Awards.

PROJECT IDENTITY

  • Project initiator: Université Libre de Bruxelles
  • Location: Brussels, Belgium
  • Year of support: 2013
  • Air Liquide sponsor: Marc Lemaire, Air Liquide Healthcare International