Talecris Biotherapeutics GmbH Awards Winners of the 7th Annual European ALTA Research Fellowship at 2010 ERS MeetingBy Talecris Biotherapeutics, PRNE
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Awards fund early career investigators' research to advance understanding and potential treatments of alpha1-antitrypsin deficiency
BARCELONA, Spain, September 20, 2010 - Talecris Biotherapeutics GmbH announced yesterday the recipients of the
2010 European alpha1-antitrypsin Laurell's Training Awards (eALTA). The
annual awards, sponsored by Talecris, provide two fellowships of euro 50,000
to young investigators whose research aims to enhance the understanding and
treatment of alpha1-antitrypsin deficiency (AAT deficiency). AAT deficiency
is a rare, genetic condition in which low levels of the alpha-1 protein can
result in emphysema and liver disease.
The 2010 recipients of eALTA are Sandra Pelz, postgraduate research
fellow at the Martin-Luther-University in Halle-Wittenberg, Germany and Dr
Adriana Ordonez, post-doctoral research fellow at the Cambridge Institute for
Medical Research Wellcome Trust. Pelz and Ordonez were presented with the
awards during the 2010 European Respiratory Society (ERS) Annual Congress in
Barcelona at a Talecris-sponsored symposium. The symposium also featured
research presentations by the 2009 eALTA award winners.
Pelz and Ordonez's research projects will both explore potential new
therapies to treat AAT deficiency. Pelz's research project will use a mouse
model to investigate the potential use of stem cell-derived liver cells,
known as hepatocytes, to correct the genetic defect that gives rise to liver
disease associated with AAT deficiency. Ordonez's project will study the
mechanism by which small molecule inhibitors - a specific class of drug - can
block the Alpha-1 protein from abnormally folding and accumulating in the
endoplasmic reticulum of hepatocytes.
"Research initiatives such as eALTA not only increase our understanding
of the disease, but they also help stimulate the interest and commitment of
early career scientists and clinicians who represent the future of research
and new treatments for the Alpha-1 community," said Claus Vogelmeier,
Professor for Internal and Respiratory Medicine and Chair of the independent
eALTA Review Team.
Talecris sponsors the awards program to gain new insights into the
epidemiology, pathophysiology and clinical treatment of AAT deficiency and
associated disorders. As the manufacturer of
Prolastin(R)/Prolastina(R)/Pulmolast(R) (Alpha1-Proteinase Inhibitor
[Human]), Talecris demonstrates its ongoing commitment to the Alpha-1
community through eALTA and other research programs. PROLASTIN-C is indicated
for chronic augmentation and maintenance therapy in adults with emphysema due
to deficiency of alpha1-proteinase inhibitor. To date, Talecris has provided
more than euro 650,000 through the eALTA program.
"Supporting the discovery of new insights into the mechanisms behind this
life-threatening disease is important to Talecris," said Marion Wencker, Head
of Medical and Clinical Affairs Europe, Talecris Europe, headquartered in
Frankfurt, Germany. "We feel a strong responsibility to contribute to the
knowledge base of alpha-1 and the potential new therapies that may improve
treatment for patients worldwide. eALTA provides one avenue through which we
accomplish this important goal."
The European alpha1-antitrypsin Laurell's Training Award supports basic
and clinical research through two annual grants provided to early career
investigators. The program is named in honor of Dr Carl-Bertil Laurell, who
first described alpha1-antitrypsin Deficiency (AAT deficiency) in 1963. The
primary goal of the eALTA program is to identify and support research
projects that enhance the understanding of disease mechanisms of AAT
deficiency, improve existing therapies, and identify potential new therapies.
The eALTA program also promotes the entry of new clinicians and scientists
into the field of AAT disorders and encourages collaborations among
scientists in the field. For more information, go to www.eALTA.eu/.
About Talecris Biotherapeutics: Inspiration. Dedication. Innovation.
Talecris Biotherapeutics (Nasdaq: TLCR) is a global biotherapeutic and
biotechnology company that discovers, develops and produces critical care
treatments for people with life-threatening disorders in a variety of
therapeutic areas including immunology, pulmonology, neurology and
About Alpha1-Antitrypsin Deficiency
Alpha1-antitrypsin deficiency, also known as AAT deficiency or Alpha-1,
is an inherited disorder that causes significant reduction in the naturally
occurring protein Alpha-1 proteinase inhibitor. It is most common in the
Caucasian population of northern Europe and North America. AAT deficiency is
also the most common cause of genetic liver disease in children, and genetic
emphysema (shortness of breath) in adults. Individuals suffering from AAT
deficiency often develop severe obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) causing
disability and premature death. AAT deficiency is estimated to affect 200,000
people in North America and Europe.
Dr Steffi Bitter-Suermann of Talecris Biotherapeutics GmbH, +49-69-660593511, steffi.bitter-suermann at talecris.com, Lyoner Str. 15, 60528 Frankfurt, Germany
Tags: Barcelona, Russia, September 20, Spain, Talecris Biotherapeutics, Western Europe