European Vascular Biology Institute tackles cardiovascular disease
Stepping up European cardio-vascular research will be the aim of a new collaboration to be presented at the annual EuroBioForum conference in Lisbon in December. The European Vascular Biology
Institute (EVBI) shall help focus funding, coordinate projects and foster the skills needed for accelerating research in the field.
‘Although great progress has been made in recent decades with drugs such as angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors that reduce blood pressure and statins that reduce cholesterol levels, more
sophisticated therapies acting directly at the molecular level are needed to take a further major step forward,’ the EVBI points out.
The EVBI will be building on existing schemes such as the European Vascular Genomics Network (EVGN), which has been running since 2004 as part of the EU’s Sixth Framework Programme (FP6), in
charge of promoting cooperation between various institutions from all over Europe.
‘The EVBI sets a milestone for our perpetuation strategy,’ says Catherine Clusel, the project manager of EVGN. ‘It will allow us to present the existing framework to potential funders,
including on one side the pharmaceutical companies involved in the elaboration of the Strategic Research Agenda (SRA) for the Innovative Medicines Initiative, and on the other side the European
public or private foundations that are eager to support the most prestigious high profile research groups working in this area in Europe. EVBI addresses bottlenecks identified within the SRA
for safety and efficacy in inflammatory diseases with an emphasis on atherosclerosis, and unites the European key opinion leaders in cardiovascular disease.’
Between 30% and 50% of deaths in Europe – depending on the country – are the result of some form of cardiovascular disease. The EVBI intends to concentrate its activities on atherosclerosis,
which is the underlying cause of 80% of cardiovascular-related deaths, according to experts. The institute wants to help to develop a new generation of drug therapies and vaccinations to block
the progress of atherosclerosis, but also to tackle related diseases, for instance via stem cell-based therapies to repair the heart after myocardial infarction or heart attack.
The EuroBioForum conference is organised by the European Science Foundation (ESF).
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