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Largest British Fund for Biomedical Research Finances Project on Breakbone Fever in Leuven (K.U.Leuven)

    LEUVEN, Belgium, October 26 /PRNewswire/ --

    - The Laboratory for Virology and Experimental Chemotherapy
      (Rega Institute) and the "Centre for Drug Design and Discovery" (CD3)
      at K.U.Leuven will receive a total of 2.8 million euro from the
      British Wellcome Trust.

    - They will apply these funds to the search for possible new
      medication for the treatment of infections related to the 'dengue
      fever virus'. Dengue or 'breakbone fever' is widespread in tropical
      and subtropical regions. As of yet, there is neither a vaccine nor
      any form of treatment for this disease.

    - The findings of the researchers in Leuven will be developed
      further into medication, in co-operation with the pharmaceutical

    - The Wellcome Trust is the largest independent fund for biomedical
      research in the United Kingdom. This is the first time that the fund
      is financing technology transfer on the European continent.

Breakbone or dengue fever is a viral disease prevalent in the tropics and subtropics. The World Health Organisation estimates that approximately 50 to 100 million people are infected with the virus every year. In approximately half a million cases the disease takes on a life threatening form: sufferers develop bleeding or go into shock. Children are especially sensitive to the virus and as a result the majority of victims are children. The number of cases has increased very rapidly in recent years.

Currently, the only way to counteract the spread of dengue is to exterminate the mosquitoes that carry the virus. Since no vaccines exist, it is of the utmost importance to develop medications for the treatment of dengue, including preventive medication (as has also been done in the case of malaria, for example).


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