Bronch-UK researchers are contributing to a €50 million, Europe-wide, project to develop new drugs that could improve the lives of patients with cystic fibrosis and bronchiectasis.

The iABC (inhaled Antibiotics in Bronchiectasis and Cystic Fibrosis) consortium,which is made up of world-leading lung specialists from across Europe, will develop new ‘inhaled antibiotics’ to alleviate the symptoms of chronic lung infection, the main cause of disease and death in patients with cystic fibrosis and bronchiectasis.  The new antibiotics, which are to be trialled over a five year period and are being developed in response to an urgent need for new forms of inhaled antibiotics, are expected to improve patients’ quality of life by reducing lung infections and flare ups, improving lung function, and overcoming antibacterial resistance which frequently occurs in patients with these conditions.

The Consortium, which is led by researchers from the School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences, and the School of Pharmacy, at Queen’s University, Belfast, with EFPIA partners Novartis and Basilea, is funded by the European Commission through the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) and involves researchers from 20 organisations in seven countries across Europe.

The iABC-consortium involves researchers from Northern Ireland, Scotland, England, Spain, Germany, France, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands and Switzerland.