Date:10 September, 2012

Cambridge University & GSK

A new collaboration based at the University of Cambridge will aim to discover and develop new medicines to treat liver disease.

The partnership, between the University and global pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), will build upon the work of researchers who have identified a molecular mechanism that plays a major role in the life-threatening liver disease that develops in a population of patients with a particular mutant gene.

Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency is one of the most common genetic disorders in the UK, affecting approximately one in 2,000 people. The alpha-1 antitrypsin protein is produced mainly in the liver and circulates to the lungs, where it serves a protective function against enzymes which can break down lung tissue