'Revolutionary medical advances' at Sheffield university will help treat treat most devastating diseases

A new innovation centre is being created at the University of Sheffield to help advance scientific discoveries into treatment options for millions of patients with life-threatening diseases.

Thursday, 18th March 2021, 6:00 am

The Gene Therapy Innovation and Manufacturing Centre (GTIMC) at the University of Sheffield is one of three pioneering hubs announced as part of a new £18 million network aiming to help advance gene therapy treatment for 7,000 rare diseases that currently have no cure.

Gene therapy engineers another gene to replace, silence or manipulate the faulty one to try and treat some of the ‘most devastating diseases’ – and the new centre in Sheffield will be ‘revolutionary’.

Professor Mimoun Azzouz, director of the GTIMC at the University of Sheffield, said: “The Gene Therapy Innovation and Manufacturing Centre will tackle major challenges in gene therapy development for some of the most devastating diseases.

“This is a momentous milestone for revolutionary medical advances," says Professor Mimoun Azzouz

“Gene therapies are pioneering medical advances that have the potential to offer much-needed, novel, effective treatments for many rare and incurable diseases that cannot be treated by conventional drug compounds.

“Sheffield has emerged as one of the leading players in the cell and gene therapy and this national network of partners, facilities and training programmes will allow us to keep pace with translational discoveries for new and potentially life changing treatments.

“This is a momentous milestone for revolutionary medical advances not only for Sheffield and South Yorkshire, but also for the UK.”

The new centre will be the first in the North of England, and is ‘fantastic news’ for Sheffield.

Gene therapy is a promising treatment option for a number of diseases that currently have no other cures including inherited disorders

Professor Koen Lamberts, president and vice-chancellor of the University of Sheffield, added: “At the University of Sheffield we focus our research on finding real-world solutions to some of the biggest global challenges.

"The Gene Therapy Innovation and Manufacturing Centre will unlock development pathways for new treatments for people affected by devastating genetic disorders, many of which have no cure.

“We are delighted that our University is at the forefront of research in this pioneering field of medicine and that this new centre will build on our reputation as an international centre of excellence for gene therapeutics.

“This is fantastic news for the City Region and the North of England and we look forward to working collaboratively to share technical skills and resources across the coordinated network.”