Professor John Lockhart, UWS BREATH Lead Principal Investigator, said: “What is of particular concern is that areas of southwest Scotland, such as East Ayrshire and Dumfries and Galloway, are disproportionately affected by this life-limiting disease and so a key focus of this conference and the wider BREATH project is not only to look into and share progress towards new therapies and treatments for the disease, but also to significantly raise awareness of the causes and preventative steps we can take to reduce COPD rates in these areas.”
This year’s conference saw BREATH working in partnership with leading global pharmaceutical company, Teva UK, to deliver a PhD training day. This session included presentations from senior employees of Teva, including the UK and Ireland General Manager, Kim Innes, giving BREATH PhD students a unique insight into the pharmaceutical industry.
Dr Anne Crilly, one of the UWS BREATH Principal Investigators and organiser of this year’s event said: “UWS was delighted to host this year’s three-day annual conference, which gave the partnership an opportunity to engage academic, clinical and industrial stakeholders and to highlight the advances being made across the project. As a life-limiting and incurable lung disease, it is hoped that our research will give a better understanding of the biological processes involved in COPD which in turn may help to inform future drug discovery, improving the clinical management of this devastating condition.
“On behalf of the UWS BREATH organising team, I’d like to extend a huge thank you to everyone involved in the success of this year’s conference, and in particular acknowledge the Teva team who helped to make this such a unique and memorable event.”
Kim Innes, General Manager of Teva UK & Ireland, said: “We were really pleased to partner with the University of the West of Scotland for their BREATH virtual conference. COPD affects millions of people up and down the UK, and the BREATH project has done great work since its establishment in 2017 in promoting better understanding of the disease and potential preventative treatments. Partnerships like these between the pharmaceutical industry and academia are really important as they allow us to share knowledge and expertise for the ultimate benefit of patients.”