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R&D news in brief

Our weekly round-up of the R&D news in brief
GSK announces Irish R&D centre
GlaxoSmithKline is to establish a Ä13.7m research centre into gastrointestinal diseases in Cork. Researchers from GSK's Neurology and GI Centre of Excellence for Drug Discovery (CEDD) will work closely with the Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre (APC) to identify new drug targets for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome. Speaking at the launch, Irish Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Miche·l Martin, said: "This project represents a major breakthrough in the promotion of drug discovery research, whichÖ builds on the government's strategy to actively promote industrial-academic collaborations."

HIV 'switch' clue
Scientists in the US say they have discovered how the HIV virus manages to evade T cells sent out by the body's immune system to fight it. They said HIV flicks a molecular switch on T cells, disarming them. In the laboratory, the team from Howard Hughes Medical Institute at Massachusetts General Hospital, were able to block this switch and restore T cell function. The scientists said that drugs already designed to target T cells in this way may not be specific enough and could cause serious side effects. "One has to proceed with real caution because if you turn back on an immune regulatory switch that the body has decided to turn off, you could trigger serious immunological problems," said lead researcher, Bruce Walker.

30th September 2008

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