CSL Behring announced today that Bart C. Jacobs, M.D., Ph.D., Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam, Netherlands, is the recipient of the 2014 Interlaken Leadership Awards for original research in the field of neuroimmunology. Established in 2010, this annual global awards program provides monetary grants and/or product supply for investigational use to researchers whose proposals are likely to advance innovative medical research and knowledge about the potential role of immunoglobulin (Ig) therapy in the treatment of neurological disorders.
A global, cross-functional CSL Behring review committee selected Dr. Jacobs’ proposal to investigate the efficacy of intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) treatment in patients with mild Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS). GBS is an inflammatory disorder of the peripheral nerves characterized by the rapid onset of weakness and, often, paralysis of the legs, arms, breathing muscles and face. While IVIg is recommended in severe GBS, current guidelines recommend providing supportive care only to those with mild forms of GBS.
“Recent studies have demonstrated that a considerable proportion of untreated patients with mild Guillain-Barré syndrome have persistent disability, severe residual fatigue and pain, and poor quality of life, and my hypotheses is that IVIg may improve disease in these patients,” said Dr. Jacobs. “I am honored to have been selected by CSL Behring to receive the Interlaken Leadership Award, and look forward to continuing research into whether IVIg may improve outcomes for those with mild GBS.”
All proposals received for the Interlaken Leadership Awards program were evaluated based on scientific merit, strength of hypothesis, relevance to neuroimmunology and feasibility.
“The Interlaken Leadership Awards underpins CSL Behring’s commitment to saving lives and improving the quality of life for people with rare and serious diseases worldwide by funding innovative research that could lead to the discovery of new treatment options for people who are living with a neurological disorder,” said Bernadine Dixon, Senior Director, Immunology and Pulmonary, CSL Behring. “We look forward to the results of Dr. Jacobs’ research evaluating the potential use of IVIg for treatment of mild Guillain-Barré syndrome, as well as to supporting further original research in the field of neuroimmunology through the Interlaken Leadership Awards.”
To date, the Interlaken Leadership Awards has awarded approximately $3.5 million in grants and/or study drug for research studying Ig therapy in areas such as neuromyelitis optica (NMO), Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), paraneoplastic syndromes, and autoimmune peripheral neuropathies.
About the International Immunoglobulin Conference in Interlaken
For more than three decades, CSL Behring has sponsored a high-level scientific symposium in Interlaken, Switzerland. First held in 1981, and most recently in April 2014, the International Immunoglobulin Conference focuses exclusively on scientific and clinical research in the field of polyvalent immunoglobulins.
Research presented at the Interlaken Immunoglobulin Conference is consistently at the forefront of immunoglobulin research. Since its inception, the conference has won the respect and support of top international scientists and clinicians from many different fields of research. For more information, please visit: http://www.interlakenleadershipawards.com/symposium.aspx.
About CSL Behring
CSL Behring is a leader in the plasma protein therapeutics industry. Committed to saving lives and improving the quality of life for people with rare and serious diseases, the company manufactures and markets a range of plasma-derived and recombinant therapies worldwide.
CSL Behring therapies are used around the world to treat coagulation disorders including hemophilia and von Willebrand disease, primary immune deficiencies, hereditary angioedema and inherited respiratory disease, and neurological disorders in certain markets. The company’s products are also used in cardiac surgery, organ transplantation, burn treatment and to prevent hemolytic diseases in the newborn. CSL Behring operates one of the world’s largest plasma collection networks, CSL Plasma. CSL Behring is a subsidiary of CSL Limited (ASX:CSL), a biopharmaceutical company headquartered in Melbourne, Australia. For more information, visit http://www.cslbehring.com/.
Senior Manager, Public Relations and Communications