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Research project into ovarian cancer begins to make progress

A £2.6 million investment in a project to improve diagnosis and treatment of ovarian cancer is going from strength to strength.

The Cluster for Epigenomic and Antibody Drug Conjugate Therapeutics (CEAT) based at based at Swansea University’s Medical School received £1.2m by the European Regional Development Fund via the Welsh Government earlier this year.

Epigenetics involved studying chemical changes to DNA and associated proteins that can lead to genes being turned on or off. In some cases, this can go wrong and lead to disease such as cancer and neurodegenerative conditions like Parkinson’s.
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The CEAT project sees the University working closely with industry partners to develop drugs that can control epigenetic signals and these can be targeted specifically towards ovarian cancer cells where epigenetic changes have occurred.

Thanks to the success of the project so far, one of the University’s key collaborators, Porvair Sciences, has been able to expand its operation from its incubation phase at the Institute of Life Science to create a base in North Wales.

Through the Welsh Government’s A4B funding programme (now linked to SMART), the epigen collaboration project enabled extensive research and development in disruptive technologies which resulted in a new epigenetics research tool called Chromatrap.

While Porvair retains staff at the University, the Chromatrap products are now being manufactured at its new biosciences facilities in Wrexham and made available to the life sciences market.

Head of the Medical School Professor Keith Lloyd said:  “Our ongoing collaboration with Porvair continues to yield exciting developments.

“This partnership and the CEAT project as a whole is helping to put our region on the map as a focus for life science research, development and commercial activity.

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“As a result that means every day we are taking important steps towards improving our knowledge of how best to treat patients.”

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