Scientists test drug combinations to prevent lung fibrosis

The team - (l-r ): Alice Lapthorn, Dr Marcus Ilg, Professor Stephen Bustin, Professor Selim Cellek.

A team of scientists is investigating drug combinations in a bid to prevent pulmonary fibrosis in the lungs that causes irreversible damage in some COVID-19 patients.

The work is being led by scientists from Anglia Ruskin University (ARU), who made a significant breakthrough in the treatment of fibrotic diseases in 2018.

Scientists at the Medical Technology Research Centre (MTRC) laboratory at ARU are working on three significant projects related to COVID-19 following its recent reopening.

The team is investigating drug combinations to try and prevent pulmonary fibrosis in the lungs. This issue among COVID-19 patients has meant tens of thousands of people have been recalled to hospital, with NHS England opening specialist rehabilitation centres.

Professor Selim Cellek, Director of the MTRC at ARU, said: “Pulmonary fibrosis is an irreversible condition and, in some cases, can be progressive. Therefore it is crucial to develop new drugs that can prevent formation of fibrosis, potentially saving lives, preventing disability and saving the NHS a significant amount of money during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.”

MTRC researchers are also working on new treatments to reduce skin scarring following burns. Research published in The Lancet recently found that hospital admissions for burns and scalds have soared since lockdown was introduced in March.

ARU’s Professor of Molecular Medicine, Stephen Bustin, is also working on speeding up testing for the virus.

Image: The MTRC team - (l-r ): Alice Lapthorn, Dr Marcus Ilg, Professor Stephen Bustin, Professor Selim Cellek.



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