Asthma UK research centre to be based in Edinburgh

A man with an asthma inhaler The new centre will aim to develop new asthma treatments and make them quickly accessible to those who need them

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A new multi-million pound centre for research into asthma is to based in Edinburgh.

More than five million people in the UK have the condition.

The new Asthma UK centre will focus on improving the quality of life for people with the disease and finding better treatments faster.

It will be co-ordinated by Edinburgh University and Queen Mary University of London and involve doctors and scientists from all over the UK.

Every 10 seconds someone has a potentially life-threatening asthma attack, according to Asthma UK.

The charity said it currently takes 17 years and millions of pounds to go from basic research to a new treatment that is accessible for all.

The new Centre for Applied Research aims to halve that time.

'Daily struggle'

Kay Boycott, Asthma UK's chief executive, said: "The introduction into clinical use of the pressurised metered-dose inhaler - the first modern inhaler for asthma management - took over 40 years from initial lab discovery through clinical trials and into practice.

"More than half a century later asthma still kills and there are tens of thousands of people with asthma facing a daily struggle to breathe.

"This is why it is so vital for Asthma UK to invest significantly in the Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research and to kick start a new era of improved discovery-to-treatment times."

Centre Director Aziz Sheikh added: "I am delighted that some of the UK's top asthma researchers are contributing to this unprecedented initiative where they can share expertise and insights to drive forward major improvements in asthma care provision and better outcomes for our patients."

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