Bristol-Myers Squibb launches partnership to cure chronic diseases

Bristol-Myers Squibb's Partnering for Cure initiative, which will bring the medical and scientific communities together to develop new treatments for chronic diseases, was launched at the 14th European AIDS Clinical Society Conference on Wednesday.

Partnering for Cure will pull together experts from across Europe to foster education, scientific exchange and research that will lead to advancements in the treatment of HIV, hepatitis and other viruses.

"We need this program, a program to cure HIV, HBV and HCV," Partnering for Cure Faculty Chair Christine Katiama said. "We have so many patients across the world and we need a cure."

To support Partnering for Cure, Bristol-Myers Squibb will initiate three new research projects that aim to improve the scientific community's understanding of chronic diseases and create new treatment strategies.

"The answer is in the lab," Katiarna said. "The answer is also in the clinical field, and there is a lot to do. We need to move forward and work together, and Partnering for Cure is a fantastic opportunity to do just that."

Chronic viral infections are a cause of early deaths worldwide. In 2010, 1.46 million deaths were caused by HIV or AIDS. Viral hepatitis, meanwhile, caused more than 1.4 million deaths worldwide that year.

Hepatitis also accounts for approximately 57 percent of liver cirrhosis cases and 78 percent of liver cancer cases reported each year.