Increasing asthma research investment in Wales

In Wales, nearly 314,000 people have their lives affected by asthma on a daily basis. Yet the last great breakthrough was the inhaler – it’s time for us to create another.

Asthma needs more research

There is an urgent need for new breakthroughs in asthma research and Asthma UK is leading a campaign to see a step-change in investment in asthma research from devolved, UK and international funding institutions. This campaign will build upon the European Asthma Research and Innovation Partnership, which is led by Asthma UK and has delivered roadmaps for the most promising areas of asthma research: diagnostics, self-management tools, and new treatments to reduce asthma attacks.

Opportunity in Wales

We now have a once in a generation opportunity to attract investment for asthma research and accelerate much-needed breakthroughs to benefit the hundreds of millions of people with asthma globally. With its strong life sciences infrastructure, world class universities, and having secured a Precision Medicine Catapult, Wales is well-placed to attract global investment in asthma research. In particular, we see an opportunity to work alongside the Welsh Government to secure investment from private and public sources, both in Wales and abroad.

Wales is well-placed to lead a revolution in asthma research.

  • Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research - Universities of Swansea and Cardiff co-lead a world class people-based research centre to improve the lives of people with asthma.
  • SAIL Databank at Swansea University - a world-class data linkage that securely brings together the widest possible array of routinely-collected data for research.
  • Precision Medicine Catapult - at Cardiff University, combining accurate diagnosis with rules-based therapies and effective service delivery to transform outcomes for patients.
  • Life Sciences - Wales has invested heavily in life sciences through a £100m Life Sciences Investment Fund, the Life Sciences Hub at Cardiff, and the Institute of Life Science at Swansea University.

Ground-breaking research at Cardiff University

Last year, researchers in Wales led breakthroughs in asthma research – part-funded by Asthma UK – which identified a potential root cause of asthma and novel treatment. Working in collaboration with scientists at King's College London and the Mayo Clinic (USA), academics at Cardiff University discovered the previously unproven role of the calcium sensing receptor (CaSR) in causing asthma, a disease which affects 300 million people worldwide. 

But it’s not enough, Asthma UK believes that Wales can drive a revolution in asthma research.

Influencing the Welsh Assembly

In June, we held an event at the Welsh Assembly to build the bridges that can deliver the next wave of life-changing research for people with asthma. Speakers on the day included Professor Jonathan Bisson, Director of Health and Care Research Wales, and Minister for Skills and Science Julie James AM.

With over 10 per cent of Wales’ population living with asthma, it is entirely right that we should encourage expanded research into this distressing condition, especially considering Wales’ excellent record on research into its causes and treatments.

– Julie James, Minister for Skills and Science, Welsh Government

With colleagues from the research community, policy, the Welsh Assembly, people living with asthma and industry, we engaged in a fruitful discussion of the opportunities for ground-breaking asthma research in Wales.

Join our campaign to increase investment in asthma research

Wales has the academic and industrial infrastructure to attract significant public and private investment in asthma research from domestic and international sources, resulting in an increase in jobs and growth in the economy. 

Asthma UK is seeking to work alongside the Welsh Government to secure investment from UK and international resources.

If you’d like to join our campaign, please sign up for further information as our campaign develops.