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Towards a CURE for Asthma: Accelerating Innovation in Personalised Medicine and Phage Therapies

AgendaVirtual Event TBC

Tuesday, 15 March 2022

10:00 AM through  4:00 PM

CET Chair: Professor and CURE Project Coordinator Nikolaos Papadopoulos

Co-Chair: Moderator TBC


October  2021

Partners met for the 4th General Assembly to discuss:
-Project developments
-Upcoming publications
-Final conference with special guest speakers

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Where are we now in the CURE project?

CURE is now at a special moment, where interesting and relevant findings are arising. The project partners met online last 22nd of October for the annual meeting, to present their progress and discuss next steps. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the project has been granted a 6 month extension; March 2022 is the new date for the project’s completion. 

“Recognition and description of specific metagenomic profiles in conjunction with disease characteristics will contribute to the ‘precision medicine’ in patients with respiratory allergy – associated diseases”


Interviewee: Dr. Paraskevi Xepapadaki, Pediatrician and Associate Professor in Pediatrics- Allergology, Allergy Department, 2nd Pediatric Clinic, University of Athens




In Vitro Microfluidics Airway Epithelial Cells

April 2021

For CURE, the Laboratory of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (NKUA), in collaboration with the Laboratory of microSENSES (UWA), is developing a portable, custom-made Trans Epithelial Electrical Resistance (TEER) measurement system based on microfluidic technology. This system measures how strong the resistance of the epithelium is to external threats and of course, the effect of bacteriophages on this. 

CURE will use the in-vitro microfluidic platform to make a model of the airway mucosal epithelial surfaces, under different conditions.

Thus, we will analyse interactions between three different components: bacteria, phages and epithelial cells. The tripartite interaction model, along with the microfluidic device, can be used to check the effect of different types of phages in combination with bacteria and cells from the nose (upper airway), measuring the effect of phage treatment on epithelial resistance and the inflammatory profile of the cells. Differences between healthy and asthmatic cells could be identified using the aforementioned biological system of interaction, thus establishing new patterns of interconnectivity between bacteria, phages and epithelial cells characterising health and disease.



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CURE Outcomes: Publications

On August 4th 2020, the first paper was released in pre-publication form, revealing an association between changes in respiratory microbiome and the disease state of asthma.

The results show that preschool children with asthma have reduced levels of bacteriophages in their airways compared to their non-asthmatic counterparts. Given that bacteriophages are important regulators of the microbiome, their underrepresentation may lead to an ecological imbalance of the respiratory tract, comprising the resilience of the respiratory system towards asthma exacerbations. At the same time, the level of certain viruses is higher in asthma patients, increasing the chances of a symptomatic infection or sustained inflammation

Partners’ contribution to COVID-19 research

Despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, CURE has managed to continue delivering on its planned projects and activities. Currently, CURE is at its peak.

In addition to documented CURE objectives, our partners also undertook efforts to understand the complexities of the SARS-CoV-2 infection in relation to respiratory diseases such as asthma and allergies.  

Profile of CURE partner Nina Chanishvili in the highly selective medical journal Lancet

July 2021

TEER measurement system

April 2021


In the context of CURE, the Laboratory of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (NKUA) in collaboration with the Laboratory of microSENSES (UWA) developed a portable, custom-made Trans Epithelial Electrical Resistance (TEER) measurement system based on the microfluidic technology. The main objective is the microfluidic co-culture of healthy or asthmatic airway epithelial cells along with bacteria and bacteriophages. The research interest is focused on the identification of different interaction patterns occurred in eubiotic (healthy) and dysbiotic (disease) states.



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CURE at the Future Tech Week

September 2020


Dr. Spyridon Megremis, Research Fellow at the University of Manchester and partner of CURE, will present the CURE project on 24 September at 11:00 – 11:30 CET during the Future Tech Week. The webinar will provide an overview of the key features in designing targeted microbiome interventions with bacteriophages.



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Bacteriophage deficiency characterizes respiratory virome dysbiosis in childhood asthma

August 2020

EC campaign promoting the need for fair and equal access to diagnostics, treatments and vaccines against the COVID-19

May 2020

Clinical characteristics of 140 patients infected by SARS‐CoV‐2 in Wuhan, China

Friday, 21 February 2020

Wuhan University, Departments of Allergology, Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine and Radiology published together with the Swiss Institute of Allergy and Asthma Research (SIAF) the clinical characteristics of 140 patients infected by Wuhan Corona Virus (COVID-19).



Where are we now in the CURE project?

May 2020


CURE is now at half way of the project and interesting new findings are cumulating. The annual meeting took place in Syros, Greece, on 15-16 September 2019, where all the partners presented the progress in their work and many more outcomes have arisen since then!



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“The microbiome has been shown to influence the progression of asthma and viruses can be key triggers”

May 2020, Interview

Interviewee: Prof. David L Robertson, Head of CVR Bioinformatics at MRC-University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research

Interviewer: Sofia Romagosa Vilarnau, Project and Engagement Officer at the European Federation of Allergy and Airways Diseases (EFA)




European Regulatory Framework for Bacteriophage therapy:

Opportunities and limitations

May 2020

This article analyzes the opportunities and limitations of the current European Regulatory Framework under which phage therapy operates. Despite of the fact that phage therapy is not yet authorised in Europe to be used in patients, Belgian authorities found a way to integrate this therapy in their national law. Dr. Jean-Paul Pirnay, member of the Ethics Advisory Board of CURE, explains how this happened and how phage therapy is used at the Queen Astrid Military Hospital in Brussels.




CURE at the European research and Innovation days

September 2019 

On September 25th 2019 the coordinator of CURE, Nikos Papadopoulos, was invited to present the CURE concept during the European Research and Innovation Days in Brussels.




The Biomedical Research Foundation Academy of Athens (BRFAA), nominated for the “Innovation Radar Prize 2019

September 2019 

The Biomedical Research Foundation Academy of Athens (BRFAA), partner in CURE, was selected in July 2019 as one of the 36 finalists for the prestigious European Commission’s “Innovation Radar Prize 2019” under the “Innovative Science” category, linked to their research in CURE.




CURE General Assembly,

Syros, Greece

15-16 September 2019


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“Phage use can help modulate the respiratory virome & microbiome and can have important implications for asthma management”

September 2019 | Interview

Interviewee: Dr George Guibas, Member of the Ethics Advisory Board of CURE, Clinician Specialist in Allergy.


Interviewer: Sofia Romagosa Vilarnau, Junior Projects and Engagement Officer at the European Federation of Allergy and Airways Diseases Patients’ Associations (EFA)



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Amazing news: our partner BRFAA is nominated for the 2019 Innovation Radar Prize of the EU Commission for its high-quality and innovative research on phage therapy for CURE!



“I am a strong believer in the potential of phage therapies”

May 2019 | Interview

Interviewee: Prof. Dr. Johan Garssen, Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of CURE, is an Immunologist with a big experience in immune-microbiome interactions. He is Head of Immunopharmacology in the Division of Pharmaceutical Sciences in Utrecht University as well as the Director of the Immunology platform at Danone/Nutricia-research for specialised nutrition.


Interviewer: Sofia Romagosa Vilarnau, Junior Projects and Engagement Officer at the European Federation of Allergy and Airways Diseases Patients’ Associations (EFA)



Nikos Papadopoulos, CURE Coordinator


to the exciting world of CURE!

Did you know that there are 30 million Europeans suffering from asthma and that its control remains suboptimal despite treatment?
Despite recent advances in research, a cure for asthma is still far from reality, and patients still need new treatment approaches to better manage the disease.

CURE in brief

CURE, a research project funded by the EU programme Horizon 2020, proposes a phage therapy to rebalance the structure of the microbiome in the airways, with the hypothesis that this may also control the immune dysregulation of asthma and eventually even cure it.

6 work packages, 9 partners, 1 objective: set the ground to find a way to cure asthma

The CURE project is structured in 6 work packages addressing current challenges and bottlenecks that need to be surpassed to take our hypothesis forward.

"We would like to show the effect of bacteriophages on the immune system"

November 2018 | Interview

Interviewee:  Professor Mübeccel Akdis, head of the Immune dermatology department at the Swiss Institute of Allergy and Asthma Research (SIAF)


Interviewer: Giuseppe De Carlo, Director of Operations and Projects at the European Federation of Allergy and Airways Diseases (EFA)




CURE General Assembly,

Tbilisi, Georgia

24 September 2018


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“All researchers working on asthma should explore completely novel ways to tackle asthma and to prevent it”.

3 May, 2018 | Interview

Interviewee: Nikos Papadopoulos, Professor at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens

Interviewer: Isabel Proaño, Communications Manager at the European Federation of Allergies and Airways Diseases Patients’ Associations (EFA)

Kick-off Meeting

2 October, 2017 | Event

CURE project officially started on 1st of October 2017. The launch meeting took place in Athens.

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Highlights from Tbilisi

On September 24th 2018 the George Eliava Institute of Bacteriophage, Microbiology and Virology in Tbilisi, Georgia, hosted the 1st partner meeting of the CURE project after the kick-off meeting held in Greece in 2017.
A lot of progress has been made during the first year of project and really interesting results were presented in the meeting.
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