LifeArc is partnering with the European Multicentre Bronchiectasis Audit and Research Collaboration (EMBARC) to improve healthcare for thousands of people across Europe living with bronchiectasis.

The three-year partnership – part of LifeArc’s £100m Chronic Respiratory Infection Translational Challenge – will see LifeArc join more than a dozen organisations in a pan-European effort to deepen understanding of bronchiectasis and deliver new diagnostics and treatments for patients faster.

Bronchiectasis is a life-limiting long-term condition that causes excess mucus to build-up in the lungs, increasing the risk of infection, inflammation, and permanent lung damage. The third largest chronic respiratory disease after asthma and COPD, bronchiectasis affects at least 300,000 people across the UK alone and causes an estimated 1,500 deaths each year. There is currently no licensed treatment for bronchiectasis.

Professor James Chalmers, Chair of EMBARC, said: “EMBARC is an international collaboration of clinicians, health professionals, scientists, patients and industry partners dedicated to improving care and generating new knowledge in the field of bronchiectasis. Established in 2012, EMBARC has made a major contribution to our understanding of bronchiectasis and created the world’s largest bronchiectasis registry and biorepository with data and samples provided by over 20,000 people across 40 countries.

I’m delighted LifeArc is joining us in our next phase of collaborative research to deliver new diagnostics and therapies for patients.

Dr Catherine Kettleborough, who leads the LifeArc Chronic Respiratory Infection Translational Challenge, said: “LifeArc is investing up to £100m by 2030 to accelerate scientific innovation for people living with bronchiectasis and cystic fibrosis.

“Our goal is to enable people to live longer with improved quality of life by ending the vicious cycle of infection, inflammation and permanent lung damage. We can’t achieve this ambitious goal alone. We want to engage all parts of the life science ecosystem in this effort.

“Our new partnership with EMBARC reflects our commitment to work with others to deliver breakthroughs for patients faster.”

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About LifeArc

LifeArc is one of the UK’s largest independent medical research charities. LifeArc is driven to translate scientific ideas into medical breakthroughs for the people who need them the most. We act as a catalyst for healthcare innovation, bringing science and industry together to deliver new solutions for patients faster by bridging the gap between the lab and the patient.

We work with some of the world’s leading thought leaders, life science organisations, scientists, charities, and medical institutions, to accelerate discoveries into next generation diagnostics, treatments and cures for people who need it most. Our in-house scientists, technology transfer and other experts guide academics, charities and others through the commercial, legal, regulatory, and other issues that can prevent scientific discoveries reaching patients.

We’ve helped to develop life-changing treatments for cancer (pembrolizumab, trade name Keytruda®), Crohn’s disease (vedolizumab, trade name Entyvio®), multiple sclerosis (natalizumab, trade name Tysabri®), rheumatoid arthritis (tocilizumab, trade name Actemra®) and we discovered existing medicines could be also used to treat COVID-19.

In 2021, LifeArc committed to investing and partnering with others to solve some of the most complex healthcare problems, starting with the areas of Respiratory Health and Neurodegeneration. Drawing on more than two decades of experience, we will invest £1.3bn to deliver new treatments and health solutions for these and other underfunded and under-supported areas by 2030.


Founded in 2012, EMBARC is a pan-European network of clinicians, health professionals, scientists, patients and industry partners dedicated to improving care, promoting clinical research and education in the field of bronchiectasis.

Through its first two project cycles (EMBARC1 and EMBARC2), it has made a major contribution to industry understanding of bronchiectasis and has recruited more than 20,000 patients to the EMBARC registry which began in 2015. LifeArc’s involvement is part of the third phase of the project which will build on the infrastructure and research to drive the development of new diagnostics and therapeutics.