The Inflammatory Bowel Disease Characterization by a multi-modal integrated biomarker study (IBD-Character) Consortium is a collaborative effort to advance our understanding of the inflammatory bowel diseases Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn's Disease and to increase diagnostic precision in detection of the diseases in their early manifestation.
The consortium associates 10 European partners from both academia and industry. It starts with a € 6M grant thanks to the European Commission´s 7th Framework Program (FP7).
The project will generate the largest collection of samples so far assembled from treatment naïve patients recently diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease.
DNA methylation and RNA transcription status, protein markers, gut microbial content, patient genotype for known susceptibility loci and classical clinical data will be extensively analyzed for the characterization of the cohort in order to create a molecular snapshot of IBD in its early manifestation.
This massive molecular profiling will be used to yield a list of biomarkers indicative for onset of the disease.
The participating Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) will develop assays capable of analyzing panels of several hundred relevant protein markers as well as methods for rapid profiling of gut microbial content relevant for IBD.
The proposed biomarkers will form a solid ground for development of improved diagnostic assays and be a rich source to mine for novel therapeutic targets.
"We are pleased to have gathered such a strong combination of clinicians, clinical researchers, basic researchers and innovative SME:s into one focused project," said Dr. Mats Gullberg, project coordinator for IBD-Character and Chief Technology Officer at Olink Bioscience.
Dr. Gullberg continued, "The project will advance our understanding of IBD as well as generate proprietary products by the participating SMEs. The project will provide the most complete molecular characterization of samples from patients with IBD and also progress the field of analysis of large data sets containing different types of molecular markers from large sets of individuals."
Based on the findings within the IBD-Character project, results are expected to improve many aspects of patient care, including the development of new personalized medical strategies and treatments.
The project will be co-ordinated by Olink Bioscience (Sweden) with partners coming from several European countries including the United Kingdom, Sweden, Belgium, Spain and Norway.
The IBD-Character Consortium unites researchers from three SME:s, one research institute, five Universities and one public, non-profit organization.
IBD-Character is a four year project running from the 1st of December 2012 until the 30th of November 2016 and is funded by the 7th Framework Program of the European Commission. In addition to the research activities, IBD-Character will be organizing meetings, workshops and will be present at a number of international conferences.
Members of the consortium:
• Olink Bioscience (Coordinator, SME), Mats Gullberg, SE
• Diagenode (SME), Hélène Pendeville, BE
• Genetic Analsysis (SME), Heidi Vebø, NO
• Instituto Aragonés de Ciencias de la Salud/IIS Aragón, Fernando Gomollón, ES
• Linköpings Universitet, Johan Söderholm, Åsa Keita SE
• The University of Edinburgh, Jack Satsangi, UK
• Örebro University Hospital, Jonas Halfvarson, SE
• Centro Nacional de Análisis Genómico, Ivo Gut, Monica Bayés, ES
• Karolinska Institutet, Mauro D’Amato, SE
• Universitetet I Oslo, Morten H. Vatn, Bettina Kulle Andreassen, NO