Project Acronym:
IBD-Character

Project Reference:
305676

Duration: 52 months

Contract Type:
Small or medium-scale
focused research project

Project Funding:
6 million euros

Research area:
HEALTH.2012.2.4.5-2 Biomarkers and diagnostics for chronic inflammatory diseases of the joint and/or digestive system

This project has received funding from the European Union's Seventh Framework Program for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement #305676

An European Consortium to boost our understanding of Inflammatory Bowel Diseas

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 was started 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.

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.

Consortium members
The project is since March 1 2014 coordinated by University of Edinburgh (UK), with partners coming from several European countries including, 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:

FP7 is the short name for the Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development. This is the EU's main instrument for funding research in Europe and it will run from 2007-2013.