U-BIOPRED is a European Union consortium of 20 academic institutions, 11 pharmaceutical companies and six patient organisations with the objective of improving the understanding of asthma disease mechanisms using a systems biology approach.This cross-sectional assessment of adults with severe asthma, mild/moderate asthma and healthy controls from 11 European countries consisted of analyses of patient-reported outcomes, lung function, blood and airway inflammatory measurements.Patients with severe asthma (nonsmokers, n=311; smokers/ex-smokers, n=110) had more symptoms and exacerbations compared to patients with mild/moderate disease (n=88) (2.5 exacerbations versus 0.4 in the preceding 12 months; p<0.001), with worse quality of life, and higher levels of anxiety and depression. They also had a higher incidence of nasal polyps and gastro-oesophageal reflux with lower lung function. Sputum eosinophil count was higher in severe asthma compared to mild/moderate asthma (median count 2.99% versus 1.05%; p=0.004) despite treatment with higher doses of inhaled and/or oral corticosteroids.Consistent with other severe asthma cohorts, U-BIOPRED is characterised by poor symptom control, increased comorbidity and airway inflammation, despite high levels of treatment. It is well suited to identify asthma phenotypes using the array of "omic" datasets that are at the core of this systems medicine approach.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01982162.
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