Immune mediated inflammatory diseases (IMIDs) are a heterogeneous group of debilitating, multifactorial and unrelated conditions featured by a dysregulated immune response leading to destructive chronic inflammation. The immune dysregulation can affect various organ systems: gut (e.g., inflammatory bowel disease), joints (e.g., rheumatoid arthritis), skin (e.g., psoriasis, atopic dermatitis), resulting in significant morbidity, reduced quality of life, increased risk for comorbidities, and premature death. As there are no reliable disease progression and therapy response biomarkers currently available, it is very hard to predict how the disease will develop and which treatments will be effective in a given patient. In addition, a considerable proportion of patients do not respond sufficiently to the treatment. ImmUniverse is a large collaborative consortium of 27 partners funded by the Innovative Medicine Initiative (IMI), which is sponsored by the European Union (Horizon 2020) and in-kind contributions of participating pharmaceutical companies within the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA). ImmUniverse aims to advance our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying two immune-mediated diseases, ulcerative colitis (UC) and atopic dermatitis (AD), by pursuing an integrative multi-omics approach. As a consequence of the heterogeneity among IMIDs patients, a comprehensive, evidence-based identification of novel biomarkers is necessary to enable appropriate patient stratification that would account for the inter-individual differences in disease severity, drug efficacy, side effects or prognosis. This would guide clinicians in the management of patients and represent a major step towards personalized medicine. ImmUniverse will combine the existing and novel advanced technologies, including multi-omics, to characterize both the tissue microenvironment and blood. This comprehensive, systems biology-oriented approach will allow for identification and validation of tissue and circulating biomarker signatures as well as mechanistic principles, which will provide information about disease severity and future disease progression. This truly makes the ImmUniverse Consortium an unparalleled approach.
Keywords: LIPUS; atopic dermatitis; dOFM; immunomediated diseases; liquid biopsy; omic analyses; ulcerative colitis.
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