Autoimmune, inflammatory and allergic diseases are common chronic diseases that significantly affect the wellbeing of millions of people around the globe and pose a substantial burden to healthcare systems. While different treatments are available, response and disease progression in individual patients remain unpredictable.
Currently, still too little is known about the molecular basis underpinning these diseases. In order to be able to better predict treatment response and potentially identify novel biomarkers leading to improved patient management and personalised therapy, a deeper understanding of the cellular mechanisms driving disease development is urgently needed.
In a never-before-seen effort 3TR sets out to fundamentally increase our knowledge of the molecular pathways and mechanisms linked to response and non-response to therapy in seven different immune-mediated, allergic and inflammatory diseases. It’s the largest immunology project funded by the Innovative Medicine Initiative (IMI) to date.
“For the first time, the 3TR team will align and integrate the analysis of autoimmune, allergic, and inflammatory conditions to identify the relationship between longitudinal molecular and microbiome profiles in blood cells and tissues, and disease paths. This high-resolution multi-omics profiling analysis of individualised response to treatment and disease progression will facilitate stratification and identification of molecular patterns, helping us to improve patient management within these diseases in the long run.”Marta Alarcón-Riquelme
Head of Medical Genomics at the GENYO centre at the Fundación Pública Andaluza Progreso y Salud and Scientific Coordinator of 3TR
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a progressive and so far not curable lung disease, which manifests itself in typical symptoms such as coughing, shortness of breath and sputum. With approximately 400 million patients suffering from COPD, it is one of the most common diseases worldwide.
Asthma is a chronic or long-term condition characterised by inflammation of the airways. Usually it causes symptoms such as breathlessness, coughing, chest tightness and wheezing. Symptoms vary in severity and frequency from patient to patient. According to latest estimates around 350 million people around the globe suffer from asthma.
Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammatory condition affecting the entire gastrointestinal tract from mouth to anus. It’s a type of inflammatory bowel disease. The impact of Crohn’s disease ranges from mild to life-threatening. Typical symptoms include bloody stools, diarrhoea, fever and weight loss. Moreover, it can also cause disorders outsides the gut such as anaemia, skin lesions or arthritis. Crohn’s disease affects about 6.3 per cent per 100,000 persons in Europe.
Ulcerative colitis (UC) belongs to the group of chronic inflammatory bowel diseases. It is characterised by a continuous, uniform inflammation of the colon. In contrast to Crohn's disease, only the colon is affected and the inflammation is limited to the intestinal mucosa (mucosa and submucosa). As for the incidence rate in Europe, 11.8 per cent per 100,000 persons suffer from UC.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic disease of the central nervous system. In MS, the body’s immune system destroys parts of the nerve fibres that are significantly involved in the transmission of impulses, but also nerve fibres and cells themselves. Patients may suffer from symptoms such as muscle weakness, numbness, tingling and burning sensations, fatigue, chronic pain, coordination and balance problems as well as difficulty with bladder control. It is estimated that 700,000 people in Europe are affected by MS, and 2.5 million worldwide.
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic, condition that may affect multiple organs including kidney, liver, brain or heart. It is associated with significant premature mortality, being a leading cause of cardiovascular mortality in young women. Symptoms and their level of severity vary between patients and may change over time. Common symptoms of SLE include: painful or swollen joints, hair loss, headaches, severe fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, or anaemia.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a long-term, autoimmune inflammatory disease affecting the joints. Patients mainly suffer from swollen, painful and deformed joints in their fingers and hands. The disease typically progresses in phases, in which symptoms become worse. In addition, other organs may be affected in the course of disease progression. It is estimated that RA affects about 1 per cent of the global adult population.