Thanks to the support of the European Commission, fourteen partners in six European countries will work together over a five-year period to translate the results obtained with novel CMD diagnosis and treatment methods and pave the way for personalised medicine in CMDs. Researchers and clinicians from the Institute of Cardiometabolism and Nutrition (ICAN) will also be involved in the METACARDIS project.
The aim of the METACARDIS project is to develop and implement personalised treatments for patients with CMDs in order to meet an urgent need for improved patient care and relieve the socioeconomic burden on the health care system. CMDs - which comprise cardiovascular diseases, metabolic diseases and obesity - are a major cause of mortality and morbidity around the world. Their socioeconomic cost is substantial; it is estimated that they alone cost the EU economy more than -192 billion a year (57% due to direct treatments, 21% due to production losses and 22% due to indirect treatments).
The aim of METACARDIS is to study the impact of changes in the gut microbiota on the onset and progression of CMDs and their associated conditions. These conditions manifest in highly different ways and in all likelihood are interlinked by initial common channels and dysfunctions. As a result, it is essential to thoroughly understand the physiopathological mechanisms involved, make detailed early diagnoses and deliver treatments that are tailored to each disease. In other words:
Find novel shared biological targets and channels that play in role in the progression of CMDs.
Validate the gut microbiota targets and biomarkers.
Refine the analysis of patients' clinical profiles through molecular phenotyping.
Develop new systems (software) for the integration of environmental data and of patients' clinical and biological information.
METACARDIS is the first systemic study designed to correlate the gut microbiota with CMD in people.
It brings together groups of European researchers from various disciplines with biotech and industry experts. The teams will have access to state-of-the-art technologies to accelerate the development of novel preventive and therapeutic strategies for CMDs. Amongst these teams are those directed by Karine Cl-ment and Dominique Gauguier of the Cordeliers Research Centre (Inserm Unit 872) and of the university hospital and research complex ICAN, by Serge Hercberg of the Nutritional Epidemiology unit (Inserm Unit 557) and by Herv- Blotti-re, Joel Dore and Dusko Ehrlich at INRA (France's National Institute of Agricultural Research).
The preliminary studies forming the basis of the METACARDIS project
Work conducted in recent years to characterise the genome of the gut microbiota, i.e. the entire genome of the bacteria in the intestine, has opened up new opportunities in in-depth understanding of the possible channels shared by the various conditions that comprise CMDs.