The treatment of inflammatory bowel disease, which includes Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, has very high costs and can include admissions and surgical interventions. Until now, there was no precise tools to predict the evolution and prognosis of these diseases.
A new biochip, IBDchip, (Inflammatory Bowel Disease DNA Chip) is a pioneering programme which has the aim to have a direct influence in the quality of life of patients.
This chip has been created by the biotechnology enterprise Progenika Biopharma, and IDIBAPS-Hospital Clínic de Barcelona has led the multicentre study which demonstrates the improving of the prognosis and therapeutics applied to patients with inflammatory bowel disease. Dr. Miquel Sans, from the Gastroenterology Department of Hospital Clínic and collaborator of the IDIBAPS group <i>Physiopatology of gastrointestinal lesions</i> has been in charge of the coordination of the trial and has participated, along with Dr. Carlos Cara, of UCB Pharma, in the development of the diagnostic chip.
This study had the participation of 579 patients (335 of which with Crohn’s disease and 344 with ulcerous colitis), and of the Central University Hospital of Asturias, University Clinical Hospital of Santiago de Compostela and Lozano Blesa Clinical Hospital of Zaragoza.
IBDchip includes the 61 polymorphisms that the scientific literature has until now associated to the inflammatory intestinal disease, the predisposition to suffer from it and its possible evolution. This is an open tool that can be updated while new related mutations are identified. To perform this diagnostic test, which uses laser technology, only a small blood sample of the patient is needed. IBCchip has been developed in the framework of the collaboration agreement signed in march 2004 between IDIBAPS and Cooperative Research Association in Biosciences of Biscay (CIC BIOGUNE). The inflammatory intestinal disease has an important genetic component, and it is estimated that there are 10 or 15 new cases per 100,000 inhabitants and year. In Spain, there are approximately 100,000 affected patients.
According to the study promoted by IDIBAPS- Hospital Clínic, in the Crohn’s disease, this microchip permits to predict with precision the localisation and extension of the pathology, the risk of suffering from the perianal disease, fistula or abscess, the possible need for surgery or the probability of having associated extraintestinal manifestations. In the case of ulcerative colitis, the IBDchip provides a large precision in the determination of the extension of the lesion, the need for a colectomy and the probabilities of associated extraintestinal manifestations. All this permits a more individualised treatment, with the aim to improve the quality of life of the patients. Furthermore, we must also emphasize the potential reduction in the health expense associated to the inflammatory bowel disease. In order to improve the study of the possibilities offered by the new diagnostic tool, Dr. Miquel Sans, of IDIBAPS-Hospital Clínic has promoted the creation of an European network which will have the participation of centres of 8 countries and will coordinate two more validation studies, held in the United States and in Japan.