U-BIOPRED (“Unbiased Biomarkers for the Prediction of Respiratory Disease Outcomes”) was a 5-year European-wide IMI-funded project (IMI-115010) which aimed to understand more about severe asthma, determine how it differs from person to person, and uncover new information and ideas that could lead to the creation of effective new treatments. Severe asthma affects around half a million of people in Europe who, despite taking many medicines, find it hard to lead normal lives.
The first classification of severe asthma types was presented at the European Respiratory Society international congress on 26-30 September 2015 in Amsterdam (The Netherlands). In the study, scientists analysed the gene activity and levels of certain proteins and lipids in sputum samples from severe asthma patients, and were able to identify three distinct patient clusters. These findings will help scientists identify and potentially develop treatments which are best adapted to each category of patients.
These results were highlighted in a press release, in the ERS conference abstract that can be downloaded from the ERS website and in an editorial entitled “A new identity for asthma” in the October 2015 issue of The Lancet Respiratory Diseases which concluded that “the vast amounts of data gathered by the project, coupled with its use of knowledge management platforms like TRANSMART, will allow experts to distinguish different types of asthma that could lead to new or more effective treatment approaches”.
Text freely adapted from the 50th Edition of the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) Newsletter (October 2015), select “50th edition – October 2015″ from the drop-down list.