IPODD project discusses progress with inflammatory bowel disease

12 April 2011

Experts from 11 countries are gathering in Rome this week (April 13-16) to discuss innovative strategies for studying and treating inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs).

The meeting is organized by the EU-funded project IPODD, a 3-year consortium launched in 2008 for research on IBDs.

IPODD (Intestinal Proteases: Opportunity for Drug Discovery) has put together the expertise of 13 research teams across 7 countries (Czech Republic, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, UK) coordinated by Prof. David Grundy at the University of Sheffield. The project was funded by the EU seventh framework program (FP7) with €3 million and will expire in July 2011.

IBDs are chronic disorders of the gastrointestinal tract that include Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. In both diseases symptoms range from mild (eg abdominal discomfort and diarrhoea) to severe (abdominal pain, bleeding, anaemia, weight loss and others). Some cases may require surgery for eliminating parts of the intestine.

IBDs affect 1-5 people out of 1000 in Europe. Most patients develop symptoms as a teenager and have alternating periods of remission and relapse (flares) during their entire life. IBDs are an important cause of disability and morbidity, interfering with the quality of life of thousands people for many years.

The meeting's goals are to disseminate and discuss the latest findings from IPODD; and review the most promising avenues in IBD research, including work on proteases, probiotic intervention and gene-diet interactions.

Representatives from the European Federation of Crohn's and Colitis Associations (EFCCA) will also bring the patients' angle on IBDs.

Further information

IPODD (Intestinal Proteases: Opportunity for Drug Discovery) project website: www.ipodd.eu


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