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The positive impact of genetic data on drug development

Presented by
Prof. S. Vermeire, University Hospital Leuven, Belgium
ECCO 2020
In a presentation about the International IBD Genetics Consortium (IIBDGC), Prof. SĂ©verine Vermeire (University Hospital Leuven, Belgium) explained the focus and achievements of this consortium, which is open to any group that wishes to join.

By collecting large datasets from countries from all over the world, the IIBDGC unravelled a total of about 240 significant inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)-associated single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in multiple large genome-wide association studies (GWAS). This has yielded some 200 IBD loci, Prof. Vermeire explained. The newly identified loci have helped to much better understand the roles of the innate and acquired immune systems in the pathophysiology of IBD.

Prof. Vermeire also highlighted the importance of genetic data on the development of new drugs. She noted that >25% of drugs that enter the clinical development stage fail to reach the market due to inefficacy. Growing insights in disease susceptibility genes may affect selection of drug targets and indications. The proportion of drugs with direct genetic support increases significantly across the development pipeline, from 2% at the preclinical stage to 8.2% for approved drugs. Prof. Vermeire: “Selecting genetically supported targets can double success rate in clinical trials”. She invited any group that wishes to join the IIBDGC consortium to apply. Minimum requirements are high-quality genomic DNA and phenotypic information from a minimum of 500 patients with a confirmed diagnosis of IBD and of 500 population-matched healthy controls. Anyone interested in joining the consortium may contact enquiries@ibdgenetics.org.


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