Antaros partner in ground-breaking European project concerning biomarkers for liver disease
LITMUS, a pioneering 34 million Euro research collaboration to develop new and non-invasive biomarkers for better diagnoses of patients with the liver condition NAFLD is being launched today. The aim is also to support the development of more effective medical treatments. Antaros Medical is one of the partners and is responsible for advanced imaging including elastography and diffusion methodologies across nine European centers.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) affects 20-30% of the population worldwide. It is caused by build-up of fat in the liver cells and can lead to inflammation, scarring of the liver and ultimately to cirrhosis. In some people, NAFLD turns into a more serious condition called non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), raising the risk of cirrhosis and liver cancer. A challenge for doctors is identifying which NAFLD patients will go on to develop NASH and, for those with NASH, predicting how fast the disease will progress. LITMUS aims to deliver simple biological markers (e.g. from blood tests or imaging) that could be used to diagnose NASH and predict which patients will rapidly develop more serious liver disease.
LITMUS is a 34 million Euro project funded by the European Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) 2 Joint Undertaking. It is coordinated by Newcastle University and includes 47 international research partners, leading academic scientists as well as some of the world’s largest pharma companies. As one of the partners, Antaros Medical is responsible for advanced imaging including magnetic resonance elastography (MRE) and diffusion that will be carried out in nine European centers. MRE obtains information about the stiffness of tissue by assessing the propagation of mechanical waves through the tissue with a special magnetic resonance imaging technique. Diffusion is a way of measuring inflammation in the liver.
“It’s a great honor for Antaros to be a partner in this important European project. We value the opportunity to put our knowledge and imaging resources at the disposal of the LITMUS consortium and view this as recognition of our position at the forefront of cutting-edge imaging methodologies,” says Paul Hockings, Director of Imaging at Antaros, and Adjunct Professor at Chalmers University of Technology.
About NAFLD and NASH
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) occurs when fat builds up in the liver. In some people, NAFLD turns into a more serious condition called non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), raising the risk of cirrhosis and liver cancer. NAFLD is quite common, affecting some 30% of the population, and a challenge for doctors is identifying which NAFLD patients will go on to develop NASH and, for those with NASH, predicting how fast the disease will progress. LITMUS aims to deliver simple biological markers (e.g. from blood tests or imaging) that could be used to diagnose NASH and predict which patients will rapidly develop more serious liver disease. It should also support non-invasive biomarkers with high reproducibility for drug development for treatment of NASH.
For more information about LITMUS: https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-11/nu-g112017.php
Antaros Medical is pioneering imaging methodologies to design and deliver clinical imaging studies for improved, evidence-based decision making in drug development. The company is specialized in cardio-metabolic diseases (incl NAFLD/NASH and CKD) and oncology. The company has today a global network of collaboration partners and customers, including both big and small drug developing companies, and is a partner in several European collaboration initiatives eg Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI).
This project has received funding from the Innovative Medicines Initiative 2 Joint Undertaking under grant agreement No 777377. This Joint Undertaking receives support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and EFPIA and 47 Associated Partners: AMC Amsterdam, Antaros, Antwerp University Hospital, Boehringer-Ingelheim, Center for Cooperative Research in Biosciences, Ellegaard Göttingen Minipigs, European Association for the Study of the Liver, Exalenz Bioscience, Faculdade de Medicina de Lisboa, Genfit, Hôpital Beaujon, APHP, Institute of Cardiometabolism And Nutrition, Integrated Biobank of Luxembourg, Intercept, iXscient, Lilly, Linköping University, Medical University of Vienna, National & Kapodistrian University of Athens, Newcastle University, Nordic Bioscience, Novartis Pharma AG, Novo Nordisk, Örebro University, OWL, Perspectum Diagnostics, Pfizer Ltd., RWTH Aachen University Hospital, Sanofi, Servicio Andaluz de Salud, Seville, Somalogic, Takeda Pharmaceuticals International GmbH, UMC Utrecht, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Università degli Studi di Milano, Università degli Studi di Palermo, University Hospital of Angers, University Hospital Würzburg, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, University Medical Center Mainz, University of Bern, University of Cambridge, University of Helsinki, University of Lisbon, University of Nottingham, University of Oxford, University of Torino