Development, dIagnostic and prevention of gender-related Somatic and mental COmorbitiEs in iRritable bowel syndrome In Europe


Mental (anxiety and depression) and non-mental (fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome) comorbidities are highly prevalent in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), with over 60 million Europeans affected, mostly women, by devastating manifestations, impaired treatment and quality of life. Estimated costs are €43 billion/year for IBS, mostly derived from comorbid IBS. Our hypothesis is that comorbid IBS represents a distinct clinical entity, arising from distorted brain-gut communication with a unique, specific, but undefined pathophysiological origin, differing from IBS alone. DISCOvERIE was created to advance the understanding of its causative mechanisms. Identification, validation and comprehension of these mechanisms will help stratify these patients into distinct clinical phenotypes, improving disease management, increasing quality of life and reducing socioeconomic costs. In particular, we will deliver specific comorbid-IBS physiopathological knowledge as clinical guides and protocols for newly created, hospital-based, transversal and multidisciplinary units for implementing personalized management and wellbeing of European citizens and to position Europe as a global leader in comorbid IBS personalised medicine. We will also deliver prognostic and therapeutic biomarkers and patents, technological innovation via e-health tools for personalized assessment of clinical/nutritional/physical activity and disseminate new knowledge widely. Impact will be assessed by recording media presence, scientific publications and by monitoring healthrelated quality of life of patients and promoting cost-effective care. To this end we have created a user board involving patient associations, clinical specialists, European healthcare experts, large pharma and SMEs representatives. We will also promote the creation of a European Reference Network for comorbid IBS involving healthcare providers across Europe.

Project details

Unibo Team Leader: Giovanni Barbara

Unibo involved Department/s:
Dipartimento di Scienze Mediche e Chirurgiche

Institut Catala De La Salut(Spain)

Other Participants:
Followhealth Sl (Spain)
Emergentec Biodevelopment Gmbh (Austria)
Stichting Katholieke Universiteit (Netherlands)
Hycult biotechnology bv (Netherlands)
Universitatea De Medicina Si Farmacie Iuliu Hatieganu Cluj-Napoca (Romania)
Anaxomics Biotech, S.L. (Spain)
Cliclab Transformative Agent Sl (Spain)
Maastricht University (Netherlands)
Byte Factory Systems Sl (Spain)
NanoString Tecnologies, Inc. (United States of America)
Goeteborg Universitet (Sweden)
Johann Wolfgang Goethe - Universitaet Frankfurt Am Main (Germany)
Apotheke l Universitätsklinikum Heidelberg, Germania (Germany)
University College Cork (Ireland)
ALMA MATER STUDIORUM - Università di Bologna (Italy)
Semmelweis Egyptem - Semmelweis University (Hungary)
Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium)
Vib Nucleomics Core (Belgium)

Total Eu Contribution: Euro (EUR) 6.000.000,00
Project Duration in months: 60
Start Date: 01/01/2020
End Date: 31/12/2024

Cordis webpage
Project website

Good health and well-being This project contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

UE flag This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 848228