MetaCardis is a major EU-funded research project investigating the role of gut microbes in cardiometabolic diseases (CMDs). The main investigatory approach is metagenomics and the use of clinical and experimental studies.

Objectives

The goal of MetaCardis is to investigate the impact of qualitative and quantitative changes in gut microbiota on the pathogenesis of cardiometabolic diseases and their associated co-morbidities. This will be achieved through a combination of clinical and experimental studies that will be carried out at a range of organisations located across Europe. A major objective will be to translate clinical and fundamental discoveries into new diagnostics and preventive approaches. More specifically, we want to use discoveries made in the MetaCardis project to enable the development of novel modes of treatment in the successive stages of CMD progression.

Context

Various centres of excellence now exist in Europe that focus on translational medicine and personalised patient care. This is seen as a major development in terms of addressing clinical needs in cardiometabolic and nutrition-related diseases. Specifically national efforts in Germany, Denmark and France are focussing on innovation in care, translational research and also training of a critical mass of clinicians and researchers in cardiometabolic diseases. While these efforts are delivering very noticeable developments, there is a need to integrate knowledge and expertise at a European level to really deliver significant benefits to patients.

As such, the Institute of Cardiometabolism and Nutrition in Paris (ICAN), the Integrated Research and Treatment Center Adiposity Diseases in Leipzig (IFB) and the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research (NNFCBMR) in Copenhagen will combine their efforts in the MetaCardis project to implement universal procedures for the collection of bio-resources and the recording and monitoring of lifestyle factors to constitute a CMD cohort of patients at different stages of CMD progression. The generation of this cohort will be a critical step for the success of future studies.The MetaCardis cohort is  constituted under the sponsorship of Partner n°8 APHP and registered under the clinical trial gov identifier NCT02059538. In addition, metagenomic studies will  be used to investigate the role of gut microbiota in the development of cardiometabolic diseases – a role that is widely suspected but until now has never been definitively established.

Innovative aspects of MetaCardis

MetaCardis is a consortium of EU-based physicians working in cardiology, diabetes and metabolism and researchers specialising in systems biology. These teams are focussing their efforts on applying various high throughput technologies (large scale phenotyping and genomics, metagenomics, and metabolomics) to target cohorts of well-phenotyped CMD patients. Additional preclinical models, including cellular and rodent systems, will provide a synergistic platform for data acquisition, integration and analysis. Taken together this combination of approaches will provide unparalleled insights into the role of gut microbiota in cardiometabolic diseases. Importantly, the acquisition of high levels of phenotypic data will mean that the insights gained can be established in terms of measureable clinical outcomes. This has not been possible to date.

 

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