The SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics is part of a European consortium project - coined RHAPSODY - which reunites researchers and experts from 26 partner institutions in both the public and private sectors. The project focuses on improving the process involved in the diagnosis and fight against diabetes; more specifically, it concentrates on developing biomarkers related to type 2 diabetes (T2D), which is the disease's most frequent form. Within this project, SIB is offering its expertise to coordinate the integration of existing clinical data.
Over 420 million people suffer from diabetes worldwide, and 90% suffer from type 2 diabetes (T2D). RHAPSODY (Risk Assessment and ProgreSsion of Diabetes) concentrates on developing novel biomarkers related to the progression of pre-diabetes and the subsequent risk of T2D. Biomarkers are biological indicators that allow the medical staff to measure the progression of a given disease. Biomarkers developed within the framework of RHAPSODY will help to refine diagnosis, define patient sub-populations for clinical trials, promote prevention and support innovative drug discovery.
To identify these particular biomarkers, RHAPSODY has access to detailed data from large patient cohorts that have been followed for several years. The daunting task of multiple - genomic, biochemical and clinical - data standardization and integration is insured by SIB who is acting as Data Coordination Center.
RHAPSODY is running for an initial four-year period. The project has an overall budget of almost 18 million euros funded by the Innovative Medicine Initiative (IMI), a public-private partnership between the European Union - represented by the European Commission - and the pharma industry. RHAPSODY is also collaborating with representatives of Regulatory Agencies and Patient Associations to facilitate the clinical application of results. Finally, following its initial ambition, this first-class collaborative project which involves over 100 researchers and experts from 20 academic institutions, 4 pharma industries and 2 SMEs, will also form the basis for major advances in precision therapy, and consequently help to improve general health both in and outside Europe.
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About SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics
The SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics is an academic not-for-profit foundation. Its mission is to lead and coordinate the field of bioinformatics in Switzerland. Its data science experts join forces to advance biological and medical research and enhance health by i) providing the national and international life science community with a state-of-the-art bioinformatics infrastructure, including resources, expertise and services; ii) federating world-class researchers and delivering training in bioinformatics. It includes some 60 world-class research and service groups and some 700 scientists in the fields of genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, evolution, population genetics, systems biology, structural biology, biophysics and clinical bioinformatics.