With over 230,000 cases, Canada has among the highest frequency of people in the world with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), including Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis. While there are a several drugs available on the market to treat IBDs, currently physicians are unable to predict which drug would be most effective for a given patient.
Drs. John Rioux, Alain Bitton and team will develop tests allowing doctors to match the right drug with the right patient. This will prevent patients from receiving ineffective (and often expensive) medication and improve the quality of patient life. In addition, once the project is fully implemented, it will save the health care system more than $10 million annually by avoiding costly hospitalizations and surgeries.
While the research will focus on two specific drugs, the project is in fact creating a system that will become an even greater asset for a large number of new drugs, which are expected to reach the Canadian market in coming years.