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IBD Genomic Medicine Consortium (iGenoMed): Translating Genetic Discoveries into a Personalized Approach to Treating Inflammatory Bowel Diseases

2012 Large-Scale Applied Research Project Competition – Genomics and Personalized Health
Genome Centre(s):
Génome Québec
Project Leader(s):
John Rioux (Montreal Heart Institute), Alain Bitton (McGill University)
Fiscal Year Project Launched: 
Project Description: 

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.