What is the 3TR project about?
3TR is a large research project funded by the Innovative Medicines Initiative 2 (IMI2). It is the largest project in the field of immunology ever funded by IMI2 to date. It will provide important new insights and information about why a large number of patients suffering from the following seven diseases do not respond to treatment:
- Crohn’s disease,
- ulcerative colitis,
- multiple sclerosis,
- systemic lupus erythematosus, and
- rheumatoid arthritis.
Although the individual symptoms and courses of these diseases are very different, they all have similarities at the molecular level (within your cells) and are controlled by the immune system.
The 3TR team will analyse and compare the diseases using the most state-of-the-art profiling technologies. And we will study them both alongside each other and together.
3TR will have access to an extraordinary amount of data, with samples from more than 50,000 patients from over 50 clinical trials.
Normally, diseases are categorised by the main organ that they affect, for example, asthma and the lungs. This is called the “single disease” approach. We want to tackle these diseases differently by looking deep into the molecular processes (changes within your cells) that cause them. This means completely changing the way we look at diseases.
3TR promotes a scientific, evidence-based way of choosing treatments. The project will have a big impact on how patients are treated in the future. It will help us to assess which treatments/medications are safest and work best.
What is the main goal?
In 3TR, we want to find reliable biomarkers (an indicator of disease or disease severity which can be measured) as well as molecular processes that show whether a person responds or not to medication. This will help to improve how we manage a patient’s disease and lead us to new ways of treating patients.
3TR will help us to predict how likely a patient is to relapse/flare or enter remission. This will add to our current understanding of how treatments interact with the target parts of the body and how the immune system reacts. We hope this will provide a new way of understanding what causes relapse or remission in patients.
The information that we gain will lead to improved treatment and personalised therapy – getting the right medication to the right patient at the right time. We will do this by being able to better predict whether or not an individual patient will benefit from a specific treatment.
Who is involved?
3TR teams up researchers with expertise in different medical fields, profiling technologies, systems biology and bioinformatics, with experts from pharmaceutical companies, small and medium-sized enterprises and patient organisation representatives. In total, the project brings together 69 partners from 15 European countries.