new research funding announced

CICRA funds major new project to accelerate paediatric IBD research and its impact on clinical practice.

A milestone project combining the expertise at six major UK centres of excellence in paediatric inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) has been approved for funding by CICRA trustees. With an anticipated impact on research and patient care at multiple levels, both short and long term, this project marks a major step towards understanding how this lifelong condition affects young patients.

If you would like to contribute towards our research and give children with IBD the hope of a better future, please donate now.

Paediatric inflammatory bowel disease (PIBD) has increased worldwide over the past four decades. Researching across large numbers of patients helps to improve diagnosis and treatment. This project establishes a paediatric arm of the IBD Bioresource, which we hope by the end of the two years will involve all paediatric IBD centres in the UK – many already having made a commitment. Building on the successful adult project with more than 28,500 adult patients with IBD, this project will recruit 800 paediatric patients including 150 newly diagnosed, with an aim to have 5000 within the overall Bioresource by 2023 whose disease began in childhood.

This collaborative project, headed up by Professor Holm Uhlig at Oxford University, will support UK and international research towards personalised medicine in paediatric IBD. All patient participants will undergo genetic sequencing to allow direct diagnostic translation into clinical care. Genotyping, banking of samples, and consent for recall will provide a sample resource for on-going and future genetic, epigenetic and immunological research.

Prof Holm Uhlig.jpg

Science and research has never mattered more in finding ways to improve our understanding of inflammatory diseases. CICRA is a proud member of the Association of Medical Research Charities, and as always, in line with best practice, our medical advisors gave us sound advice to ensure our funds are wisely spent on research that will drive things forward. With the support and responses CICRA has had in recent months, our trustees felt able to give this project the go ahead. We had hoped to offer funding for more research and applications are on hold, with the hope that we can continue to raise funds so our trustees can fund other projects from donations and our limited reserves.

The funding will support the coordination of UK paediatric IBD centres, drawing on clinical research nurses and the IBD Bioresource team. The collaborative project will drive forward UK and international research towards personalised medicine in PIBD, which could be transformative for improving the experience of children and young people living with Crohn's disease, Ulcerative colitis and all forms of IBD. Supported by the professional body BSPGHAN representing paediatric gastroenterologists across the UK, this project unites many of the leading specialists in paediatric bowel disease and their world leading centres, including Oxford; Edinburgh; Addenbrooke's in Cambridge; Evelina in London; Birmingham Women's and Children's Hospital; the Centre for Immunobiology, Blizard Institute; Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry; University of Glasgow and Great Ormond Street Hospital.

CICRA funding will also leverage support by other major funders including the National Institute for Health Research, the Medical Research Council, the Wellcome Trust and the Sanger Institute. As CICRA has throughout its 42 year existence, our support attracts additional funding into paediatric IBD research.

CICRA has committed to £100,000 in support of this project, recognising its importance for patient care, treatment and research from now and into the future. Despite the current global pandemic, we believe our supporters and the families we help expect and need research into IBD to continue, so that children today and tomorrow can have a childhood unlimited by inflammatory bowel disease.

CICRA relies on the incredible generosity of our supporters to fund groundbreaking research projects like this, and now more than ever, we are grateful for whatever support we receive.

If you would like to contribute towards our research and give children with IBD the hope of a better future, please donate now.