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Dates: 2006-2009
Funding: European Commission
Collaborators: Department of Gastroenterology, University of Oxford;
Institut d'Investigacions Biomediques, Barcelona; Progenika Biopharma
Information: Sarah Wordsworth and James Buchanan

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) includes Crohn’s disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC). Both are increasingly common, chronic illnesses, currently affecting nearly 1 million patients in Europe. CD and UC affect patients early in life, seriously impairing their quality of life and resulting in enormous personal, social, and economic costs. Evidence shows that genetic factors play a key role in IBD pathogenesis. However, to date studies have only addressed the influence of single mutations on IBD, resulting in a poor prediction of clinical course or response to therapy in individual patients.

IBD Chip is a European multi-centre study, funded by the European Commission, which aims to develop an easy to use DNA array. This non-invasive tool will allow the simultaneous analysis of around 100 relevant mutations to predict the clinical evolution, the risk of developing IBD-related complications, and the likelihood of responding to certain drugs of each IBD patient.

The health economic component of the study is estimating the cost-effectiveness of using the IBD chip compared with existing clinical practice: An economic decision model will be built to compare the costs and outcomes associated with using and not using the IBD chip in clinical practice. We will explore the impact on treatment costs incurred from using prognostic information from IBD chip and by having pharmacogenetic information (such as avoiding courses of steroids if a patient is known to be a non-responder).

The economic evaluation will also examine whether the IBD Chip could be used to differentiate patients with less severe disease who might be treated in a primary care setting from those who should be managed entirely in a secondary care setting. The initial perspective of the model will be that of the healthcare provider.


Buchanan, J, Wordsworth, S, Ahmad, T, Perrin, A, Vermeire, S, Sans, M, Taylor, J, and Jewell, D (2011). Managing the long term care of inflammatory bowel disease patients: The cost to European health care providers. J Crohns Colitis, 5(4):301-16.