BARCELONA—The 5th MICROB-PREDICT General Assembly meeting took place in Budapest, Hungary, from 17 to 19 January 2023. Partners from 16 institutions in 10 countries met to review progress within MICROB-PREDICT and set the ALB trial up for success.
Image: MICROB-PREDICT Consortium. © Concentris
Integration of clinical data and microbiome test results from previous large-scale studies (GALAXY, LIVERHOPE and PREDICT) within MICROB-PREDICT has allowed the identification of biomarkers for risk of death in acute decompensated cirrhosis and acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF) and response to candidate disease-modifying therapies. The ALB trial will validate biomarkers to predict the therapeutic response of patients with acute decompensation of cirrhosis and ACLF to albumin treatment.
Day 1 kicked off with a Master Class on the gut–liver axis in alcohol-related liver disease by Mads Israelsen, postdoctoral researcher at Odense University Hospital, Denmark, addressed to all early career researchers. Next, Marko Korenjak, President of the European Liver Patients Association (ELPA), Belgium, took the floor to provide some tips on how to build an academic research profile for social media. Last, Jonel Trebicka, Coordinator of MICROB-PREDICT, Professor at University of Münster, Germany, and Principal Investigator at the European Foundation for the Study of Chronic Liver Failure (EF CLIF), Spain, shared his insights on the do's and don’ts of scientific writing.
In the afternoon, Trebicka welcomed everyone during the official opening session of the General Assembly. In his keynote lecture, Harald Schmidt, Professor at Maastricht University, The Netherlands, expressed his views on current and future trends in medicine. Mária Papp, Professor at University of Debrecen, Hungary, presented an update of the procedures for data and metadata harmonization used to transform the available clinical and omics datasets from the Danish Diet, Cancer and Health–Next Generations and LIVERHOPE cohorts that will allow future integrative analyses. Michael Kuhn, Staff Scientist at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Germany, presented results from the analysis of microbiome diversity, abundance and functionality, and the impact of drugs commonly used to manage complications of cirrhosis. Florian Rosenberger, postdoctoral researcher at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, Germany, presented results from proteome and metabolome analyses in patients with acute decompensation of cirrhosis and ACLF. Next, Minneke Coenraad, Principal Investigator at Leiden University Medical Center, The Netherlands, discussed future dissemination activities.
On day 2, Mani Arumugam, Associate Professor at University of Copenhagen, Denmark, presented results from the integrated analysis of host–microbial multiomics data in acute decompensation of cirrhosis and ACLF. Next, scientific articles in preparation were presented and further discussed. Christophe Junot, Principal Investigator at Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique et aux Energies Alternatives, France, provided an update on the validation of candidate biomarkers for the development of biosensors for point-of-care diagnostic devices to detect and predict the clinical course of acute decompensation of cirrhosis. Aleksander Krag, Principal Investigator, and Nikolaj Torp, predoctoral researcher at Odense University Hospital, Denmark, reviewed the status of the startup process for the ALB trial that will be launched in March 2023. Last, Benjamin Lelouvier, Chief Scientific Officer at Vaiomer, France, and Marko Korenjak, reviewed the most recent dissemination activities and presented social media metrics.
On Day 3, Aleksander Krag and Nikolaj Torp discussed further about logistics, management, monitoring and ethical issues within the ALB trial and presented the roadmap ahead. Next, Sabine Klein, postdoctoral researcher at Münster University Hospital, Germany, presented an update on the experiments conducted in vitro and in rodents to assess the mechanisms underlying the beneficial effects of albumin and rifaximin – a broad spectrum antibiotic with the potential to prevent complications of cirrhosis. Last, Tilman Sauerbruch, member of the Scientific and Ethical Advisory Board and Professor Emeritus at University of Bonn, Germany, provided thorough feedback on the data presented and made constructive and helpful suggestions for the discussion section in the scientific papers in preparation.
The meeting ended with a general discussion chaired by Jonel Trebicka who closed the session thanking all partners for their continued efforts and great work.
This study received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement no. 847949.
The EU-funded MICROB-PREDICT project aims to investigate the interplay between gut and liver and their interaction with the gut microbiome. The MICROB-PREDICT Consortium will identify microbiome-based biomarkers associated with end-stage liver disease and generate data from large patient cohorts. Collectively, this information will enable accurate patient stratification and pave the way for new personalized therapies.
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT05056220