BARCELONA—The EASL-Clif Consortium was founded in 2009 with the aim to strengthen collaboration across Europe and further our understanding of advanced liver disease. Pioneering work by researchers and professionals in 106 centers in 26 European countries led to the description of acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF) – a syndrome that affects patients with cirrhosis characterized by acute decompensation, associated with organ failures and high short-term mortality.
Today, the EASL-Clif Consortium is constituted by more than 300 clinical researchers in 114 university hospitals across 28 countries in Europe. Members of the EASL-Clif Consortium Steering Committee met on 15 June 2021 to review the scientific activities throughout the former year and discuss the progress of ongoing studies. As part of the EF Clif strategy, the foundation very much relies on ancillary studies to broaden the research scope for their participants and offer new opportunities for future clinical trials.
The annual meeting of the EASL-Clif Consortium Steering Committee was held online due to current measures against COVID-19. Anna Bosh, General Manager at EF Clif, and Jonel Trebicka, Research Associate at EF Clif and member of the EASL-Clif Consortium Steering Committee, presented the results and outcomes from the PREDICT study – the second larger observational study conducted by the EASL-Clif Consortium aimed at characterizing the episodes of acute decompensation and develop prognostic tools to predict and stratify patients at risk of developing ACLF.
Thierry Gustot, member of the EASL-Clif Consortium Steering Committee and Principal Investigator of the CHANCE study – a global prospective study that will assess the survival rate of patients with cirrhosis who receive a liver transplant with the aim to define better criteria for patient selection and make transplantation available to patients developing ACLF, presented updates on the status of the study with a focus on participating centers and patient recruitment.
Rajiv Jalan, Scientific Director at EF Clif, presented the most recent clinical activities of the EASL-Clif Consortium. Jalan introduced the EU-funded project A-TANGO – a phase II clinical trial that aims to develop novel therapeutic strategies targeting inflammation and improving hepatocyte proliferation, and showed major outcomes from the COBALT study – an observational study aimed to assess SARS-CoV-2 vaccine effectiveness in patients with liver cirrhosis who have received a liver transplant. Jalan also discussed the development of novel score systems for better diagnostics when conducting clinical trials.
At the end of the meeting, the EASL-Clif Consortium Steering Committee assessed the nominations for candidate centers to become members of the EASL-Clif Consortium.
Paolo Angeli, Chair of the EASL-Clif Consortium Steering Committee and Professor at University of Padova, Italy, closed the meeting with some concluding remarks and shared his insights on the future of the foundation.
The European Foundation for the Study of Chronic Liver Failure (EF Clif) is a private nonprofit organization which mission is to promote research and education in hepatic chronic failure with the aim to contribute to improving the quality of life and to increase the survival of patients with liver cirrhosis. Since its foundation in 2009, the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL) Chair supports research activities through the EASL-Clif Consortium, a network of more than 100 European university hospitals and more than 300 clinical researchers. The Grifols Chair promotes translational studies across centers throughout Europe and North America within the framework of the European Network for Translational Research (ENTR) with 25 centers and more than 40 investigators.