The project developing the biochip was carried out with the collaboration of Dr. Miquel Sans of the Gastroenterology Service at the Barcelona Hospital Clínico and Dr. Carlos Cara of UCB Pharma. According to the scientists, the biochip is currently analysing 46 mutations related to inflammatory bowel disease (EII) and will shortly begin clinical trials.

The polymorphisms analysed are diverse and enable the establishment of the risk of suffering from the disease, its prognosis and the response of the patient to the pharmacological treatment, so the scientists say.

From a clinical practice viewpoint the implantation of the chip has a twin usefulness: it enables the selection of the most suitable therapy for each patient and it also determines, in those family members of EII sufferers who wish to be tested, the degree of predisposition for developing the infirmity, the researchers explain.

Inflammatory bowel disease (EII) includes Crohn's Disease (CD) and Ulcerous Colitis (UC), disorders of particular importance in gastroenterology both amongst children and adults. The evidence for a genetic origin to the illness is a fact. Between 10 and 20 per cent of family members of CD and UC patients, also have these diseases.

The chip may be an open tool which to date includes the polymorphisms associated in the literature with the disease, the predisposition to the disease and its evolution. As new mutations are identified, these can be easily incorporated into the chip for their analysis, say the inventors.; Source: Basque Research