Immune-mediated inflammatory diseases (IMIDs) are characterised by an enormous diversity in disease outcome and response to targeted therapies, which currently cannot be adequately anticipated.

Hence, a systematic understanding of this diversity and biomarkers that are predictive for disease control and therapy response over time are important prerequisites for future precision medicine in IMIDs.

The project ImmUniverse has been formed as a European transdisciplinary consortium to tackle these unmet needs and to understand the role of the crosstalk between tissue microenvironment and immune cells in disease progression and response to therapy of two different IMIDs: ulcerative colitis and atopic dermatitis.

Following this unique approach of studying two diseases at once, ImmUniverse will fill the gap and address the limitations of current studies which do not systematically compare the complex interactions between recirculating  immune cells and the respective tissue microenvironment. The consortium will combine the analysis of tissue-derived signatures with “circulating signatures” detectable in liquid biopsies while employing state-of-the-art profiling technologies corresponding to multi-omics datasets. The project intends to bring diagnostics in IMIDs to a new level by combining disruptive non-invasive liquid-biopsy methodology with novel, validated circulating biomarker assays which are expected to improve diagnosis, inform on disease severity and progression at an early stage of treatment and enable adequate monitoring of treatment response. The identified signature will be validated to monitor state, progression and response to therapy in prospective observational studies.