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LEO Pharma and Research Project BIOMAP: Towards Personalised Medicine for Inflammatory Skin Diseases

BALLERUP, Denmark, April 11, 2019 – LEO Pharma, a global leader in medical dermatology and BIOMAP, a EU-funded research project (Biomarkers in Atopic Dermatitis and Psoriasis), today announced that BIOMAP kicks off its activities with the aim of improving the lives of patients affected by the two most common inflammatory skin conditions.

Addressing key unmet needs in treating atopic dermatitis and psoriasis by analysing data from more than 50,000 patients, the five-year project will have a broad impact on disease understanding, patient care and future therapies. In addition to LEO Pharma the team comprises 26 academic and five industry partners as well as five patient organisations. The European Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) and the participating pharma companies provide EUR 20.8 million funding for the first IMI project in the field of dermatology.

Atopic dermatitis and psoriasis affect more than 300 million people worldwide and are highly variable in terms of onset, severity, progression over time and response to treatment. Resulting in significant morbidity and an increased risk for associated conditions such as arthritis and asthma, inflammatory skin diseases are a huge burden to patients and families, caregivers and healthcare systems. Yet, despite many years of research, there are still significant gaps in the understanding of both conditions.

The renowned clinicians and scientists of BIOMAP, who have now joined forces in a large public-private partnership, will examine the causes and mechanisms of these conditions. By analysing the largest collection of patient data ever and performing advanced molecular investigations at the single cell level and in the tissue context, they aim at identifying biomarkers for variations in disease outcome. Taking advantage of recent technical developments in translational medicine, the project will drive drug discovery and improve direct disease management by combining clinical, genetic and epidemiological expertise with modern molecular analysis techniques and newly-developed tools in bioinformatics. BIOMAP is the first IMI project in the field of dermatology.

"BIOMAP will help us to better understand the relationships between inherited susceptibility, environmental factors, and molecular profiles, as well as the roles of each of these in onset and progression of the diseases", says Dr Witte Koopmann, industrial co-project lead from LEO Pharma.

BIOMAP will help us to better understand the relationships between inherited susceptibility, environmental factors, and molecular profiles, as well as the roles of each of these in onset and progression of the diseases.
Dr Witte Koopmann
Industrial co-project lead
LEO Pharma

Professor Stephan Weidinger, academic coordinator of the consortium and internationally-renowned clinician scientist from the University of Kiel Germany, hopes that "atopic dermatitis and psoriasis will be identified as a series of different diseases rather than just one disease, each with a characteristic molecular 'signature'."

"The findings from BIOMAP will drive rapid drug discovery to target causal mechanisms, and will pinpoint biomarkers which can support clinicians to decide who, when and how to intervene", expects BIOMAP's academic co-coordinator Professor Catherine Smith from King's College London.

The voices of patients living with Atopic Dermatitis and Psoriasis will be at the heart of BIOMAP, through the establishment of a Patient Advisory Group. It will ensure that patients' insights, opinions and wishes are taken into account across all the multiple components of the project.

BIOMAP is funded by the Innovative Medicines Initiative 2 Joint Undertaking under Grant Agreement No. 821511 and in-kind contributions of the participating pharma companies. The Joint Undertaking receives support from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and EFPIA.

The project will officially kick off its activities with a first meeting in London on 10-12 April, 2019.

About IMI

The Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) is Europe's largest public-private initiative aiming to improve health by speeding up the development of, and patient access to, innovative medicines, particularly in areas where there is an unmet medical or social need. IMI facilitates collaboration between the key players involved in healthcare research, including universities, the pharmaceutical and other industries, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), patient organisations, and medicines regulators. It is a partnership between the European Union (represented by the European Commission) and the European pharmaceutical industry (represented by EFPIA, the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations). For further information: www.imi.europa.eu

EURICE – European Research and Project Office GmbH

Dr Verena Peuser
Global External Communication
v.peuser@eurice.eu 
Phone: +49 30 374415832

LEO Pharma

LEO Pharma helps people achieve healthy skin. The company is a leader in medical dermatology with a robust R&D pipeline, a wide range of therapies and a pioneering spirit.

Founded in 1908 and owned by the LEO Foundation, LEO Pharma has devoted decades of research and development to advance the science of dermatology, setting new standards of care for people with skin conditions. LEO Pharma is headquartered in Denmark with a global team of 6,000 people, serving 92 million patients in 130 countries. In 2019, the company generated net sales of DKK 10,805 million.

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Trine Juul Wengel

Global External Communication
Tel: +45 2073 2037