Crohn’s and Colitis Canada announced that its pioneering work to bridge pan-Canadian inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) research with patient care is moving forward with the launch of a Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR) proposal for the IMAGINE network.
“Crohn’s and Colitis Canada’s commitment to fundamental and clinical research in IBD over the years has built incredible scientific capacity and excellence,” Mina Mawani, Crohn’s and Colitis Canada’s president and CEO, said in a press release. “We are delighted that our support has positioned our IBD research community for success in securing greater government investment in gastrointestinal (GI) research, and that we will participate in this innovative network to ensure the research will lead to patient benefits and improved outcomes.”
Crohn’s and Colitis Canada is a founding partner of the new enterprise and has been a significant supporter and influencer of the new SPOR project. IMAGINE (Inflammation, Microbiome and Alimentation: Gastro-Intestinal and Neuropsychiatric Effects Network) will fill the gap between the lab and the doctor’s office by fostering evidence-based healthcare and bring it to the patient.
“Canada has among the highest reported prevalence of Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and irritable bowel syndrome in the world,” said Dr. Paul Moayyedi, IMAGINE’s lead researcher. “It is vital that we begin a process where we can integrate research from across the country into care. IMAGINE will bring together patient advocates, provincial health authorities, academic health centers, charities, and others who are dedicated to accomplishing this. Together we can imagine a day without the suffering of inflammatory bowel disease – and make it a reality.”
The announcement by Crohn’s and Colitis Canada is a hallmark for the nearly 250,000 Canadians who live with the diseases and their families.
“Crohn’s and Colitis Canada’s promise is to cure Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, and improve the lives of people affected by these chronic diseases,” Mawani added. “We will fulfill this promise by continuing our investment in research, patient programs and services, advocacy, and awareness. Our support of IMAGINE is an important part of this arsenal.”
IMAGINE will now focus on the effects of dietary habits and microbiome on IBD, other GI conditions, and mental health. The study will be led by Moayyedi, of McMaster University, and Dr. Bertus Eksteen from the University of Calgary. The study will include 17 centers across Canada and 75 research and clinical collaborations. IMAGINE received $12.5 million from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research for the venture, as well as $19 million in partner contributions, over five years. Crohn’s and Colitis Canada contributed $3 million as a patient representative.