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European Cardio Markers Consortium Launches

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – A new European consortium that will use a variety of omics technologies to discover biomarkers for heart failure diagnostics and treatment has been launched and will hold its kick-off meeting in Nancy, France on Feb. 22.

The consortium, called HOMAGE (Heart OMics in AGEing), has been awarded €12 million ($16 million) from the European Commission to help fund research efforts over six years. The consortium includes 17 research groups from 10 countries, who will collaborate on using omics-based approaches in simultaneously investigate genes, proteins, and metabolites for biomarkers of heart failure.

The project, which is being coordinated by Faiez Zannad, head of the Centre d'Investigation Clinique Pierre Drouin Inserm U9501 and Inserm Unit 1116 based in Nancy, will manage study cohorts that include 30,000 patients.

The researchers plan to identify biomarker candidates in blood and study their predictive value for heart failure and common co-morbidities associated with aging. Then, they will conduct a clinical study to identify new treatments for heart failure that can be targeted specifically to patients at risk using omics-based biomarker profiles.

HOMAGE researchers intend to validate promising biomarker candidates by crossing a large volume of data from genomics, proteomics, miRNomics, transcriptomics, and metabolomics approaches.

The consortium estimates that more than 6.5 million people in Europe are affected by heart failure, and the prevalence of the disease is rising worldwide due to an aging population and an increase in risk factors, such as obesity, diabetes, and hypertension.