19 May

World Inflammatory Bowel Diseases’ Day (the Crohn’s disease)

World Inflammatory Bowel Diseases’ Day (the Crohn’s disease)

Today is the World Inflammatory Bowel Diseases’ Day, a group of chronic disorders of unknown origin which affects the gastrointestinal tract of more than 2,500,000 people in Europe. In Spain, there are between 150 and 250 cases every 100,000 inhabitants, of all of them the most common are the Crohn’s disease and the ulcerative colitis. In this post we will focus on the first.

The Crohn disease causes the inflammation of a segment of the intestines, it can affect any part of the digestive tract, but the small intestine last section, also known as ileum, is the most frequent area affected. There is a scientific consensus in that it is an autoimmune illness, but its causes are unknown. Scientists have isolated some risk factors: the main of them is a genetic component (a 20% of the patients have a relative with it), the other factors are: contamination, smoking habits and stress.

Chron’s main symptoms are frequent intestinal movement, diarrhoea and abdominal pain. Other indicators are joint pain, eye or mouth swelling and skin injuries. As a result of the affected intestines’ limited nutritional absorption capabilities some of the patients become anaemic, lose weight or experience fatigue. The illness alternates active phases with low-intensity ones which makes its symptomatology varied and unpredictable. However it is usual that the active periods produce fissures, fistulas and ulcers.

Crohn affects both sexes equally and normally develops in the youth (most cases are diagnosed between ages 15 -35). As a result of its genetic component, it is more prevalent in some ethnic groups, for example, in western Europe the incidence rate is the 6.3 cases every 100,000 inhabitants while in eastern Europe is the 3,3, according to the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health.

The current treatments are not designed to cure it, only to diminish the symptoms and prolong the inactive periods. The most common medicines used are the corticosteroides and the aminosalicylates. If they are not effective, the doctors will prescribe immunomodulators and some biologic therapy. There is not an established method and the treatment is adapted to each person. In the most extreme cases, the patients are operated to repair or extract the intestine fragment damaged.

A new non-invasive diagnostic test

GoodGut is developing a new non-invasive diagnostic test to detect Inflammatory Bowel diseases like Crohn that is being tested on patients in a clinical study in the Dr.  Josep Trueta University Hospital in Girona. The new method is called RAID-CD and is based in a patented system which identifies bio-markers in the excrements. This will allow an early detection and also the possibility to predict the start of an active phase, with this information it is going to be possible to improve the therapy. The objective is to get a more specific and effective treatment which will avoid the necessity of a surgical procedure in the long-term. “Raid-CD is going to allow a more efficient control of the illness and this will improve the patient quality life” states doctor Xavier Aldeguer, GoodGut co-founder and Director of the Department of Digestive Diseases in Trueta hospital. Among its potential benefits are a reduction of the number colonoscopies needed and an increase in the treatments efficacy.

GoodGut’s therapeutic prebiotic

GoodGut is currently developing Previpect, a therapeutic prebiotic which fosters a selective growth of the beneficial microorganisms we have in our intestinal flora which helps to compensate the dysbiosis that patient usually have. This can reduce the outbreaks and increases the treatments efficacy. This prebiotic can represent a conceptual change in the Inflammatory Bowel Diseases therapy. As it is a prebiotic, its regulation process is faster so it is going to be soon in the market. GoodGut expects it to be available by 2019.

15 Mar

The New Non-Invasive Test from GoodGut, at the 12th Congress of ECCO

The New Non-Invasive Test from GoodGut, at the 12th Congress of ECCO

With the theme Advancing Knowledge, Improving Care, Barcelona played host to the 12th Congress of ECCO (European Crohn’s and Colitis Organisation) on inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). This congress is an unmissable event for scientists and medical specialists from around the world wishing to explore the latest research and clinical care trends in the field.

GoodGut, which began clinical trials of a non-invasive system for detecting IBD (RAID-CD) at Dr. Josep Trueta University Hospital in Girona, with a population of 100 patients, was one of the companies taking part in the congress. IBD includes both Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

Specifically, two scientific posters were presented by Joan Amoedo, researcher in a team through the Industrial Doctorates Scheme of the Generalitat of Catalonia. The most relevant result on the first poster, which was one of the most consulted, described the excellent capacity of the phylogroups (PHGI and PHGII) to discriminate between ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease patients exclusively affecting the colon.

The most significant result on the second poster was that the PHGI and PHGII have proven to be good active phase indicators, providing for the possibility of a different activity marker for each disease. In this case, as Joan Amoedo explains, “it was detected that an increased number of patients was required to validate the markers as a parameter of activity for both diseases”. As a result, the corresponding clinical trials for the differential diagnosis and monitory of inflammatory bowel disease, and the use of these markers to predict the response to anti-TNF treatments such as post-operative recurrence are currently being conducted at Dr. Josep Trueta University Hospital in Girona, Bellvitge University Hospital and Germans Trias i Pujol University Hospital.

Both diseases are chronic and tend to appear in young people (before the age of 30). An estimated 2.5–3 million people in Europe are affected by IBD. In Spain, Crohn’s disease affects around 137.2 people out of every 1000 and, according to ACCU, ulcerative colitis is more common than Crohn’s disease (58% compared to 42%).

Currently IBD is diagnosed with the support of clinical indices and inflammatory parameters such as calprotectin. However these parameters are not sufficiently accurate and generally do not determine when there will be a flare-up of the disease. As a result, a colonoscopy is always necessary, despite being a highly invasive technique with risk of death. In order to diagnose and monitor these chronic diseases the GoodGut system makes it possible to consider one kilogram of bacteria living inside the body which, when unbalanced, are responsible for causing inflammatory response. The RAID-CD can thus be used for non-invasive identification in faeces of the specific microbiological signature for each disease and the degree of dysbioisis can be measured to monitor the disease correctly and provide effective treatment guidelines.



28 Feb

GoodGut, selected for the IPEM 2017 investment forum in Cannes

GoodGut, selected for the IPEM 2017 investment forum in Cannes

GoodGut was the only Catalan company selected by the European Commission Executive Agency for SMEs (EASME) to take part in the IPEM 2017 investment forum, from 24 to 26 January in Cannes (France), attended by a total of 120 companies.

It is one of the most important occasions in Europe for private and corporate investors seeking business opportunities to meet innovative companies from a range of economic sectors. The CEO of GoodGut, Dr Mariona Serra, was responsible for presenting the business model to over 150 investors from France, Luxembourg, Germany, Belgium, the United States, Canada and China. “IPEM has given us visibility and access to a network of potential investors in the international arena” she told us.

Serra also commented that GoodGut is a pioneer in designing systems to support diagnosis and treatment for digestive diseases based on intestinal microbiota. Along these lines, investors were interested in the company’s two tests currently in pre-clinical trial phase: RAID-CRC as a new non-invasive system for early detection of colorectal cancer using biomarkers, as it is the second highest cause of death by cancer in the world and the cancer which most affects the Spanish population, and RAID-CD for inflammatory bowel diseases, mainly Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

Since it was founded in 2014, GoodGut has raised €795,000 from family, friends and fools, angel investors, Caixa Capital Risc and Institut Català de Finances (ICF-IFEM), and one million euros of competitive public financing through the Retos and Neotec programmes.