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Overview

EuResist is a Pharmacogenomics project that integrates viral genomics with clinical data to predict responses to anti-HIV treatment. The project aims at developing a European integrated system for clinical management of antiretroviral drug resistance. The system will provide the clinicians with a prediction of response to antiretroviral treatment in HIV patients, thus helping them choose the best drugs and drug combinations for any given HIV genetic variant. To this end, a huge European integrated data set will be created, linking some of the largest existing resistance databases.

Many treatments for HIV-infected patients fail due to the development of anti-retroviral drug resistance. Although there are new standardized systems to monitor the development of drug-resistant mutations, using the genotype to infer the drug susceptibility profile is still not accurate enough for clinical purposes. A novel approach is proposed to predict the in-vivo efficiency of anti-retroviral drug regimens against a specific HIV, based on viral genotype data integrated with treatment response data, collected from clinical practice.

Haifa team contribution

The Haifa team is working on implementing a standardized biomedical information technology that can process and correlate clinical with genomic data from various systems, as well as with public data sources such as PubMed and GenBank. The data that needs to be correlated is described in diverse formats and vocabularies and scattered in disparate countries in Europe.

The Haifa Machine Learning group is also contributing to the project by developing a model to predict drug resistance. The integration technology uses UDiP to de-identify patient data before it leaves the premises at which it originated.

The other partners participating in this EU project include: Informa, Universit? degli Studi di Siena, Italy; Karolinska, Sweden; Max-Planck-Society for the Advancement of Science, University Hospital of Cologne, Germany; RMKI, Hungry; The European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA).

Integration technology
The biomedical information integration technology will hold data from three large genotype-response databases, namely ARCA database (one of the biggest in the world - Italy), AREVIR database (Germany) and data coming from Karolinska Infectious Diseases and Clinical Virology dep. The data will include treatment histories, the standard surrogate markers of treatment response, and the sequence of the relevant part of the HIV genome (genotype). The resulting EuResist integrated data set is expected to be the largest in the world.

Advantages
The expected advantages of this system include not only more effective care for patients but also a significant decrease in the very high global therapy management costs. The project can also be considered as a pilot for hepatitis (HCV and HBV) where the development of drug resistance is also foreseen. The prevalence of chronic HBV and HCV in Europe is at least one order of magnitude greater than that of HIV.