The Lundbeck Foundation has donated 3 million EUR to the funding of a COPSAC Center for Translational Science in Clinical Research. The vision is to develop new knowledge on the origins of asthma, allergy and atopic dermatitis in order to provide a basis for the development of preventive measures, novel diagnostic tests and therapeutics for these chronic diseases.
Relating findings at the molecular level to clinical phenotypes is a central problem for medical science. This research program springs from clinical research designed as prospective, longitudinal birth cohort studies on asthma, allergy and atopic dermatitis and transgresses this clinical research program by close collaboration with basic researchers in genetics, microbiology and statistics.
This novel human-based research with its ambitious and well defined scientific and technological objectives will bring Danish medical research to the international forefront of research into the origins of asthma by bridging comprehensive objective longitudinal clinical phenotyping with cutting-edge DNA technologies.
- Progress the phenotyping on the birth cohort with the aim to identify novel specific phenotypes within the current syndrome based diagnoses of asthma, allergy and atopic dermatitis;
- Identify and replicate association of novel susceptibility genes involved in the inception and progression of these phenotypes taking into account temporal windows of susceptibility;
- Progress an understanding of gene regulation by environmental interactions;
- Provide a basis for the development of novel diagnostic tests and identification of molecular targets against which novel therapeutics suitable for proof of concept clinical trials can be developed;
- Establish a novel cross-sectional birth cohort for replication of discoveries in the ongoing high-risk cohort; and
- Test the hypothesis that early bacterial colonisation is determinant to disease inception based on the novel discoveries in COPSAC of a close association between neonatal bacterial colonization of the mucosal surfaces of the airways and later development of asthma and allergy. This entails a randomized controlled trial manipulating the micro-flora colonization in neonates aiming to provide evidence for such new preventive treatment.