The KTD-innov* project continues to advance in the development of an activity diagnostic system and of the kidney graft rejection stage. To achieve this goal, a new partner joined the consortium at the end of 2020: Sebia, a leader in protein separation techniques applied to in vitro diagnostics. Interview on the new markers with Pierre Sonigo, Director of Research & Development, and the research team.
The KTD-innov consortium annual meeting took place on the 7th of February. The project partners came from different regions of France and met to review the project’s progress and up-coming steps.
The first news of this meeting: a significant milestone in the KTD-innov research project has just been reached with the recruitment of more than 800 kidney transplant patients in transplant centres in Bordeaux, Lyon, Montpellier, Nantes, Paris and Toulouse. The recruitment target has been met thanks to the patient volunteers who agreed to take part in this study. These patients will be monitored within the framework of the project for 12 months following their transplantation.
The next milestone is the collection and analysis of blood, urine and biopsy samples. The annual meeting was an opportunity to review overall coordination between the transplant centres - where samples are collected - and the analytical platforms.
This collaborative research project allows for the implementation of standardised collection processes between the different centres, thereby improving the quality of the samples and thus the quality of the analytical results.
In the meantime, over the past two years, the scientists involved in this French research project have been working to improve the analysis methods and the technical know-how of their teams. They have already optimised their ability to process samples, as well as the quality of the results that are and will be produced.
In the coming months, the researchers involved in the KTD-innov study will face many challenges. In particular, the compilation of analytical data from the samples in compliance with the existing regulations. With the integration of data collected from previous studies, the final database will contain monitoring information from more than 5,000 kidney transplants.
By 2022, the objective to be achieved is the development of an algorithm to use this database for research purposes. The design of a visual interface is also planned to compare the status of one transplant patient to another. The long-term goal is to deploy this algorithm to physicians as a diagnostic system to predict rejection of the kidney transplant.
From 15 to 18 September 2019 the annual event of the European Society for Organ Transplantation (ESOT) will take place in Copenhagen.
ESOT is the European umbrella organisation under which all European transplant professionals are organized. The organisation trains and supports its members through various European programmes and events, such as the 2019 event in Copenhagen.
Several members of the KTD-innov consortium are fortunate to be able to participate in this event with the EU Train-ESOT symposium on 15 September. As well as through various conferences such as that of Dr. Hannah Kaminski of the University Hospital of Bordeaux on the "effect of antithymocyte globulin on CMV infection in renal transplant recipients". And a presentation by Professor Nassim Kamar at the Novartis symposium.
To follow the various presentations of the event, go to #ESOT2019 and @KTDinnov.
Collaborative and sustainable research on graft rejection in Bordeaux
The Bordeaux University Hospital's participation in the KTD-innov project was a natural collaboration between Prof. Couzi and the two co-coordinators of the project, Drs Alexandre Loupy and Sophie Brouard.
Thanks to this funding, the Bordeaux University Hospital has joined a partnership with other university hospitals, such as those in Lyon, Nantes, Toulouse, Montpellier and the APHP.
At the Bordeaux University Hospital, the team of Prof. Couzi and Prof. Merville is conducting translational research with the CNRS-UMR 5164 ImmunoConcept unit led by Dr. Julie Déchnet-Merville on cytomegalovirus infection, an infection particularly common in renal transplant patients.
Other research themes of the service include humoral rejection mediated by anti-HLA antibodies, which is at the centre of the KTD-innov study. The participation of the University Hospital of Bordeaux in the KTD-innov project will therefore help to consolidate a team of researchers thanks to stable funding for a project over several years.
Within the team at the University Hospital of Bordeaux led by Prof. Couzi and Prof. Merville, 11 people are working on the KTD-innov project, including three clinical research associates. Accompanied by several co-investigators, they are responsible for accompanying transplant patients in their voluntary participation in the KTD-innov study.
The collection of this data is essential for the progress of the research project, because it is the basis on which it is based. As in six transplant centers in France, the team of Prof. Couzi and Merville collects clinical, biological, immunological and molecular data from kidney transplant patients. These data are then anonymized before being analyzed by Inserm, Nantes University Hospital, APHP and Bio-Rad. It is by analyzing these data that researchers hope to gain a better understanding of the complex causes of renal transplant rejection.
The KTD-innov project has a great impact on the different parties involved in the research
For Prof. Couzi, the KTD-innov project has enormous benefits for patients because it offers a better definition of the diagnosis of rejection and should lead to improved patient care. Today, as life expectancy increases, the life expectancy of a transplanted kidney is only about a dozen years on average. It is therefore urgent to better diagnose the signs of rejection in order to better manage them and thus prolong the life of kidney transplants.
The project has clear societal benefits, particularly in addressing the current shortage of organ donation. More and more patients around the world need an organ transplant, but unfortunately the supply is not able to meet this increased demand. That is why this project to predict graft rejection is important, not only on a French scale but also on a global scale.
Research for patients in France and around the world
The KTD-innov project will generate knowledge in kidney transplantation that will be useful for medical professionals in the decades to come. It also has the potential to disrupt the way kidney transplants are treated in the short and long term.
The success of the project favors the financing of other large scale and high potential studies. The consortium has a "significant impact on French scientific reputation in kidney transplantation". It therefore contributes to strengthening the dynamism of research in Bordeaux, and of French research centres in general, in the field of kidney transplantation, thus strengthening their positions as major players in the world.
Interview with Sophie Brouard, research director at the University Hospital of Nantes and co-coordinator of KTD-innov
To elucidate the mechanisms of success or failure of a kidney transplant, KTD-innov collects, centralizes and analyses clinical, biological and immunological data from thousands of kidney transplant patients in France.