The EUPHORIA project is focused on Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). While this is just one of many conditions that will benefit from the powerful, non-invasive nature of MSOT, it offers an attractive target. IBD is a common and chronic disease, and many patients affected require expensive biologics treatments in periods of high disease activity. Current technology for uncovering these phases of high activity and monitoring treatment success is so unpleasant for the patient, that their frequency of use is limited.
In terms of market size, there are over 2.5 million IBD patients in Europe alone. The total economic cost of IBD is estimated at over 4 billion euro annually. A large percentage of this is related to the use of biologics. A common problem with this kind of medication is the high rate of patients that do not respond to the treatment or lose response over time. Hence, the health care system is paying for highly expensive treatments, that also have significant side-effects and risks to the “non-response” patients, without any actual benefit for those patients. More frequent monitoring with the non-invasive and quick MSOT scan could enable healthcare professionals to capture non-response earlier. If monitoring could be increased from six-monthly endoscopies to two-monthly MSOT monitoring, this could lead to an average 20% decrease in the cost of patient care (400-500 million euro per year).
Performing an MSOT scan for IBD monitoring at half of the annual 7 million plus specialist visits, MSOT represents a market of about 375 million euro per year for the EUPHORIA consortium; it also represents a chance for enormous cost reductions for healthcare systems, and massive savings for society by reducing endoscopies and ineffective treatments. Importantly, it lightens the burden of disease for patients and streamlines management, leading to better care and better outcomes.
EUPHORIA focuses on IBD. However, the MSOT technology is equally applicable in research on other inflammatory illnesses, such as arthritis, multiple sclerosis, graft-versus-host disease and beyond. A successful project will open doors into new markets, and more benefits for patients, healthcare systems and society.