Epimune and VISICORT Start Collaboration on Corneal Transplant Rejection

Berlin, 18 Aug 2020
Epimune and VISICORT, a multi-disciplinary project funded by the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme, today announced the initiation of a collaborative immune profiling study.


VISICORT (https://visicort.eu/) is an EU-funded research project to help improve the success rate of corneal transplants. Immune system response is the most complex barrier to long-term success of tissue transplants/implants from allogeneic and bio-artificial sources. Corneal transplantation (CT) is a well-established allogeneic tissue transplant with >100,000 full- and partial-thickness procedures performed annually. Adverse immune responses occur in up to 30% of CT recipients causing rejection and failure. The high levels of CT clinical activity and immune complications create an ideal opportunity to comprehensively profile immune responses associated with adverse tissue transplant outcomes and to develop new approaches for their prevention or early diagnosis.

VISICORT has collected and analyzed more than 50,000 human bio-samples from 5 leading European eye hospitals and clinics. The VISICORT Foundation Biobank of bio-specimens supports research in eye damage and disease.


The collaborative research between Epimune and VISICORT will use biosamples from people who participated in trans-European VISICORT studies over the past 5 years in Aarhus, Berlin, Bristol, Dublin and Nantes. Participants had received full corneal transplants and samples were collected immediately before transplantation and at various times post-transplant to investigate blood immune cell signatures predictive of rejection. Samples from groups of people that did or did not develop rejection during follow-up were selected.


Epimune will use its proprietary epigenetic immune cell quantification platform to comprehensively profile the biospecimen from the VISICORT biobank with the goal to identify immun cell markers predictive of corneal transplant rejection. 


Partners in this project include INSERM (Nantes, France)Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland (RCSI, Dublin, Ireland) and BIOSTÓR IRELAND (Wexford, Ireland).


For more information please see https://visicort.eu/exploitation-news-a-collaboration-with-epimune-gmbh-begins/