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CATCH ME: Improving the lives of patients with atrial fibrillation

Today, the CATCH ME consortium (Characterizing Atrial fibrillation by Translating its Causes into Health Modifiers in the Elderly) was launched at the European Society of Cardiology office in Brussels.

Public Health & Health Policy
Atrial Fibrillation
Risk Factors, Epidemiology, Rehabilitation and Sports Cardiology


Brussels, 21 May 2015. Today, the CATCH ME consortium (Characterizing Atrial fibrillation by Translating its Causes into Health Modifiers in the Elderly) was launched at the European Society of Cardiology office in Brussels. CATCH ME brings together 6 academic expert institutes, 3 healthcare organisations and 2 leading professional organisations with the intention to improve the care of patients with atrial fibrillation (AF). Horizon 2020, which is the largest EU research and innovation programme, supports the consortium with a 5 Million Euro grant over 4 years.

2% of the European population, and 12-15% of Europe’s octogenarians suffer from atrial fibrillation (AF) (1), a cardiac disease putting them at risk for stroke, cognitive decline, heart failure, and premature death. CATCH ME aims to improve the prevention and treatment of atrial fibrillation and its complications. The goal is to develop and validate better disease management strategies based on the improved understanding of the main health modifiers (such as genes, drugs, and behaviour) leading to atrial fibrillation in the European population. More specifically, CATCH ME will:

1.    Identify the major health modifiers causing AF in the Elderly in Europe,
2.    Develop clinical tools that will personalise the prevention and management of AF patients, and
3.    Guide and strengthen future strategies to prevent, diagnose, and treat AF in Europe.

CATCH ME also aims at providing substantial answers to current AF uncertainties such as gender differences, by elucidating the reasons why female European citizens seem to be better protected against AF compared to males, or why females are at higher stroke risk than males once they have developed AF.

Beyond evidence generation and therapy recommendations, CATCH ME will combine its research excellence with the knowledge transfer and communication competence of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) and the Atrial Fibrillation NETwork (AFNET) for the result dissemination. The consortium is working closely together with a global leader in in-vitro diagnostics tests (Roche Professional Diagnostics) who will support the development of existing and novel intellectual property in the consortium into marketable tests. Thus, CATCH ME will generate tangible and sustained improvements in the prevention and management of AF patients in Europe.

CATCH ME will propose the novel AF classification to researchers, health care professionals, and patients throughout Europe. This will be realized by solid scientific underpinning of the clinical tools, educational programmes, and by world-wide provision of CATCH ME apps that can be used on any smart phone.


CATCH ME Structure and Participants:

The CATCH ME partners combine excellence in clinical practice, translational pathophysiology, genetics, bioengineering, epidemiology and biostatistics with competence in the development of cardiovascular practice guidelines. As a consortium, CATCH ME also has access to large sets of human biological specimens (atrial tissue and blood samples) and carefully phenotyped patient populations. This is the basis to define the major causes and risk factors (“health modifiers”) of AF in Europe and characterise distinct clinical types of AF to advance future personalised strategies for prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of AF patients.

The consortium is led by Professor Paulus Kirchhof from the University of Birmingham (UK) and consists of the following 9 partners:

University of Birmingham (UK), Paulus Kirchhof and Larissa Fabritz
Universidad de Barcelona (Spain), Lluis Mont and Eduard Guasch
Maastricht University (Netherlands), Ulrich Schotten, Monika Stoll, Harry Crijns and Stef Zeemering
Ludwig-Maximilians University Munich (Germany), Moritz Sinner, Reza Wakili and Stefan Kääb
University of Oxford (UK), Barbara Casadei and Charis Antoniades
Université Pierre Marie Curie (France), Stéphane Hatem
Atrial Fibrillation Network (Germany), Gerlinde Benninger and Günter Breithardt
European Society of Cardiology (France)
UK Health & Environment Research Institute (UK), David Cartlidge and Andy West

For further information please go here

ENDS

References

(1)  ESC Guidelines for the management of Atrial Fibrillation here

Notes to editor

About the European Society of Cardiology
The European Society of Cardiology (ESC) represents more than 80 000 cardiology professionals across Europe and the Mediterranean.  Its mission is to reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease in Europe.

About AFNET
The Atrial Fibrillation Network association (AFNET) is an interdisciplinary research network comprising scientists and physicians from hospitals and practices dedicated to improving the management of atrial fibrillation through coordinated research in Germany and Europe. Its main objective is to conduct high quality investigator-initiated clinical trials and registries on a national and international level.

About Horizon 2020
Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU Research and Innovation programme ever with nearly €80 billion of funding available over 7 years (2014 to 2020). By coupling research and innovation, Horizon 2020 is helping to achieve this with its emphasis on excellent science, industrial leadership and tackling societal challenges.

About Catch ME
Catch me is a consortium of 6 academic expert institutes, 3 healthcare organisations and 2 leading professional organisations with the intention to improve the care of patients with atrial fibrillation (AF). . Its aim is to improve the prevention and treatment of atrial fibrillation and its complications