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Update on progress of IMI-PainCare, a public-private partnership supported by the European Union to improve the care of patients with acute or chronic pain. EFIC is one of about 40 partners of this consortium (
IMI-PainCare TRiPP (Translational Research in Pelvic Pain) focuses on two specific types of chronic pain in the pelvic area: endometriosis-associated pain (EAP) and interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome (BPS).

The main goal of TRiPP is to improve the effective translation of new therapies in pelvic pain research from preclinical to clinical settings. For achieving this, TRiPP strategy comprises the coordinated work of three work packages, one dedicated to clinical studies, and two dedicated on preclinical models of EAP and BPS.

The clinical study aims to better understand the mechanisms causing pelvic pain (including EAP and BPS) and determine if patients can be better stratified. Questionnaire data and plasma biomarker profiles from almost 800 women are currently being analysed. Additionally a subgroup of these women have undergone more detailed testing allowing better understanding of the function of their nervous systems (peripheral, central and autonomic) and the sensitivity of their bladders. TRiPP hope that taking into account these measures and information about other factors such as what flares their symptoms, their comorbidities and measures of psychological wellbeing will improve understanding over and above just focussing on the pelvis.

In parallel to these efforts, additional project members in seven research institutions from four countries (Portugal, Spain, Great Britain and Germany) have been thoroughly studying the existing pre-clinical models of EAP and BPS, with special attention to translational aspects. A comprehensive literature review kicked off the project, which analysed the validity for translational research of previous published experiments during the last 20 years. This analysis revealed the wide variety of models used, thereby limiting the reproducibility and translation to clinical research. This TRiPP excellent effort was recently published in PAIN (doi: 10.1097/j.pain.0000000000002248).

In addition, the team is currently further validating new read-outs, e.g. non-evoked behavioural tests by using the Home Cage Analysis System., as well as undertaking a back-translational evaluation of biomarkers previously identified in EAP and BPS patients in the selected animal disease models.

EFIC actively participates in IMI PainCare and supports the project by giving scientific advice, fostering PR, and dissemination.