World Health Day: The IHU model to tackle the public health challenge of cardiometabolic diseases and accelerate medical innovation at the service of the patient.

Created in 2011, the IHU ICAN (Foundation for Innovation in Cardiometabolism and Nutrition) is a center of excellence in the field of metabolic diseases: diabetes, obesity, liver diseases (steatosis), heart and vessel diseases. These pathologies represent the first cause of chronic diseases. So how does the “IHU” model make it possible to fight effectively against this scourge?

1- With teams of experts

The strength of the IHU model lies in the concentration of significant human resources on targeted public health priorities, supported by agile structures, and in bringing together clinicians, researchers and entrepreneurs in the service of patients.

IHUs represent a force for innovating and developing the paths, treatments and medical devices of tomorrow. ICAN teams accelerate discoveries on metabolic diseases and their transfer to the benefit of patients thanks to integrated procedures that demonstrate responsiveness and agility from project set-up to the valorization of the discovery.

2- With the decompartmentalization of disciplines.

Changing scale to invent the medicine of tomorrow in cardiometabolism.

Cardiovascular diseases related to diabetes, atherosclerosis, obesity or liver diseases such as NASH are grouped under the concept of cardiometabolic diseases. There are scientific bases for this concept of cardiometabolic diseases consisting of the many interfaces between metabolism and organs: microbiota, adipose tissue, immune system. Thus, we have moved from a medicine centered on an organ to a global and systemic approach to cardiometabolic diseases.

The management of patients with metabolic diseases is modified, doctors no longer reason by organ or by disease but they implement a personalized and multidisciplinary approach for a global management of the disease and its consequences on the future. patients.

For example, not all obese patients develop diabetes or serious cardiovascular pathologies, just as not all diabetic patients have heart failure. Conversely, some individuals a priori at low risk will have a myocardial infarction. It is therefore necessary to better understand the interactions between the organs and between the pathologies in order to better manage the patients and anticipate the evolutions. It is necessary to determine which patient will develop which syndrome.

New causal relationships have emerged. “NASH (non-alcoholic fatty liver disease), for example, which until then was considered an indicator of malnutrition and systemic disease, turns out to be much more than that: it has a direct impact on the vessels, the microbiota, the tissue fat and overall metabolism ». Pr Stéphane Hatem, Director of ICAN

The organs dialogue with each other, and when one of them begins to suffer from metabolic disturbances, the messages sent can domino and trigger deleterious processes at a distance.

Developing knowledge of pathophysiological links, identifying biomarkers and evaluating them in populations are key steps in understanding metabolic diseases. To do this, the IHU ICAN participates in innovative research programs on integrating the use of health data generated by new imaging or research techniques thanks in particular to the explosion of omics in health. Much work remains to be done, but advances in biology and new technologies are accelerating research innovations. Entirely dedicated to the study and understanding of metabolic diseases, the IHU ICAN is a pioneer in research on cardiometabolism.

Some examples of innovative projects for patient services carried out by the IHU ICAN: