International Psoriasis Council

International Psoriasis Council

October 28, 2011 09:10 ET

International Psoriasis Council Convenes Collaborative Efforts Toward Completing Genetic Map of Psoriasis

DALLAS, TEXAS--(Marketwire - Oct. 28, 2011) - In support of World Psoriasis Day on October 29 and this year's theme of "Let's talk about psoriasis – and take action!" the International Psoriasis Council (IPC) today announced a collaborative effort among world-leading geneticists and dermatologists to advance the understanding of the genetic basis of psoriasis.

Professor Jonathan Barker of St. Johns Institute of Dermatology, King's College, London, UK, and an IPC board member, is facilitating the initiative. "There have been huge advances in the understanding of the inherited basis of psoriasis. But we are only about 50% complete in clarifying the genetic effect. To complete the genetic map, we need all of the leading groups around the world to join forces."

To launch the collaboration, IPC convened a workshop earlier this month in Montreal, Canada. It included groups from the genetic research laboratories of Professors Goncalo Abecasis (University of Michigan, USA); Richard Trembath (King's College, London, UK); J.T. Elder (University of Michigan, USA); Andre Reis (University of Erlangen-Nuremburg, Germany); Andre Franke (Christian-Albrechts University, Kiel, Germany); Anne Bowcock (Washington University, St Louis, USA). Also in attendance were dermatologists and IPC board members, Herve Bachelez (Hospital Saint-Louis, Paris, France), Wolfram Sterry, (Charité University, Berlin, Germany); Alexa Kimball, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, USA) and Craig Leonardi (St Louis University, USA).

The collaboration is expected to lay the groundwork for innovative approaches to novel treatment strategies as well as to defining the therapeutic response to treatments in specific psoriasis patients by building a bridge between the genotype and phenotype of the disease. "Completing the genetic map of psoriasis will have major beneficial consequences in terms of new treatments and measuring outcomes of treatments," said Barker.

Psoriasis is a chronic, genetically-determined, inflammatory systemic disease that affects approximately 1 – 2% of the population worldwide (approximately 125 million patients). The disease manifests most notably as characteristic skin lesions distinguished by red, scaly disfiguring plaques. In addition, psoriasis in certain individuals is associated with a variety of potentially life-threatening co-morbidities and also results in profound impairment of quality of life and social well-being in the psoriatic population at-large.

Peter van de Kerkhof (Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, Netherlands), President of IPC, added, "IPC continues to foster collaboration across disparate groups with a view to enhancing the research agenda as it relates to psoriasis."

Founded in 2004, the International Psoriasis Council is a global non-profit organization dedicated to advancing psoriasis research and treatment by providing a forum for education, collaboration, and innovation among physicians, researchers, and other professionals interested in psoriasis. The IPC convenes key international experts to drive the international dialogue on psoriasis.

World Psoriasis Day is an annual day dedicated to people with psoriasis and/or psoriatic arthritis. The International Federation of Psoriasis Associations coordinates World Psoriasis Day events. Conceived by patients for patients, World Psoriasis Day aims to give an international voice to the 125 million people with psoriasis/psoriatic arthritis around the world.

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