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World IBD Day 2018
05/18/2018

Imagine a World Free of IBD #WorldIBDDay

By Shannon Telesco, Ph.D.

As a growing population faces Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), activists from over 50 countries will come together to raise awareness, urge action, and unite people worldwide in their fight against this disease on World IBD Day, which we mark on May 19, 2018.

IBD, which includes Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, is characterized by chronic inflammation of the digestive tract. Symptoms can include severe abdominal pain, diarrhea, fatigue, and weight loss. Diagnosis is challenging and often delayed, leading many patients to progress to advanced stages of the disease, requiring surgery. And the numbers are growing – IBD affects over 5 million people worldwide, and has demonstrated a rising incidence in newly industrialized countries in Africa, Asia, and South America.

While there is no known cure, increasing evidence indicates that genetic and microbial factors, combined with environmental and lifestyle factors or “stressors” including infections, antibiotics, and diet, likely impact the development of IBD. Creating a systematic approach to tracking and analyzing a person’s responses to stressors could provide a path forward to better diagnose, treat, and prevent IBD.

To that end, in conjunction with World IBD Day 2018, we’re proud to launch the IBD Stress Test Quickfire Challenge to award innovators who generate the best stress test solutions up to $50,000 in grant funding and help developing their ideas.

As technology propels forward the ability to track and process a tremendous amount of data, we are looking to the best and brightest innovators across the globe to help turn that data into meaningful information. With information comes power and an opportunity to better predict, treat, and prevent immune-mediated diseases like IBD.

At Janssen Research & Development and Johnson & Johnson Innovation, JLABS, we have a successful history in creating new markets, delivering breakthrough innovation and establishing strong partnerships built on a shared vision. We believe a good idea can come from anywhere, and it’s our goal to break through the noise of the crowded landscape and to accelerate the development of novel technologies, treatments, and pharmaceuticals to provide solutions to patients.

This year, on #WorldIBDDay, let’s take a step together towards a world free of IBD. #UnitedWeStand

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