The TiM-DepisT project has been launched

The TiM-DepisT project has been launched on September 27th in Bordeaux. This hospital-based clinical research project (or PHRC for “Projet hospitalier de recherche clinique”) aims to detect (DepisT) and treat (TiM = immunomodulatory therapy) the presence of autoimmunity in people suffering from psychiatric disorders (psychosis).

Frédéric Villega et Laurent Groc

The project was born in 2019 thanks to collaborative work between the research team of Laurent Groc (CNRS/University of Bordeaux), and the neuropaediatrician Frederic Villega, with the support of the Clinical Research Department of Bordeaux University Hospital.

Led by Frederic Villega (CHU Bordeaux/IINS) and involving 9 University Hospitals across France, the project involves psychiatrists, child psychiatrists, neuropaediatricians and researchers. Marion Leboyer from the Fondamental Foundation, Bruno Aouizerate, David Misdrahi, Sebastien Gard and Anouck Amestoy from Bordeaux Charles Perrens, will be working hand in hand with researchers from Laurent Groc’s IINS team (Delphine Bouchet, Olivier Nicole, Julien Dupuis, Helene Grea) and the Bordeaux CHU immunology department team (Isabelle Pellegrin, Patrick Blanco, Cecile Bordes).

The strength of this project lies both in the clinical question and in the fundamental and technological advances made by the IINS research laboratory. IINS researchers have built a diagnostic platform, coordinated by Delphine Bouchet (CNRS Research Engineer). It enables the presence of pathological autoantibodies to be detected with a high degree of reliability, which is a fundamental issue in this field. This effort began more than 10 years ago with the support of the “Fondation de le Recherche Medicale” (FRM), the Fondation “FondaMental”, and more recently, thanks to the award in 2019 of the SPARK prize from the University of Bordeaux. Thanks to the emergence of this innovative platform, the clinical project can now be rolled out with a budget of one million euros with the support of the governmental “Direction Generale de l’Offre de Soins”

As a clinician at the CHU, who has been working with Laurent Groc and his team for many years, I have structured this bridge between the clinical and the technological. This enables us to transfer elements of major fundamental discoveries for the benefit of healthcare!!”, says Frédéric Villéga. “In this way, I’ve been able to bring together the strengths of Bordeaux University Hospital and the IINS to build an incredibly ambitious project that will provide answers to major burning questions about the new concept of immuno-psychiatry.

Laurent Groc was the researcher who, with his team and his international partners, climbed the first steps of an immense edifice concerning the physiopathology of psychiatric illnesses. This project represents immense hope for all mankind. It is, of course, one of many examples of the importance of research to healthcare.

Indeed, the prospects for the PHRC TiM-DepisT project are significant. Between 2024 and 2027, researchers plan to carry out diagnostic research on 1,000 patients. The aim is to detect and provide access to immunotherapy treatment for several dozens of them. This unprecedented system opens up a host of possibilities for the benefit of medicine, which is in the midst of a revolution as a result of the discovery of the multiple implications of autoimmunity.

The aim of this research project is to answer 2 major questions in the context of mental health care: How prevalent is dysimmunity among the many factors involved in the pathophysiology of the diagnosis of psychosis? And to what extent can these patients, with an autoimmunity, respond to immunomodulatory therapy?

This project could prove to be a major global turning point in psychiatric diagnosis and treatment, offering millions of families the hope of a brighter future!

Publication: 09/10/23
Last update 09/10/23