MOWOOT leads a € 2,2 million project to develop a novel solution for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

The company Mowoot is leading a research and development (R&D) project for a device & digital platform that allows monitoring and treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), in collaboration with Eurecat and the Fundació d’Investigació en Atenció Primària Jordi Gol i Gurina.

  • IBS affects 10% of the world’s population, mainly women, and currently has no definite treatment.
  • 2 out of every 5 people do not know they suffer from IBS, despite having symptoms.

The project aims to develop a device and digital platform that could become the first effective therapy for the treatment of IBS. Starting from the basic idea of stimulating the intestine physically – in a non-invasive way – to interact directly with gastrointestinal mechanosensory cells and circuits, it could represent a revolutionary new curative treatment for IBS that works in line with the patient’s physiology and reconstitutes healthy intestinal motility. This new treatment could avoid the side effects and other difficulties of systemic approaches, such as drugs.

The device will be equipped with sensor technology (objectively measured outcomes) to automatically observe the patient’s physiological response to the treatment in real time and will also be connected to a digital platform that in addition will collect the patient-reported outcomes such as symptoms and wellbeing. Software with artificial intelligence will collect and analyze the data with the aim of adjusting the treatment to the patient’s physiological state, as well as creating reports for healthcare professionals.

Non-invasive physical stimulation of the mechanosensory cells involved in the digestion process has the potential to correct dysregulation of colonic motility, secretion and visceral hypersensitivity. This stimulation acts as a “pacemaker” that restores the correct patterns and secretion of serotonin, physically interacting with the gut-brain axis and gut microbiota.

The project is financed by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation within the framework of the ‘Next Generation EU’ funds and has the participation of the reference centers EURECAT and IDIAPJGOL.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is one of the most common functional bowel disorders, affecting more than 10% of the general population worldwide1 and almost 5 million people in Spain. Its prevalence is between 1.5 and 3 times higher in women than in men2, manifesting with abdominal pain and bloating and episodes of constipation, diarrhea, or both. IBS can have a significant impact on the quality of life of those who suffer from it, sometimes greater than that of other diseases such as asthma, migraine or diabetes mellitus.

IBS accounts for 10-15% of primary care visits and 25-30% of patients referred to gastroenterology clinics. Even so, 2 out of 5 people do not know what IBS is despite having symptoms. This is mainly due to the difficulty of diagnosis resulting from its heterogeneous presentation and lack of awareness of the disease.

IBS continues to pose a diagnostic and therapeutic challenge to physicians and patients. These challenges arise from the diverse manifestations of the disease, its complex pathophysiology, the lack of effective treatment and the psychological consequences for patients.

Targeting the gut-brain axis

Despite significant research efforts, unfortunately current treatments for IBS do not guarantee definitive and long-lasting solutions. They can only offer therapeutic advantages of about 20% over placebo, and only half or less of patients actually obtain lasting benefits.

Preclinical and clinical research has revealed promising potential for the development of new therapeutic targets targeting the gut-brain axis, not only for functional gastrointestinal disorders, but also for a wide range of psychological and neurological conditions. In particular, direct interaction with gastrointestinal mechanosensory cells is an interesting therapeutic approach since the discomfort and adverse effects of other approaches with whole-body effects, such as drugs, can be avoided. Based on MOWOOT´s Intermittent Colonic Exoperistalsis™ technology, this project utilizes non-invasive, physical stimulation of the mechanosensory cells to solve the root cause of IBS.

About Eurecat

Eurecat is the leading technology center in Catalonia and the second largest private research organization in Southern Europe. Its professional experience offers applied R&D projects, technological services, highly specialized training, technological consultancy and professional events. In the current project, they will be in charge of all the tasks associated with the development of the software, hardware and sensors of the belt. https://eurecat.org

About IDIAPJGol

The Fundació d’Investigació en Atenció Primària Jordi Gol i Gurina, Institut per a la Recerca a l’Atenció Primària de Salut (IDIAPJGol) is a reference center for research and health promotion in primary care. Their contribution will bring their experience in conducting clinical trials and qualitative studies and will ensure that the solution fits the realistic requirements of primary care. https://www.idiapjgol.org

 

References:

1 Oka et al. Lancet Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2020 Oct;5(10):908-917.

2 Quigley et al. Digestive and Liver Disease, 2006 38(10), 717–723.