Liryc – 3 scientific projects selected by Horizon 2020 in support of medical treatment challenges
Liryc – the Electrophysiology and Heart Modeling Institute (L’Institut de RYthmologie et modélisation Cardiaque) - is a University-Hospital Institute (IHU) with the mission to better understand and treat heart rhythm disorders.
This institute brings together national and international expertise from many disciplines, with a focus on three areas in cardiac electrophysiology: atrial fibrillation, ventricular fibrillation and heart failure. Its work is based on the following 4 roles:
- research to better understand the mechanisms underlying the disorders;
- innovation to develop and invent the therapies of the future;
- patient care to continue to improve patient management and save lives;
- training and education to spread the practices widely among professionals internationally.
In 2020, the European Commission selected three scientific projects involving the Liryc team as part of its Horizon 2020 program. Thanks to the additional funding of this program, which supports collaborative and interdisciplinary research, these projects are able to propose new, innovative methods to address medical treatment challenges.
BEAT AF: pursuing revolutionary treatment for atrial fibrillation
The BEAT AF project, coordinated by Pierre Jaïs, Liryc’s chief executive officer, brings together 9 leading European clinical centers with the aim of showing that Pulsed Electric Field (PEF), a new ablation method, is more effective than radiofrequency, the reference ablation treatment for atrial fibrillation to date. The project will seek to demonstrate that PEF, which uses ultra-rapid high voltage electrical fields to create nanoscale pores in cell membranes, without collateral damage to non-cardiac tissues, is faster and safer than radiofrequency. It will also help to decrease recurrences, which are common with radiofrequency treatment.
Launched in March 2021, this five-year project has received €6 million in funding from the EU’s Horizon 2020 program.
"If one were to imagine the ideal atrial fibrillation ablation procedure, it would be: easy to perform, in one hour or less, with a success rate of more than 90% at one year follow-up, with no risk of life-threatening or disabling complications… We are actually very close to such an ambitious goal.” (Prof. Pierre Jaïs, cardiologist, chief executive officer of Liryc).
MICROCARD: developing cardiac modeling to better characterize cardiac arrhythmias
The new European project MICROCARD, coordinated by Mark Potse from the modeling team of Liryc, involves multidisciplinary experts (mathematics, computer science, biophysics and biomedical engineering) from 10 partner centers who have come together to create a new modeling platform. This European project will develop software capable of simulating the electrical activity of an entire heart, cell by cell, on ultra-powerful “Exascale”* supercomputers. The software will be tested with real-life problems in collaboration with experimental and clinical researchers at Liryc and will be accessible to many users and adaptable to similar biological systems for a wide range of applications.
Launched in April 2021, this three and a half-year project has received 6 million euros in funding from the EU’s Horizon 2020 program.
“The MICROCARD project is a test case for advanced methods in computer simulation and is directly part of the fight against heart disease.” (Mark Potse, Project Scientific Coordinator, researcher in the modeling team, Liryc, research professor, UBx).
SIMCARDIOTEST: simulating cardiac devices and drugs for in-silico testing and certification
This project, coordinated by Maxime Sermesant and INRIA, brings together 10 international partners who will develop a standardized and secure platform where in-silico** clinical trials are directly conducted in order to test drugs and medical devices. Such predictive tools are in strong demand as, due to a number of factors (R&D costs, complex regulatory pathways, an increasing attrition rate across all phases of drug and device development, etc.), the number of new approved drugs has not increase over the last 10 years. SIMCARDIOTEST will accelerate the uptake of computer simulations for testing medicines and medical devices. These simulations, corresponding to actual measurements, will be performed, verified and validated, including uncertainty quantification and certification, following international standards. The project thus aims to gain the trust of scientists, companies, regulatory bodies, physicians, patients and to promote healthcare innovation in Europe and beyond. It also seeks to facilitate and encourage the industrial and commercial exploitation of the results.
Launched in January 2021, the four-year project has received 8 million euros in funding from the EU’s Horizon 2020 program.
“Research is above all a human adventure. It is in collaboration with people that the work is done and progresses.” (Maxime Sermesant, INRIA, Liryc researcher, Coordinator of the European project SimCardioTest).
* Exascale computer are computers that perform one billion calculations per second.
** Research or a test performed using complex numerical calculations or computer models.