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Investigation of endometriosis-associated pain and interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome by public-private partnership. Chronic pelvic pain is a condition with high unmet medical need and has a significant impact on quality of life, work efficiency & healthcare utilization. The disorder is frequently associated with endometriosis and bladder pain syndrome/interstitial cystitis – debilitating diseases affecting millions of women worldwide. An important new research programme focused on these diseases has recently been launched. It will be undertaken by a large international consortium including leading academic centres, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), pain societies, patient organizations and pharmaceutical industry partners.

Endometriosis-associated pain and interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome are debilitating diseases that affect millions of women worldwide. An important new research programme focused on these diseases has recently been launched. Dr Katy Vincent, Senior Pain Fellow at the Nuffield Department of Women’s and Reproductive Health is part of a large international consortium -  TRiPP (Translational Research in Pelvic Pain) which aims to develop more personalised treatments for women with distressing conditions. © Nuffield Department of Women's & Reproductive Health
Profs Katy Vincent, Krina Zondervan & Christian Becker from the Nuffield Department of Women’s and Reproductive Health, University of Oxford


TRiPP (Translational Research in Pelvic Pain) is part of the larger “IMI-Pain Care – Improving the care of patients suffering from acute or chronic pain” project, within the framework of the Innovative Medicine Initiative (IMI), the largest public-private partnership for health research worldwide. The four year programme is funded jointly by the European Union and pharmaceutical industrial partners, with a total budget for TRiPP of € 6.48 million.

Uniquely, TRiPP brings together three diverse expert groups (academic institutions, industry and, patient advocates) from around Europe and the USA in a variety of fields most relevant for patients, including preclinical and clinical pain research; endometriosis; interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome; omics technologies; and translational medicine. Academic institutions involved are University of Oxford, UK; King’s College London, UK; University of Edinburgh, UK; University of Cork, Ireland; Instituto de Biologia Molecular e Celular, Porto, Portugal; Fundacion para la Investigacion del Hospital Clinico de la Comunitat Valenciana, Valencia, Spain; Queen Mary’s University, London, UK; University of Aalborg, Denmark; Michigan State University, US; and Boston Children’s Hospital, US. They will work closely with the three industry partners: Bayer AG, Germany, Grünenthal GmbH, Germany and Esteve, Spain, and an SME: Actual Analytics Ltd, UK. Patients, their views and needs, will be involved at all stages of the project, facilitated by the involvement of, the International Painful Bladder Foundation and the Pelvic Pain Support Network in the consortium. Prof Katy Vincent, Senior Pain Fellow, Nuffield Department of Women’s and Reproductive Health, University of Oxford and Dr Jens Nagel, Senior Scientist in Gynaecological Therapies, Bayer jointly coordinate the project which started April 1st 2018.

The project builds on the World Endometriosis Research Foundation Endometriosis Phenome and Biobanking Harmonisation Project (WERF EPHect), a global data and sample standardization initiative led by Oxford and Harvard research teams ( This will allow women suffering from these distressing conditions to be characterised in far more detail than has previously been possible, with the aims of better understanding the mechanisms generating pain and determining whether subgroups exist. “Ultimately, we hope this strategy will move towards more personalised treatments for these distressing conditions”, said Katy Vincent. These findings will be back-translated into preclinical models with the aim of better reflecting the human condition and ultimately facilitating development of novel treatments.


About the Innovative Medicines Initiative

The Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) is a partnership between the European Union and the European pharmaceutical industry, represented by the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA). It is working to improve health by speeding up the development of, and patient access to, the next generation of medicines, particularly in areas where there is an unmet medical or social need. It does this by facilitating collaboration between the key players involved in healthcare research, including universities, pharmaceutical companies, and other companies active in healthcare research, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), patient organizations, and medicines regulators. This approach has proven highly successful, and IMI projects are delivering exciting results that are helping to advance the development of urgently-needed new treatments in diverse areas.

More info on IMI:

Follow IMI on Twitter: @IMI_JU

Please visit our website for more information on the IMI-PainCare project



This project has received funding from the Innovative Medicines Initiative 2 Joint Undertaking under grant agreement No 777500. This Joint Undertaking receives support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and EFPIA Companies.


This communication reflects the views of the IMI-PainCare consortium and neither IMI nor the European Union and EFPIA are liable for any use that may be made of the information contained herein.

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