Biomarker enterprise to attack DKD
Beat-DKD logo


Start Date
End Date
IMI2 - Call 5
Grant agreement number

Type of Action: 
RIA (Research and Innovation Action)

IMI Funding
15 085 937
EFPIA in kind
13 649 718
Associated Partners
1 850 999
Total Cost
30 586 654


Diabetic kidney disease (DKD) is a common complication of diabetes, and DKD is now the most common form of chronic kidney disease. There is no effective way to prevent or treat DKD, leaving many patients in extremely poor health and facing high mortality rates.

The BEAt-DKD project aims to deliver tools and knowledge that will facilitate the development of new, personalised treatments for DKD. Among other things, the project will identify and validate biological markers (biomarkers) to help researchers track whether a patient’s condition has worsened, and whether a treatment is working for them. They will also work to identify different sub-groups of patients that could respond differently to certain treatments.

The results will therefore pave the way for the development of effective personalised treatments for DKD.

Achievements & News

Diabetes treatments set to get personal, thanks to new IT tool
June 2021

Building on ground-breaking results from IMI diabetes projects, scientists are now working on a software tool that would identify what subtype of diabetes a patient has, and suggest which treatment would work best for them.###

For many years, the medical world has recognised two main types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. However, research funded in part by IMI through the BEAt-DKD and RHAPSODY projects paints a different picture, suggesting that there are not two subtypes of diabetes, but five. The scientists have since validated these initial findings in additional patient populations, and several studies are currently ongoing to test the effects of different treatments on the different diabetes subtypes.

Meanwhile, investigators have developed a software tool, which is currently used for research purposes and is soon to be implemented in the clinic, to allow doctors to identify which diabetes subtype the patient has. The researchers have received funding from other sources beyond IMI to carry out these additional studies. All in all, this story shows how IMI projects can deliver ground-breaking results, validate them, and turn them into a tool that can hopefully assist in providing the right treatment for the right patient at the right time.

Find out more

Taking a tailored approach to type 2 diabetes
December 2018

Diabetes is a chronic and incurable illness linked to blood sugar that has traditionally been divided into type 1 and type 2. Type 2 accounts for the vast majority of cases – some 285 million – and its prevalence is expected to soar over the coming decade. Amid this backdrop, IMI's RHAPSODY project set out to look more closely at type 2 in a bid to develop targeted treatments for the condition, which can vary significantly and cause serious complications such as kidney failure. ###In a major development, RHAPSODY – in conjunction with others including IMI's BEAT-DKD project – has broken type 2 diabetes down into five subgroups which need different treatments and have different progressions. And this, the researchers believe, has the potential to revolutionise how doctors deal with diabetics. ‘What RHAPSODY is really about is individualising diabetes treatment,’ says vice project coordinator Leif Groop of Lund University in Sweden. ‘For too long, we have had the situation that one size fits all.’  The subgroups grew out of a Swedish study known as ANDIS involving more than 13 000 diabetics and initiated by Groop. It monitored not only patients' blood sugar but also factors such as insulin resistance and secretion, as well as age. The study has since been replicated, including in China.

Scientists identify five subtypes of diabetes
March 2018

Scientists have identified five subtypes of diabetes, a finding that will pave the way for more personalised treatments for the disease. The work, published in The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology, was funded in part by IMI through the projects BEAT-DKD and RHAPSODY. ###Currently, two main types of diabetes are recognised, and diagnosis is through a measurement of a patient’s blood sugar levels. In this study, scientists monitored over 13 000 newly-diagnosed diabetes patients, analysing blood sugar levels, insulin resistance, insulin secretion, and age of onset among other things. This revealed five distinct groups of patients with different risk levels for certain complications associated with diabetes. For example, patients in group 2 (‘severe insulin-deficient diabetes’) are at greatest risk of eye disease, while patients in group 3 (‘severe insulin-resistant diabetes’) had the highest incidence of kidney damage. ‘Current diagnostics and classification of diabetes are insufficient and unable to predict future complications or choice of treatment,’ said Leif Groop of Lund University in Sweden. ‘This is the first step towards personalised treatment of diabetes.’ Until now, the team has only studied people in Sweden and Finland; they now plan to carry out similar studies in China and India, to see if their findings apply in different ethnic groups.

Participants Show participants on map

EFPIA companies
  • Astellas Pharma Europe BV, Leiden, Netherlands
  • Bayer Aktiengesellschaft, Leverkusen, Germany
  • Boehringer Ingelheim Internationalgmbh, Ingelheim, Germany
  • Eli Lilly And Company LTD, Basingstoke, United Kingdom
  • Novo Nordisk A/S, Bagsvaerd, Denmark
Universities, research organisations, public bodies, non-profit groups
  • Academisch Ziekenhuis Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands
  • Chu Hopitaux De Bordeaux, Talence, France
  • Istituto Di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri, Milano, Italy
  • Itä-Suomen yliopisto, Kuopio, Finland
  • Klinikum Der Universitaet Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany
  • Lunds Universitet, Lund, Sweden
  • Medizinische Universitaet Wien, Vienna, Austria
  • Medizinische Universitat Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria
  • SIB Institut Suisse De Bioinformatique, CH-660-0733998-3, Genève, Switzerland
  • The University Of Exeter, Exeter, United Kingdom
  • The University Of Sheffield, Sheffield, United Kingdom
  • Universita Degli Studi Di Bari Aldo Moro, Bari, Italy
  • Universitaetsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany
  • Universitatsklinikum Erlangen, Erlangen, Germany
  • University Of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom
  • University Of Dundee, Dundee, United Kingdom
  • University Of Hull, Hull, United Kingdom
  • University Of Leeds, Leeds, United Kingdom
  • University Of Michigan The Regents Of The University Of Michigan, Ann Arbor, United States
  • University of Helsinki, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
  • University of Turku, Turku, Finland
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and mid-sized companies (<€500 m turnover)
  • Antaros Medical AB, Mölndal, Sweden
  • Lipotype, Dresden, Germany
Associated partners
  • Jdrf International, New York, United States
Third parties
  • Apuliabiotech Societa Consortile Ar L, Bari, Italy
  • Azienda Ospedaliero Universitaria Consorziale Policlinico Di Bari, Bari, Italy
  • The Leeds Teaching Hospitals National Health Service Trust, Leeds, United Kingdom
  • Varsinais-Suomen Sairaanhoitopiirin Kuntayhtyma, Turku, Finland
Project leader
Aimo Kannt