September 20, 2023 Scientific Advisory Board members meet in Barcelona to evaluate EF CLIF's research activities over FY 2022 The annual Scientific Advisory Board Meeting took place on 19 September 2023 at the EF CLIF Headquarters in Barcelona, Spain. Members of the Executive Scientific Committee together with the Coordinating Investigators of the three EU-funded projects MICROB-PREDICT, DECISION and A-TANGO presented an overview of the research outputs over the last year and discussed progress of ongoing projects.

BARCELONA—The Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) is made up of internationally recognized researchers and clinicians with broad expertise in liver disease research. Officially established in 2022, the SAB provides advise about the EF CLIF research programs and overall strategy.

Picture: © European Foundation for the Study of Chronic Liver Failure.

During the opening session, EF CLIF Director Vicente Arroyo welcomed members of the SAB and thanked everyone attending for coming.

Anna Bosch, General Manager of EF CLIF, reviewed the history of EF CLIF and highlighted how the Foundation's growing infrastructure is providing support to researchers who express their interest to carry out ancillary studies using data and biological samples from parent large-scale studies sponsored by EF CLIF. Bosch presented indicators of FY 2022 and put progress made over the last 10 years into perspective to develop a new integrated research strategy.

Paolo Angeli, Chair of the EASL-CLIF Consortium Steering Committee, shared his insights about the EASL-CLIF Consortium and reviewed its major contributions to the field since its establishment in 2009. Angeli stressed the importance of embracing a patient-centered approach to research to improve health outcomes, and continue supporting young researchers to access and uptake new knowledge. Angeli pointed out the need for a new definition of decompensation in patients with cirrhosis to help develop effective prevention strategies, ambition that the EASL-CLIF Consortium will pursue in the future. Angeli acknowledged the support from EASL and assured that the EASL-CLIF Consortium will continue building scientific knowledge based on data from large-scale prospective studies and/or randomized clinical trials, openly disseminate results and discuss new knowledge, foster inclusion, and promote multidisciplinary research.

Next, Joan Clària, Head of Translational Operations and Director of the Grifols Chair, presented progress by the European Network for Translational Research (ENTR), a network of research laboratories across Europe and the US that combine experiments in cells and animal models and apply a multiomics approach to liver disease research to address the mechanisms of systemic inflammation in chronic liver disease. Clària presented results from ongoing projects shedding new light on the effects of albumin on the immune system and its mechanisms of action.

Richard Moreau, Honorary Director of the Grifols Chair, reviewed major publications over the last year. Moreau presented results from the DISCOVERY project which aimed to assess the effects of human albumin on B cells in acutely decompensated cirrhosis, and set the foundations for the Albimmune S.L. start-up.

Javier Fernández, Head of Clinical Operations, provided an update on clinical trials sponsored by EF CLIF and those designed within the framework of coordinated and participated EU-funded projects. Fernández reviewed results from two former clinical trials, INFECIR-2 and SCOTCH, that aimed to investigate the effect of long-term albumin treatment or low-dose corticosteroids in patients with decompensated cirrhosis, respectively. Next, he presented the design of clinical trials within the EU-funded projects CARBALIVE, ALIVER, LIVERHOPE, MICROB-PREDICT, DECISION, and A-TANGO; and those sponsored by industry (PRECIOSA, APACHE, DELHIVER/HEP102, Liposomal peritoneal dialysis for the management of hepatic encephalopathy, ABC, and ALBUMIM).

In the afternoon, Rajiv Jalan, Scientific Director of EF CLIF discussed progress in CHANCE, study for which he serves as Coordinating Investigator. Jalan presented an overview of the CHANCE study design and objectives, and showed preliminary results pointing to the benefits of liver transplantation in patients with severe acute-on-chronic liver failure (i.e., grades 2 or 3). Jalan discussed major challenges regarding the coordination of such a global study that counts with the participation of 65 open centers from which 60 are currently actively recruiting patients in 21 countries across continents.

Members of the SAB had the opportunity to learn about progress of EU-funded projects coordinated by EF CLIF. Jalan, Coordinating Investigator in A-TANGO who is based at Royal Free Hospital and University College London, UK, presented the rationale behind the dual-combinatorial therapy to be tested in an upcoming clinical trial. Jonel Trebicka, Coordinating Investigator in MICROB-PREDICT at University Hospital Münster, Germany, presented results on newly identified microbiome-based biomarkers that will be validated in the ALB clinical trial to be launched in December 2023. Next, Pierre-Emmanuel Rautou, Coordinating Investigator in DECISION at Hôpital Beaujon AP-HP, France, presented main results from uniomics and multiomics analyses in three cohorts of patients with acute decompensation of cirrhosis from previous large-scale studies sponsored by EF CLIF (CANONIC, PREDICT and ACLARA), and provided an overview of the design of the COMBAT clinical trial that will test safety of a combination of drugs aimed at reducing 3-months mortality.

Finally, Moreau, who also serves as the Chair of the SAB, drew main conclusions from the meeting at the closing session.

Members of the Scientific Advisory Board


Richard Moreau

Hôpital Beaujon, France

European Foundation for the Study of Chronic Liver Failure, Spain


Jonel Trebicka

Universitätsklinikum Münster, Germany

European Foundation for the Study of Chronic Liver Failure, Spain

Appointed members

Paolo Caraceni

University of Bologna, Italy

Helena Cortez-Pinto

University of Lisbon, Portugal

Tom Hemming Karlsen

University of Oslo, Norway

Sophie Lotersztain

Center for Research in Inflammation, University of Paris, INSERM U1149, France

Mala K. Maini

University College London, UK

Giuliana Magri

Hospital del Mar Research Institute, Spain

José María Mato

CICbioGUNE, Spain

Jean-Charles Nault

Hôpital Avicenne, France

Cordeliers Research Center, University of Paris, INSERM UMR 138, France

Frank Tacke

Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Germany

Eric Trépo

CUB Hôpital Erasme – Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium

Luca Valenti

University of Milan, Italy

Jessica Zucman-Rossi

Cardeliers Research Center, University of Paris, INSERM UMR 1138, France