Understanding causative mechanisms in co- and multimorbidities

The increasing number of individuals with co-and multimorbidities poses an urgent need to improve management of patients with multiple co-existing diseases. A better understanding of their causative mechanisms is needed to develop early diagnosis, efficient prevention and monitoring, and better treatments adapted to co- and multimorbid patients throughout their life course. Furthermore, there are many different etiological models of comorbid conditions (e.g., direct causation model or a consequence of treatment). In this context, capturing and measuring patient's complexity in the context of co- and multimorbidities is crucial for adequate management of these conditions and requires innovative approaches.


Proposals should identify and validate causative mechanisms (e.g. molecular, genetic, correlative, drug-drug interaction) combining mental and physical disorders through the integration of basic, pre-clinical and/or clinical research. Applicants should prove the relevance of the identified mechanisms for co-morbid development. Where pertinent, development of biomarkers and other technologies for diagnosis and monitoring of comorbid conditions in patients is encouraged. A purposeful exploitation of existing data, biobanks, registries and cohorts is expected, but does not exclude generation of new data. Sex and gender aspects, age, socio-economic, lifestyle and behavioural factors and any other non-health related individual attributes should be taken into consideration. SME participation is strongly encouraged.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 4 and 6 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact

  • New directions for clinical research to improve prevention, diagnosis, prognosis, therapy development, and management of co- and multimorbidities.
  • Whenever relevant identified biomarkers for more accurate and earlier diagnosis, prognosis as well as monitoring of patients' condition.

Cross-cutting Priorities

  • Gender
  • Socio-economic science and humanities
Application date
Social sciences : Gender studies, Identities, gender and sexuality, Psychology & Cognitive Sciences, Sociology
Humanities : Anthropology & Ethnology
Other : Medicine