Frequently Asked Questions About IBD Plexus

What is IBD Plexus®?

IBD Plexus is a first-of-its-kind research information exchange platform designed to centralize data and biosamples from diverse research initiatives to advance science, accelerate precision medicine, and transform the care of IBD patients. IBD Plexus stores millions of data points from thousands of patients across four unique research initiatives. Once initiatives are fully enrolled, the database will include the participation of tens of thousands of patients, yielding tens of millions of data points to fuel IBD research.

Why Build Plexus?

The Crohn's & Colitis Foundation is passionately committed to our mission to improve the quality of life for patients and find cures for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. As the hub of the IBD community, we are the catalyst for uniting clinicians, scientists, educators, industry, patients, and caregivers to accelerate innovation, treatments, and cures.

A wealth of research data is being generated through studies and clinical care settings, as well as from patients themselves through nonconventional sources such as mobile health apps and wearables like Fitbit. However, there is a lack of data standardization among researchers; information is often siloed and accessible only to those who are part of specific studies or programs. The robust technology of IBD Plexus now eliminates these challenges by centralizing data and streamlining access.

Lack of predictive biomarkers, which prevents stratification of patients into research-appropriate subgroups; high costs associated with research; increased research and development time lines; and barriers to patient recruitment reinforce the need to catalyze existing research exchange networks to centralize data and facilitate access to disease-specific patient datasets and biosamples.

Who Will Utilize Plexus?

Currently IBD Plexus provides access to academic researchers that have contributed data to the system, as well as several industry partners that have committed to being Founding Premier Members. The platform will be opened more broadly to the research community in 2019.

Who Will Benefit From Plexus?

IBD Plexus will engage and involve every IBD stakeholder, including IBD patients of all ages, their families and caregivers, academic and industry researchers, and clinicians and other healthcare providers. It is designed to form and nurture collaboration and cooperation among them, powered by their common drive toward better care, treatments, and cures for IBD.

IBD Patients

IBD Plexus supports research that will deliver new therapies, provide better tools to help select the right therapy for the right patient, identify practical ways to reduce variability in the quality of care for individual patients, and accelerate toward cures.


The Foundation’s focus on quality of care will drive improved care and health outcomes for patients living with IBD, bringing together providers and patients to focus on improving how care is delivered and produce outcomes-driven results.


IBD Plexus provides expedited, streamlined access to data and biosamples from carefully characterized patients, as well as computing and bioinformatics resources, to most efficiently and effectively analyze these data.