Centre for Osteoarthritis Pathogenesis Versus Arthritis

Disease - Osteoarthritis, sports injury

Lead applicant - Professor Tonia Vincent

Organisation - University of Oxford

Type of grant - Centre of Excellence Full

Status of grant - Active

Amount of the original award - £2,000,000

Start date - 1 April 2018

Reference - 21621

Public Summary

What are the aims of this research?

Established in 2013, the Centre for Osteoarthritis Pathogenesis Versus Arthritis has been renewed for a further 5 years. The centre aims to:

  1. Identify markers of osteoarthritis, to improve diagnosis and/or response to treatment
  2. Understand what molecules drive osteoarthritis and whether blocking these molecules in early osteoarthritis can prevent disease
  3. Further understand the role of the microbiome in the development of osteoarthritis
  4. Investigate the causes of hand osteoarthritis, to further understand how it develops and to identify new targets for future treatments
  5. Support multiple clinical trials to test new or repurposed medicines as treatments for osteoarthritis.

Why is this research important?

Osteoarthritis affects over eight million people in the UK and current treatments options are limited. To develop new and more effective treatments, it is essential to first fully understand the basic processes involved in osteoarthritis, and identify how and why this condition develops and progresses. The centre will focus on building on its previous successes. For example, they have identified a number of molecules that can be targeted in mice with osteoarthritis, leading to joint protection. They aim to take forward these selected targets and test these in individuals with osteoarthritis, as well as addressing the objectives listed above.

How will the findings benefit the patients?

By researching the new biological markers of joint injury identified, it may help predict an individual's risk of developing osteoarthritis as well as how the disease will progress. Such information is important for the development of large clinical trials in the future. The results of such trials may result in new and more effective treatments for people with osteoarthritis. As well as this, research outcomes from this centre will include new imaging techniques for diagnosing early disease and new clinical tools that will improve the management of people with arthritis pain.