Experimental Arthritis Treatment Centre - Cardiff

Disease - Rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis

Lead applicant - Professor Ernest Choy

Organisation - Cardiff University

Type of grant - Experimental Arthritis Treatment Centre

Status of grant - Active

Amount of the original award - £112,500

Start date - 1 August 2012

Reference - 20016

Public Summary

What are the aims of this research?

The aim of the Experimental Arthritis Treatment Centre in Cardiff is to improve the outcome of rheumatoid and psoriatic arthritis management by developing and testing novel treatments especially those that have the potential to abort disease. In addition, the centre will develop new laboratory tests that will determine the most appropriate therapy for the individual patient. This will result in higher rates of disease remission as well as developing laboratory tests that can better predict the response to therapy and facilitates a tailored treatment for the individual patient.

Why is this research important?

Rheumatoid and psoriatic arthritis are forms of chronic inflammatory arthritis, which result in pain, disability, joint damage and reduced quality of life. Management of rheumatoid and psoriatic arthritis has improved significantly with the advent of biologic agents in particular agents that inhibit tumour necrosis factor alpha. However, the percentage of patients achieving remission in clinical trials is less than 50% and in clinical practice less than 30%. Sustained remission has been shown to be important in arresting joint damage. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence in the UK and the European League Against Rheumatism both recommend that the goal of treatment should be to sustain disease remission or very low disease activity.

How will the findings benefit patients?

The objectives of the Centre are to conduct clinical trials of novel agents, to assess the efficacy of these treatments and develop laboratory tests that predict good therapeutic response, so that the proportion of patients who achieve sustained remission can be increased. Higher rates of remission will improve the outcome of rheumatoid and psoriatic arthritis by arresting joint damage, reducing disability and improving quality of life.