ACR, NIH Partner to Boost Research Into Early Treatment

February 4, 2014

Earlier recognition and better treatment of RA and lupus are the focus of a major new research partnership between the ACR's Rheumatology Research Foundation, NIH, and biopharmaceutical companies.

Earlier recognition and better treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and systemic lupus erythematosus are the focus of a major new research partnership between the Rheumatology Research Foundation (the research arm of the American College of Rheumatology), the National Institutes of Health, and 10 biopharmaceutical companies.

The new Accelerating Medicines Partnership (AMP), which also has a focus on Alzheimer's and type 2 diabetes, will work to characterize new biomarkers of disease and identify biological targets most likely to respond to new therapies. Partners in the project will invest more than $230 altogether toward this goal over the next five years. 

Highlights of the effort will include analyzing blood samples from people with RA and lupus to identify biological changes in individual cells and looking for differences between responders and non-responders to therapy. The ultimate goal is a better understanding of diseases processes and mechanisms in both diseases. 

Members in the partnership have also agreed that data and analyses generated during the project will be openly available to the larger biomedical community, boosting the chances of further discovery.