Arthritis: Research:Written question - 268364

(South Holland and The Deepings)
Asked on: 24 June 2019
Department of Health and Social Care
Arthritis: Research
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what progress the NHS has made on research into the (a) causes and (b) potential cures for people with rheumatoid arthritis.
Answered by: Caroline Dinenage
Answered on: 02 July 2019

Research on health and social care continues to be funded by the Government through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).

The NIHR supports health research into rheumatoid arthritis which benefits National Health Service patients. From 2014/15 to 2018/19, the NIHR funded 42 research programmes and individual awards, including doctoral research fellowships and clinical lectureships, on rheumatoid arthritis, with a total value of £18,558,918.

The NIHR is funding early translational (experimental medicine) research into new treatments and diagnostics for rheumatoid arthritis through its Biomedical Research Centres (BRCs). This includes significant themes focusing on relevant research at a range of BRCs, such as the inflammatory arthritis theme at the NIHR Birmingham BRC, the immunity, infection and inflammation theme at the NIHR Cambridge BRC, and the musculoskeletal disease theme at the NIHR Newcastle BRC. The NIHR also funds Clinical Research Facilities (CRFs), and in 2017/18 there were dedicated studies into rheumatoid arthritis underway at the NIHR Guy’s and St Thomas’ CRF, the NIHR Nottingham CRF and the NIHR Sheffield CRF, among others.

Further, the NIHR Joint Translational Research Collaboration (JTRC), established in 2011, relaunched in March 2019 as the UK Musculoskeletal Translational Research Collaboration (UK MSK TRC), a strategic partnership between the NIHR and Versus Arthritis. This brings together Versus Arthritis investment in Experimental Arthritis/Osteoarthritis Treatment Centres, the NIHR JTRC, and all NIHR Biomedical Research Centres and Clinical Research Facilities with expertise in MSK, with the aim of driving cutting edge translational research to improve outcomes for patients. Rheumatoid arthritis is at the forefront of this work.

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