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UCB is proud to partner on a new EU Research Project – ‘HIPPOCRATES’ – to improve diagnostic and therapeutic options for patients living with Psoriatic Arthritis

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    Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) is a chronic immune-mediated inflammatory disease that affects joints and other components of the musculoskeletal system, together with skin involvement, in an estimated 5-10 million individuals in the EU. The symptoms of the disease, including pain, joint stiffness and fatigue, can impact many aspects of life, including function and productivity. Overall, it is increasingly recognised that PsA is associated with multiple comorbidities including cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, and depression.

    PsA most commonly develops on a background of established skin and/or nail psoriasis; however, it can be difficult to diagnose as there are no diagnostic criteria or laboratory tests available. This can contribute to diagnostic delay and poor outcomes.

    The new European project – HIPPOCRATES – brings together 26 European partners, with involvement of patients, clinicians, primary care practitioners, regulators, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and pharmaceutical companies. The project aims to improve diagnostic and therapeutic options for patients living with Psoriatic Arthritis. Through gaining a better understanding of the complex interplay between clinical and environmental factors, genotype and molecular pathways, the team aims to enable earlier diagnosis and a more accurate prediction of disease progression.

    The HIPPOCRATES project will set up a single integrated database combining the cohorts and datasets of the most important European PsA studies and establish a Europe-wide library of relevant clinical biosamples. HIPPOCRATES will also establish a large, prospective, observational study of 25,000 patients with psoriasis who will be recruited and followed online for the development of PsA, with patient-centric blood sampling at defined intervals.

    Furthermore, the team of experts will evaluate and validate newly discovered biomarker signatures for the early diagnosis of PsA, for the identification of psoriasis patients at risk of developing PsA, for the identification of PsA patients at highest risk of damage progression and for personalised or stratified treatment strategies so as to maximise treatment response.

    The project will run for a period of five years with a total budget of EUR 21 million provided by the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI 2), a Joint Undertaking of the European Union and the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA). Of the total budget, 50% are contributed by the EFPIA partners (Novartis [EFPIA lead], UCB [EFPIA Co-lead], Pfizer and BMS) and 50% by the EU.

    Formed as a transdisciplinary consortium, the project team comprises 26 partner institutions from Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. Led by University College Dublin, the partners contribute a diverse range of backgrounds, including clinical, scientific, data analytics, ethics, patient participation, as well as SME and pharmaceutical industry expertise. UCB represents one of the EFPIA partners and is the EFPIA co-load in this public-private partnership.

    At UCB, we understand how essential public-private partnerships are to finding novel ways to improve diagnostic and therapeutic options for patients living with severe diseases. Facilitating collaboration between patients, clinicians, regulators, SMEs and pharmaceutical industry  is crucial for accelerating the scientific discoveries that will help patients with severe diseases live their lives to their fullest.

    We are very proud to partner on this new European project and look forward to contributing our pharmaceutical expertise.

    More information can be found at  http://hippocrates-imi.eu

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