Leading the Way: Medical Discovery
Out in Front of Osteoarthritis Research
Our ultimate goal in osteoarthritis (OA) research is creating a pathway that leads to life-changing new
treatments for people, like Brian, who live with OA — namely the discovery and development of disease-
modifying drugs for OA, similar to those available for RA. The Arthritis Foundation is already recognized as
a world leader in OA research by the Osteoarthritis Research Society International for our work focusing on
identification of OA biomarkers and new imaging techniques, but our work is far from done. We will continue
to pave the way, not only for the development of new drugs for OA, but also for a quicker journey from
discovery to market.
The Arthritis Foundation Leads the Way
Dr. Fashid Guilak, the Lazlow Ormandy Professor of Orthopedic Surgery
at Duke University Medical Center, is fascinated by human joints and
how they work. He understands that for joints affected by osteoarthritis
(OA), there are no treatments other than exercise, weight control, pain
medications and, for the most extreme cases, joint replacement. Guilak
is the recipient of an Arthritis Foundation 2012-2013 Innovative Research
Grant, as well as one of two 2014 Arthritis Foundation Investigator Awards.
Dr. Guilak hopes his research will lead to further advances in the treatment
of OA. He’s interested in one day growing new cartilage from a patient’s
own stem cells to replace damaged cartilage and halt the progression of
OA and post-traumatic arthritis.
There are 300,000 children who, like Rebecca, have their childhood
governed by visits to the doctor’s office and rigid medication schedules.
Because of these children, a major Arthritis Foundation funding
initiative is The CARRA Registry, administered by the Childhood
Arthritis and Rheumatology Research Alliance. The Registry is a
nationwide database of more than 9,000 patients utilized by more than
400 top scientists and physicians to facilitate cutting-edge research.
The Registry will one day lead us to solutions such as personalized
medicine, treatments tailored to specific patients, and accelerated time
to remission for those young patients.
The Alliance has already released several consensus treatment protocols,
which provide research-backed, standardized treatment options for
particular forms of juvenile arthritis.
ACCELERATING DRUG DISCOVERIES
The Arthritis Foundation has joined the Accelerating Medicines Partnership
(AMP), an innovative public-private collaboration initiated by the
Foundation for the National Institutes of Health to accelerate new drug
discovery and development for several diseases, including RA and lupus.
It’s one more example of how we are leading the way in medical and
I’ve spent most of my life
with doctor’s appointments,
shots, medications and more.
It sounds horrible, but for
kids who have arthritis, this
is just every day.”
— Rebecca Kuo, diagnosed at age 5
Few if any other
organizations have had the
impact that the Arthritis
Foundation has had on
finding effective treatments
for arthritis or helping
patients and physicians
better understand the
— Dr. Farshid Guilak, recipient of
the 2014 Arthritis Foundation