Arthritis Patients Help the Arthritis Foundation Select Scientific Projects That Show Promise Towards Finding a Cure for Arthritis

For the first time, the Foundation included patient input to select six scientists who will work on funded-projects that show arthritis treatment innovation and steps toward a cure

ATLANTA, June 19, 2017 – As part of the 2016 Delivering on Discovery awards, the Arthritis Foundation awarded nearly $3.5 million in funding to six scientists for projects submitted that show remarkable innovations and steps towards finding a cure for arthritis and related diseases. However, the greatest change of selecting the projects and scientists compared to previous years was the necessary addition of the patient voice.

“Including patient input as part of the selection process was a new milestone in patient engagement for the Arthritis Foundation and allowed us to select projects that hold the most promise from an arthritis patient’s point of view, said Guy Eakin, senior vice president, scientific strategy. “We worked with our scientific advisors and patients to select projects that show near-term advancements for a wide array of arthritis types.”

In 2016, 159 project teams submitted letters of intent (LOIs) for the Delivering on Discovery solicitation. A total of 18 patient reviewers and seven scientific reviewers selected 59 of those teams to submit full proposals for scientific peer review. After scientific peer review, the top 10 proposals were then reviewed by the Scientific Discovery Advisory Committee (SDAC) and, for the first time, arthritis patients provided input to inform which projects should be recommended for funding.

The awards range in amounts from nearly $375,000 to almost $1,000,000 and include innovative proposals, including directing immunotherapy for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA); studying the relationship between bacteria and osteoarthritis (OA) progression; and how lung disease may be related to lupus and COPA-related arthritis.

The awardees are:

Awardee
Edward Doherty, PhD Yale University, New Haven, CT MIF/CD74 signaling as a new candidate target for immunotherapy of Rheumatoid Arthritis
James Jarvis, MD University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY Interplay Between Genetics and Epigenetics in Polyarticular JIA
Caroline Jefferies, PhD Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA Inflammatory neutrophils in lupus lung disease - a novel cellular target
Richard Loeser, Jr., MD University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC The Role of the Microbiome in Metabolic Osteoarthritis
Jordan Orange, MD, PhD Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX Targeting of Cellular Stress Points and Immune Priming to Relive Symptoms Associated with COPA Syndrome
Nora Singer, MD MetroHealth Medical Center, Cleveland, OH Cell-based therapy in systemic onset JIA (sJIA) refractory to conventional “c” and biological “b” DMARDs

Learn more about our currently funded scientists.

About the Arthritis Foundation:

The Arthritis Foundation is the Champion of Yes. Leading the fight for the arthritis community, the Foundation helps conquer everyday battles through life- changing information and resources, access to optimal care, advancements in science and community connections. The Arthritis Foundation’s goal is to chart a winning course, guiding families in developing personalized plans for living a full life – and making each day another stride towards a cure. The Foundation also publishes Arthritis Today, the award-winning magazine that reaches 4 million readers per issue.

Media Contact:

Claire Villines

(404) 965-7558

cvillines@arthritis.org