Manchester to host new £5m arthritis research unit
Patients across the North West and beyond are set to benefit
from a new national research unit based in Manchester which will
investigate the treatment of arthritis and other diseases affecting
the joints and muscles.
The Manchester NIHR Biomedical Research Unit (BRU) will be run
in partnership by Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS
Foundation Trust and The University of Manchester. The
partners already have a highly regarded Musculoskeletal (MSK)
Research Group, and have successfully applied to the National
Institute for Health Research for almost £5 million to set up a
nationally recognised BRU to extend the group's work.
Led by Professor Deborah Symmons, the team of researchers and
clinicians will pioneer new methods of assessing early response to
treatment in adults and children with MSK disease, new ways of
preventing rheumatoid arthritis and its complications, new
therapies for arthritis and new resources for patients to help them
achieve the best response to treatment.
"This is a hugely exciting development for Manchester," said
Professor Symmons. "Our research theme is, 'Treating arthritis:
right first time'. By understanding why some patients respond to
certain treatments and others do not, we will be able to ensure
that patients get the right treatment for them from the earliest
weeks of disease. Indeed, in the case of rheumatoid arthritis, we
believe that we will be able to prevent the disease developing in
people who are at high risk.
"The benefits for patients are significant: fewer cases of
rheumatoid arthritis and its complications, and effective
treatments given earlier in the course of disease with fewer side
effects leading to better disease outcomes for the most common
forms of arthritis."
Mike Deegan, Chief Executive of the Trust, said:
"Congratulations to the successful BRU team on an excellent bid and
a very welcome result. This further enhances Manchester's
already strong reputation for musculoskeletal research, and will
significantly boost the work of translating it into innovative
treatment for patients."
Professor Ian Jacobs, Vice-President of The University of
Manchester and Dean of the Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences,
added: "This is important recognition of the quality of research in
musculoskeletal research being conducted by Professor Symmons and
the team. It is built upon outstanding collaborative interactions
between the University and NHS Trust and most importantly will
bring benefits for the quality of life of our patients."