Be The Cure is a project that is funded by the organisation Innovative Medicines Initiative. The Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) is Europe’s largest public-private initiative aiming to speed up the development of better and safer medicines for patients. IMI supports collaborative research projects and builds networks of industrial and academic experts in order to boost pharmaceutical innovation in Europe. IMI is a joint undertaking between the European Union and the pharmaceutical industry association EFPIA. For more information, please visit http://www.imi.europa.eu/.
The Be The Cure consortium includes 24 academic institutions and 10 companies, that will collaborate in the work of developing the understanding of the pathology of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), which is a chronic disease affecting many patients. One of the main objectives of the project is also to develop new therapies against RA by identifying the disease-causing molecular events early in the disease and then influence immunity and inflammation so that functional disability is halted, immunity is re-regulated and the disease is cured.
The work from groups within the BTCure consortium (and others) has recently shown that very different genetic, environmental and molecular events are needed to trigger different subsets ofthe disease. Our aim is to develop an understanding of the early process in arthritis subsets that will enable us to develop precise and eventually curative treatments to be used before irreversible destruction and loss of joint function and mobility have occurred in patients.
The BTCure project will develop new diagnostic methods to discover the early forms of RA and RA-like diseases and new tools to differentiate the different forms of RA and RA-like diseases, where different molecular mechanisms are involved and where different therapies may be required.
To achieve these goals, samples from biobanks will be analysed in vitro and models will be aligned with different variants of human arthritis. In addition, new models will be established using similar molecular pathways as the relevant human arthritis subsets, leading to the understanding of the etiology and early pathology of the disease for a program aimed at early and curative treatment of RA and RA-like diseases.
A major focus of these efforts will be to understand and subsequently alter the adaptive immune reactions in patients from a disease-inducing mode into either a protective mode against the disease or become asymptomatic. Advances made through initial research into the pathology of this group of diseases have been successful, given enough information available on the nature and regulation of disease-inducing and disease-protective immunity.
With these tools at hand, we will be able to use new understanding of etiology and early pathology of human disease for a program aimed at early and ultimately curative treatment of human RA and RA-like diseases.