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EU Research Project HIPPOCRATES Helps Those with Psoriatic Arthritis

European research groups, pharmaceutical companies, businesses and health organizations work together to develop personalized treatment options for psoriatic arthritis

Dublin, July 2, 2021 – Neoteryx joins a consortium of 26 European partners that are collaborating in a new research project called HIPPOCRATES to investigate the disease mechanisms of psoriatic arthritis (PsA). It is estimated that 5-10 million individuals in the EU live with this type of inflammatory arthritis. Through a greater understanding of the complex interplay between clinical and environmental factors, genotype and molecular pathways, the team aims to enable earlier diagnosis and more accurate prediction of disease progression to improve diagnostics and deliver better therapeutic options. This is a 5-year project 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). Fifty percent of the total budget is contributed by the EFPIA partners (Novartis [EFPIA lead], UCB [EFPIA Co-lead], Pfizer and BMS), and 50% is contributed by the EU. HIPPOCRATES launched in July 2021 with the first IMI2 component of the PsA study.

Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) is a chronic immune-mediated inflammatory disease that affects joints and other components of the musculoskeletal system, together with a skin condition known as psoriasis. The symptoms of PsA include pain, joint stiffness and fatigue, which impact function, productivity, and overall quality of life. PsA also is associated with multiple co-morbidities, including mental health such as depression and those that accelerate atherosclerosis and contribute to an observed increase in cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. PsA most commonly develops on a background of established skin and/or nail psoriasis, but can be difficult to diagnose as there are only limited diagnostic criteria or laboratory tests currently available. This can contribute to diagnostic delay and poor outcomes. PsA is characterized by considerable heterogeneity with regard to clinical features, disease progression and response to targeted therapies. Future treatments will need to focus on earlier disease stages and be selected on the basis of detailed patient molecular profiling to limit poor long-term outcomes and, possibly, prevent the development of PsA altogether.

“We anticipate that the advances provided by HIPPOCRATES will result in significant new developments that improve patients’ quality of life,” says Prof. Oliver FitzGerald, Newman Clinical Research Professor at University College Dublin, Conway Institute for Biomedical and Biomolecular Research, Ireland coordinator of the HIPPOCRATES consortium. “The advances will include the identification of sub-populations and endotypes, the identification and validation of existing and new biomarkers, improved imaging options and the development of a sustainable infrastructure for future PsA research,” adds co-coordinator, Prof. Stephen Pennington, Professor of Proteomics at University College Dublin and also in the Conway Institute.

To achieve its goals, the HIPPOCRATES consortium 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 development of PsA, with patient-centric blood sampling at defined intervals. To facilitate convenient, at-home collection of blood samples for the study, volunteers will receive Mitra® devices from Neoteryx, a medical device company that specializes in delivering user-friendly, quantitative and automatable microsampling solutions for biological samples. Study volunteers will use the Mitra devices to easily self-collect their own blood microsamples at home, then will mail their samples to a designated lab for biobanking and future analysis. The team of experts will process and analyze the samples to 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 those at highest risk of damage progression and to develop personalized treatment strategies.

“We’re thrilled that the HIPPOCRATES team will provide our Mitra® devices to people at home, engaging them in this PsA research through easy self-collection of samples from a tiny finger-prick,” said Stuart Kushon, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer, Neoteryx. “We developed the Mitra® device with our VAMS® technology to make it easy for anyone, anywhere to self-collect a precise volume of bio-fluid for scientific analysis in a lab. The HIPPOCRATES project is a perfect example of how our devices can provide a convenient solution for the end-user, and a viable sample for the scientist.”

Formed as a transdisciplinary consortium, the HIPPOCRATES project team comprises 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 in pursuit of the ambitious goals set for the project.

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About HIPPOCRATES: For Additional Information, Please Contact:

Project Coordinators:

University College Dublin, Conway Institute for
Biomedical and Biomolecular Research, Ireland
Prof. Oliver FitzGerald, Newman Clinical Research Professor
Phone: +35 3872486687
Mail: oliver.fitzgerald@ucd.ie

University College Dublin, Conway Institute for
Biomedical and Biomolecular Research, Ireland
Prof. Stephen Pennington
UCD Professor of Proteomics
Phone: +35 1 716 6783
Mail: stephen.pennington@ucd.ie

Project Management:

Martha Whiteman
Phone: +49 30 37 44 15 - 832
Mail : m.whiteman@eurice.eu


Senior Principal Scientist, Novartis Pharma AG
Dr Christine Huppertz
Phone: +41 79 292 6128
Mail: christine.huppertz@novartis.com

EFPIA Co-Lead:

Head of Medical Affairs Immun-Dermatology, UCB Pharma
Dr Owen Davies
Phone: +44 7768 275135
Mail: owen.davies@ucb.com

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