July 2023 — The HIPPOCRATES research study of psoriatic arthritis (PsA) in Europe, which is supported by the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI), was characterized in a recent IMI article as "a great example of best practice for patient involvement in research."
In July 2021, Neoteryx, the microsampling product brand of Trajan Scientific and Medical, joined a consortium of 26 European partners to collaborate in the HIPPOCRATES research project aimed at investigating the disease mechanisms of PsA. The project included establishing a large, prospective, observational study of 25,000 patients with psoriasis across Europe who can be followed online for development of PsA. The remote approach to patient monitoring in the HIPPOCRATES project is supported by patient-centric blood sampling at specific intervals.
The study's remote blood sampling is made possible with Trajan's Mitra® microsampling devices based on VAMS® technology for easy finger-stick blood sampling by virtually anyone, anwhere, anytime.
The Mitra devices enable research volunteers to collect their own blood samples wherever they are. The blood samples can be allowed to dry directly on the Mitra devices and the sampled devices can be mailed to a central laboratory for biobanking and future analysis as part of the PsA investigation.
HIPPOCRATES experts are processing and analyzing the samples to evaluate and validate newly discovered biomarker signatures for early diagnosis of PsA, and identification of psoriasis patients at risk of developing PsA.
From the beginning, the HIPPOCRATES Patient Advisory Council has helped to emphasize that this study is designed to be as convenient as possible for the patient-volunteers, all of whom suffer from psoriasis.
Background on Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA)
Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that primarily affects the skin. However, 20-30% of people with psoriasis also develop the condition known as psoriatic arthritis, or PsA. This form of arthritis, like others, can cause pain, joint stiffness and fatigue. Currently, there is no method or mechanism for predicting which psoriasis patients will develop psoriatic arthritis.
A goal of the IMI project HIPPOCRATES is to deliver the knowledge and tools that will make it easier to spot the psoriasis patients who are at greatest risk of developing PsA and to diagnose them faster.
The project is also investigating potential therapies for more personalized medical treatments for PsA, and the determining factors that may predict how fast a patient’s condition is likely to worsen.
Research Participants Offer Positive Feedback
According to an article posted on the Innovative Healthcare Initiative (IHI) website, six months into the project, the patient research partners ran a survey and workshop to review patients' experiences during the project. The survey results were positive, with most study volunteers reporting that they felt well-included in their assigned groups and roles. Thesurvey resultswere presented at the EULAR congress in June 2022.
The Patient Advisory Council is planning another evaluation of patient-volunteer involvement in the project in the near future. Patient-volunteer input is considered a key aspect of the HIPPOCRATES project and will help inform other project activities.