Regenerative medicine is an area of research that can deliver great benefits for people with arthritis. Therapies incorporating new discoveries would make it possible to repair joint damage without surgery. The practical application of such discoveries was the driving force behind the establishment of the £25 million UK Regenerative Medicine Platform (UKRMP). Now £6.5 million of that money is going into a new research initiative that will see Arthritis Research UK (ARUK) and the MS Society work with three research councils. The aim is to promote research related to stem cells and tissue engineering, ARUK said.
The first stage of the project resulted in the creation of the aforementioned research councils. Referred to as “hubs,” these interdisciplinary and complementary centres seek to facilitate the development of regenerative therapies and remove obstacles to their clinical application.
As part of the second stage, ARUK, the MS Society and the hubs aim to build on the initial project success by inviting proposals that will further stimulate research and deliver new regenerative medicine treatments. ARUK medical director Alan Silman expressed hope that the new initiative would see leading scientists get together for the common goal of making these therapies available to patients.
ARUK also announced that it had established its first partnership with a European research organisation. The partner in question is the Dutch Arthritis Foundation, Rheumafonds. It has now become part of the UKRMP initiative and will provide financial support to research projects that add extra value to collaborative work by English and Dutch researchers.