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Establishing the molecular fundamentals of arthritic diseases – a step forward to Heal Arthritis

Project description

Molecular mechanisms of arthritic disease resolution

The EU-funded ArthritisHeal project aims to discover novel therapeutic targets for rheumatic diseases osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis by training 12 young research specialists. The project is focussing on pro-resolving lipids and the fundamental role they play in stimulating the resolution of inflammation. The mechanism of resolution depends on the active biosynthetic shift from pro-inflammatory to pro-resolution mediators, the pro-resolving lipids, biosynthesised from omega-3 fatty acids. The project will employ clinical samples and animal models to identify clinically relevant lipids: novel pro-resolving lipids discovered in preclinical models will be validated in clinical samples, and the mode of action of known lipids will be determined in preclinical models.


In the ArthritisHeal project 7 universities and 2 companies, together with 8 associated partners, will train 12 young researchers and will discover novel therapeutic targets for two rheumatic diseases: osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The project will focus on the role of pro-resolving lipids, which play an important role in both diseases by stimulating resolution of inflammation. Both OA and RA cause pain and deformation of joints, with inflammation playing large role in the pathogenesis of both diseases. Current therapies, focused on inhibition of inflammation, are insufficient to cure rheumatic diseases. By exploiting pro-resolving mechanisms, novel therapeutic targets will be discovered in this project, ultimately improving RA and OA treatment.
During the project both clinical samples and animal models will be used to study mode of action and verify clinically relevant lipids. Novel lipids discovered in pre-clinical models are validated in clinical samples, and the mode-of-action of known lipids will be determined in pre-clinical models.
The consortium of academic and industrial beneficiaries with leading expertise in rheumatology, lipidomics, immunology and data analysis will provide scientific and technology training to ESRs. Associated partners will provide secondment opportunities and training, e.g. in regulatory and IP issues and career development. Each ESR will follow a personalised training programme combining clinical, biological and chemical insights to solve challenges in the development of treatments for rheumatic diseases. The ESRs will receive training both in an academic as well as an industrial setting.
By studying the role of pro-resolving lipids in two important rheumatic diseases in conjunction, the consortium will:
- Train young researchers in the interdisciplinary approach necessary to develop treatments for complex diseases.
- Validate therapeutic targets in important pro-resolving lipid pathways.


Net EU contribution
€ 796 859,64
Albinusdreef 2
2333 ZA Leiden

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West-Nederland Zuid-Holland Agglomeratie Leiden en Bollenstreek
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Other funding
€ 0,00

Participants (8)

Partners (8)