Queen Mary University of London is working to create a new test which helps pinpoint the most effective treatment to tackle the skin condition psoriasis - as part of a world-leading partnership between King's College London, the University of Manchester, Liverpool University and Newcastle University.
The partnership will develop a targeted approach to psoriasis treatment - an approach also known as stratified medicine - with the aim of eventually using the test to help the 1 million NHS patients who suffer from the painful skin condition.
The partnership - named Psoriasis Stratification to Optimise Relevant Therapy (PSORT) - also includes 10 pharmaceutical and diagnostics companies, the Psoriasis Association and NHS partners supporting healthcare of patients.
Professor Richard Trembath, Vice Principal for Health at Queen Mary University of London, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, comments:
"Stratified medicine is central to the progress of our healthcare and applying this approach to a condition such as psoriasis, where identifying the most effective treatment is difficult, is an area we can hopefully make a huge difference. Through this partnership we will use cutting-edge techniques to assess factors - such as drug levels in the body, genetic make-up, skin and blood differences - which may affect how successful various psoriasis treatments are for individuals. We believe this approach will lead us to better evaluate which treatment is right for different patient groups and people with psoriasis will receive tailored treatment which is ultimately more effective. This is an exciting project and we look forward to working with our partners and showcasing the expertise and knowledge Queen Mary has to offer."
The Medical Research Council has invested £5 million in funding for this project and industry partners have contributed an additional £2 million. PSORT is also supported by the NIHR Biomedical Research Centre at Guy's and St Thomas' and King's College London.
The study have been designed to ensure outcomes meet the needs of patients, the healthcare system and industry, as well as informing future medical research. The findings will also help scientists to understand the mechanics behind this difference in response from patients, and may improve treatment of other immune inflammatory diseases, such as arthritis and Crohn's disease.