Coventry research central to new £7m network focusing on arthritis therapy

A new partnership to speed up the development of novel treatments for arthritis has been launched, supported by a £7 million investment from the Kennedy Trust for Rheumatology Research.

The partnership between University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust and the Universities of Oxford and Birmingham and will use the existing research strengths of all organisations to accelerate the development and testing of new therapies for patients.

The Arthritis Therapy Acceleration Programme (A-TAP) will develop and test therapies based on the underlying causes of inflammatory disease, rather than simply treating the clinical symptoms.

Dr Kaushik Chaudhuri, Clinical Rheumatology Lead at UHCW NHS Trust and Chairman of the Education and Training Committee at the British Society of Rheumatology, said: “As a consultant, it is frustrating that whilst we can help our patients to manage their symptoms, we need more therapies that address the actual causes of their illness.

“This initiative will enable more of our patients to have access to new treatments more quickly than at present. We are already a research-active department and I know that our patients will welcome the opportunity to try out new drugs in the hope of improving their lives.”

Professor Chris Imray, Director of Research, Development and Innovation at UHCW, said: “This really is fantastic news! We serve a large and diverse population of patients who will welcome the opportunity to access to new arthritis treatments.

“We wouldn’t have achieved this without the commitment of our staff and the support of our patients.”



The Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology focuses on understanding the causes of chronic inflammatory conditions to develop new treatments that change lives. It was formed in 1965 as the Mathilda and Terence Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology, in London, becoming the first research institute in the world entirely dedicated to rheumatology. In 2011, the Institute joined the University of Oxford as an independent constituent Institute within the Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Science (NDORMS). It continues to be supported by the Kennedy Trust for Rheumatology Research, but also receives funding from numerous sources.  

Kennedy Trust
The Kennedy Trust for Rheumatology Research is an independent charitable foundation which funds research into rheumatic and related musculoskeletal, immunological and inflammatory diseases.