Scientists at the University of Liverpool, in partnership with several UK universities and pharmaceutical companies, are creating a new test to help medics improve treatment plans for the disabling skin condition, psoriasis.
The team, known as Psoriasis Stratification to Optimise Relevant Therapy (PSORT) is a unique partnership between five UK universities: Manchester, King’s College London, Newcastle, Queen Mary and Liverpool; 10 pharmaceutical and diagnostics companies; the Psoriasis Association; and NHS partners representing patients.
It has been set up as the result of a £5million funding investment from the Medical Research Council and an additional £2million contribution from industry partners.
The four-year study will develop a targeted approach to treatment which could soon become reality for the one million NHS patients who suffer from the painful skin condition – an approach known as stratified medicine.
The findings from the research will help scientists to understand the mechanics behind the difference in these responses and may also improve outcomes for other immune inflammatory diseases, such as arthritis and Crohn’s disease.
Professor Munir Pirmohamed, Director of the Wolfson Centre for Personalised Medicines, said: “We will be able to provide expert input into the pharmacological and genetic aspects of this work, in order to develop the best approaches for treating this important disease.”
During the four-year study, the team will collect and evaluate comprehensive information on 7,000 patients – including responses to biological therapies.
Stiefel, a GSK company, is also a member of the taskforce. Simon Jose, Stiefel President, said: “If we can predict patient responses to individual therapies, we could then personalise treatments for each patient which could lead to better outcomes.”
For more information please visit the PSORT website: www.PSORT.org.uk