Work Package 1: Early diagnosis of Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA)
About 5 to 10 million people in the European Union (EU) suffer from psoriasis of the skin. Approximately 30% of the patients may develop additional musculoskeletal inflammation known as psoriatic arthritis (PsA). Timely treatment of PsA is vital because the earlier it is detected, the sooner treatment can begin to slow its progression. However, detecting PsA in its early stages and predicting its response to treatment remains difficult as manifestations are heterogeneous. The goal of WP1 is to improve the early identification and diagnosis of PsA for dermatologists, rheumatologists and general practitioners. We will achieve this by developing clinical, serological and imaging algorithms for early detection of PsA in the at-risk patients. So, with an extensive characterization of clinical data, patient samples and images, we aim to identify parameters that are specific for clinical manifest PsA that will be implemented into a diagnosis algorithm used in clinical routine care.
Work Package 2: Predicting PsA
Work package 2 is looking at whether we can predict which people with psoriasis will develop psoriatic arthritis. We know that about one-third of people with psoriasis will develop arthritis. If we can predict this, we can monitor people more closely and even test treatments to prevent arthritis. Firstly, we will look at information already routinely collected such as in primary care records to see if we can predict the development of psoriatic arthritis. We will also use blood samples from existing research studies across Europe to look for markers in the blood. This will allow us to create a ‘risk calculator’ for developing arthritis. Secondly, we are planning to start a new study to monitor 25,000 patients with psoriasis across Europe. This remote study will use online questionnaires. Some participants will also be asked to take a fingerpick sample of blood at home. Finally, we will work with people with psoriasis to use this information to design a future study to test lifestyle measures or new drugs that may be able to prevent the development of arthritis.
Work Package 3: Damage Progression
Studies have shown that a substantial proportion of PsA patients develop structural joint damage associated with significant disability and morbidity. To date, however, there is too little knowledge of valid and reliable markers for the development of damage and further progression. Therefore, the overall goal of WP3 is to identify specific markers and predictors of damage progression and to mitigate or even completely prevent damage with an individualized therapeutic strategy.
Work Package 4: Personalised treatment to improve outcomes in psoriatic arthritis
People with psoriatic arthritis (PsA) are treated with a variety of drugs, often with great success but sometimes also with disappointing failure. The ambition associated with personalized medicine is to predict which treatment will work best in each individual. To achieve this in PsA, we will study clinical and biological aspects that we can use as “Biomarkers” of state. We have already collected a lot of samples and data that we can use to define biomarkers (e.g. genetic, metabolic). With new technologies and ways of interrogating the data, we hope that we can use this information to find the most informative biomarkers that can ultimately direct treatment decisions for the individual. With the goal of finding the right treatment at the right time to rapidly control disease.
Work Package 5: Data Integration and Analysis
Harmonization and centralization of Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA) data to enable the development new cutting-edge analysis tools
Work package 5 (WP5) oversees the tasks of managing and integrating all of the data generated by the WPs 1-4, as well as developing new data mining and Artificial Intelligence-driven (AI-driven) methods.
As data is collected at multiple sites, from different clinical populations with varying clinical observations, derived from a range of different study designs, it can be very challenging to explore these data collectively. In order to address the clinical questions raised within the HIPPOCRATES project, WP5 is driving a process called harmonization which aims to address this complexity.
Harmonization ensures that the data complies to common formats and standards (data transformation) and ensures that common tools and approaches can be applied to analyse all of the collected clinical and molecular data produced by the range of different partners.
The harmonized data is then hosted on the secure HIPPOCRATES Data Platform where it is prepared for analysis by the other WPs (e.g. via statistical or informatic analyses, etc.) In addition, this effort allows WP5 to develop new methods and tools for potential clinical use and to analyze the data using advanced AI-driven technology.
Work Package 6: Management and Scientific Coordination
The WP6 team will provide a clear organisational framework and all necessary support mechanisms to enable a smooth project workflow, and to ensure that all contractual commitments will be met on time. The management of HIPPOCRATES will facilitate and orchestrate the success of all WPs, by deploying proven structures, processes and tools, while ensuring open communication and collaboration across the team. WP6 will safeguard optimal administrative, financial, contractual as well as scientific management. Further tasks include the coordination of the project activities to ensure a smooth workflow and monitor the results of each WP, as well as risk management.
Work Package 7: Communication, Dissemination, Exploitation & Sustainability
WP7 is focused on promoting communication, dissemination and maximising the impact of the research undertaken by the HIPPOCRATES consortium. It aims to use innovative communication and dissemination strategies including a website, webinars, animations and social media in addition to traditional channels such as scientific and lay articles/presentations to inform people with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, healthcare professionals and other stakeholders about the groundbreaking studies that may improve our knowledge and skills for making diagnoses and choosing the right treatments. Our purpose is to ensure that tools, instruments and other research results and outputs can be successfully implemented and embedded in everyday practice, as well as leave a project legacy that facilitates future research.
Work Package 8: Ethics requirements
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