The BRC has funded a bio-informatics post to support the biomarker discovery programme run by the Smith laboratory, which has resulted in the discovery of a prognostic biomarker which has been patented, published in Nature Medicine, and is soon to enter clinical trials. In addition to the initial findings made in SLE and vasculitis, these findings have been replicated in Inflammatory Bowel Disease and transplantation.
This post, held by Dr Tim Rayner, has also provided the expertise which allowed the initiation of the European Vasculitis Genetics Consortium in Cambridge, and led to the BHF funding the first genome-wide association study in ANCA-associated vasculitis, due for completion in late 2010.
David Jayne has continued an active programme of clinical research in vasculitis and related autoimmune diseases, which has been enabled by the BRC funding his research time. This has, for example, resulted in a definitive paper on the use of Rituximab in the treatment of ANCA-associated vasculitis published in the New England Journal, which will assist in registration of the drug for this indication.