The project, TREAT-OA, aims to address the need for better treatment and diagnostics for osteoarthritis (OA). It will deliver a comprehensive technology platform with a focus on gaining new insights into the development and progression of human OA. The goal is to identify diagnostic and prognostic genetic markers for disease risk and progression and potential therapeutic targets. These insights will permit drug target development through industrial partnerships. The proposed gene driven approach will provide new therapeutic targets as well as tools to select patients which will be most likely to respond to those therapies effectively.

The proposed research has both scientific and public health significance

  1. Scientifically, our knowledge of the molecular and genetic bases of OA is limited at present and this project is poised to uncover novel players and mechanisms of the disease.
  2. From the public health perspective, OA remains the number one cause of musculoskeletal disability in Europe. OA is the most common arthritis condition and a major cause of impaired mobility and disability for the ageing populations and represents the commonest cause of disability in Europe. This brings social, personal and economic burden as well as the costs in excess of €2 billion per year for the joint replacements performed annually in Europe. Our research will translate into better diagnosis for this condition, and will facilitate the development of novel therapeutic interventions, reducing the long-term impact of OA on society.