Aug 18: Innovative drug research involving patients with rare auto-immune diseases

Aug 18: Innovative drug research involving patients with rare auto-immune diseases

Male hand with rheumatoid arthritis complaints

August 18, 2022 - ARCH Foundation, Galapagos, and UMC Utrecht are launching a patient-public-private consortium called DRIMID, with funding from ReumaNederland (Netherlands Arthritis Foundation) and Health Holland. The objective of DRIMID is to accelerate access to innovative drugs for patients with rare immunological disorders. This group of patients is usually not eligible for clinical trials and therefore has no or limited access to innovative drugs.

In this project, UMC Utrecht will coordinate the first multi-center national clinical trial, in collaboration with other academic centres in the Netherlands. This and future trials will grant access to innovative drugs for patients with specific rare immune-mediated inflammatory diseases, which no longer respond to standard treatment. During the initial phase, the project will focus on patients with inflammatory myositis, Behçet’s disease and IgG4-related disease, who will be given access to the medicine by the biotech company Galapagos. The long-term objective is to expand this project to other immunological disorders as well as to other drugs. The contracts for this unique collaboration were recently signed. The study is expected to start in the course of 2023.

Rare inflammatory diseases

Rare immune-mediated inflammatory diseases usually have an unknown cause and are often (but not always) associated with the formation of auto-antibodies (the immune system in fact attacks the person’s own body). Examples of such diseases include: granulomatosis with polyangiitis, myositis, vasculitis of the major vessels, IgG4-related disease, Behçet’s disease, Sjögren’s disease and systemic sclerosis. A big problem in practice is that patients often stop responding adequately to a generally anti-inflammatory drug over time.

Innovative treatments

Very few new drugs are developed for the treatment of rare immune-mediated inflammatory diseases. An important reason for this is that the rarity of these conditions usually means that there are not enough patients available to conduct properly randomised clinical trials. The DRIMID consortium will study the efficacy of medicines in treating rare inflammatory diseases, because there is a reasonable expectation of a potentially positive effect based on theoretical insights and/or clinical evidence.

DRIMID consortium

DRIMID is an acronym and stands for Drug Rediscovery for Rare Immune Mediated Inflammatory Diseases. ARCH Foundation (Arthritis Research and Collaboration Hub, a Dutch medical expertise platform for rare auto-immune diseases), UMC Utrecht (the academic partner within DRIMID) and Galapagos (the first industrial partner within DRIMID) founded the DRIMID consortium in 2021. The consortium will be funded by ReumaNederland and Health Holland.

Working at UMC Utrecht





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