Professor Christopher Buckley at the A-TAP launch event, Academy of Medical Sciences, London.

The Arthritis Therapy Acceleration Programme (A-TAP) is a £7 million concept funded by the Kennedy Trust for Rheumatology Research. It brings together the University of Birmingham, the University of Oxford and seven NHS partners. It is also supported by combined access to over 7 million patients. 

Led by Professor Christopher Buckley, Kennedy Professor of Rheumatology at the University of Birmingham and the Kennedy Institute, University of Oxford, A-TAP aims to support and develop novel treatments for four (rheumatoid arthritis, Sjögren’s syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease and spondyloarthropathy) immune mediated inflammatory diseases based on the underlying causes of inflammatory disease. 

The new initiative seeks to perform experimental medicine trials in carefully selected patient populations to facilitate uptake of new therapies at pace and scale. The network will also provide researchers in Oxford, Birmingham and beyond with access to tissue samples and patient cohorts to facilitate translational and clinical research.

A-TAP was officially launched on Monday 3 September, at the Academy of Medical Sciences, London. The launch was attended by over 65 delegates, including representatives from a wide range of pharma companies and funders.