A pioneering drug to be tested could bring hope to the millions of Britons who are likely to one day suffer from arthritis. The drug aims to prevent people from developing arthritis, unlike existing treatments that treat the debilitating disease once it has set in.

The study of the drug Abatacept will be the world’s largest ever trial investigating whether targeted immunotherapy can prevent rheumatoid arthritis in individuals considered to be at high risk of developing the disease.

The APIPPRA (Arthritis Prevention In the Pre-clinical Phase of RA with Abatacept) study is being led by Professor Andrew Cope from the NIHR Biomedical Research Centre at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust and King’s College London. Professor Cope said:

“This is a very exciting study of a therapy that is a logical choice for the very earliest detectable phase of the disease process. This is an important first step towards curing this chronic, disabling disease that affects over half a million adults in the UK.”

You can find out more on the King’s College London website.