Oxford BioDynamics and King’s College London collaborate to develop EpiSwitch biomarkers for rheumatoid arthritis

Published: 16-May-2024

Prognostic and predictive biomarkers determined by EpiSwitch technology will allow for best prevention of rheumatoid arthritis following the APIPPRA trial

Oxford BioDynamics, a biotechnology company developing precision medicine tests based on the EpiSwitch 3D genomics platform, has begun collaborations with King's College London in the immediate follow up of the APIPPRA trial, the largest rheumatoid arthritis (RA) prevention trial to date.


Abatacept for rheumatoid arthritis prevention

The APIPPRA trial of Abatacept was a multicentre trial in 213 individuals at high risk of rheumatoid arthritis. Break-through results of the trial were recently published in The Lancet in February 2024 [1] and covered in the mainstream media.

Prof. Andrew Cope, who led the research, commented: “The APIPPRA trial is the largest rheumatoid arthritis prevention trial to date, and the first to show a treatment effective in preventing the onset of disease in people at risk.”


EpiSwitch for pronostic purposes

In the immediate follow-up of the successful trial, The King’s College London team has now engaged OBD’s EpiSwitch technology, which has already delivered successful results on prognosis of disease and prediction of response to treatment [2,3], to identify which patients are at the highest risk of progressing to RA and are likely to benefit from the therapeutic intervention with Abatacept, in both the short and long term. 

While 92.8% of those treated with Abatacept were RA-free at the end of year one, about 25% of this group ultimately progressed to rheumatoid arthritis by the end of the second year after stopping treatment.

This highlights the importance of an accurate risk assessment and the need for improved stratification tools to identify those individuals who will have the benefit of a durable, efficacious response.


There are currently no drugs available that prevent this disease


Professor Andrew Cope, King’s College London said: “There are currently no drugs available that prevent this disease. The initial results from the APIPPRA trial could be good news for people at risk of arthritis. We are excited about our collaboration with Oxford Biodynamics and the early results in helping us identify patients at highest risk and how to reduce it. EpiSwitch technology is delivering biomarkers of high biological relevance.”

Abatacept is a biological disease-modifying antirheumatic drug recommended for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.

It has shown efficacy in the treatment of active rheumatoid arthritis when used as monotherapy or in combination with conventional disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs in patients with an inadequate response to other conventional or biological disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs [1].





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