The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute’s (PCORI) board of governors has approved more than $20 million in research funding to support four projects in various fields, including arthritis, irritable bowel disease, depression, and blood pressure.
The studies to be funded will use the National Patient-Centered Clinical Research Network, orPCORnet, a PCORI initiative to speed up clinical research and improve patient-centered studies by offering large amounts of health data and promoting patient partnerships.
One study awarded $7 million is a project at Duke University to research the impact of six months of treatment with Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Orencia (abatacept) on outcomes in patients with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA).
Specifically, the project seeks to determine whether Orencia given soon after JIA diagnosis can prevent the development of increased joint and eye inflammation, or the need for additional treatment. Arthritis and eye inflammation can cause pain, suffering, school and work absences, and less ability to engage in normal activities.
Studies suggest that how JIA is treated at the beginning of the disease’s course can have a great impact on long-term outcomes. Therefore, it is critical to assess treatment effectiveness from early on in the course of the disease.
The JIA study will begin this year and is expected to finish in 2023.
“These studies will enhance the PCORnet research that PCORI has previously funded while taking a crucial step toward promoting PCORnet’s long-term sustainability by meeting the needs of additional research funders besides PCORI,” Joe Selby, MD, PCORI’s executive director, said in a press release.
“We’re proud of the achievements of the participating individuals and organizations that have prepared PCORnet to develop and lead clinical research that will more efficiently answer important questions that patients and clinicians face,” Selby added.
PCORI is an independent, nonprofit organization authorized by the U.S. Congress that funds research to generate evidence-based information needed by patients, caregivers, and clinicians to make informed healthcare decisions. It seeks input from a wide range of stakeholders to guide its work.
The three other awarded projects include a study at the University of California, San Francisco, comparing different ways to help control blood pressure ($6.5 million award); a Massachusetts General Hospital project focused on patients with severe depression by comparing usual care with a therapy based on a patient’s genetic background to guide treatment decisions ($4.8 million); and finally, a study led by the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation to compare three treatments in patients with inflammatory bowel disease ($2.4 million).