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New autoimmune research charity joins the Connect Immune Research partnership

The newest member of our innovative autoimmune research initiative, Connect Immune Research, is Juvenile Arthritis Research.
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Kate Gerrard 8 December 2023

Logo for Juvenile Arthritis Research.

Juvenile Arthritis Research, a charity focused on the autoimmune condition juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), becomes the 12th member of the Connect Immune Research partnership.

What is the Connect Immune Research partnership?

Established in 2018, Connect Immune Research is a collaborative initiative that aims to unpick the root causes of autoimmunity, where the immune system mistakenly attacks our own healthy cells. The partnership enables scientists to think beyond individual autoimmune conditions and explore overlapping causes of autoimmunity. This tactic boosts our potential of developing new treatments for a range of conditions including type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis and arthritis.

The logo for Connect Immune Research, the partnership researching autoimmunity.

What is juvenile idiopathic arthritis?

JIA is a rheumatic condition – meaning chronic joint pain – that begins before children are 16 years old. It happens when the immune system attacks and damages the joints, resulting in pain and mobility issues. Although JIA begins in childhood and adolescence, it is a lifelong condition. We have immune therapies that can target the symptoms of JIA, but not the underlying causes. Juvenile Arthritis Research is a parent-led charity committed to finding a cure for JIA.

Partnering for a better future

Richard Beesley, Founder of Juvenile Arthritis Research, said: “When I first founded Juvenile Arthritis Research five years ago it was with the expectation that some of the clues to better understanding Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis, and some of the knowledge to develop better treatments, would be by working closely with other autoimmune disease areas. That’s why I am delighted that we are joining the Connect Immune Research partnership, with the aim to continue to transform lives through working with others, sharing knowledge and ideas, and making a better future for the children, young people, adults and families we support.”

How will JAR benefit the partnership?

Dr Caroline Schmutz, Head of Research Partnerships at JDRF UK, said: “We are excited to welcome Juvenile Arthritis Research as our newest Connect Immune Research member. Their collaborative approach to research and confidence in the benefits of combining research across different disease areas make Juvenile Arthritis Research an ideal partner. The more research organisations we have studying the biological mechanisms driving autoimmunity, the sooner we will develop new treatments and cures for multiple autoimmune conditions.”

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