IMID BioResource opens 100th recruitment site

The Immune Mediated Inflammatory Diseases (IMID) BioResource at the NIHR BioResource has just hit a fantastic milestone: opening its 100th site at Addenbrookes in Cambridge.

Joint, body pain as skeleton and muscle anatomy of the body with a group of sore joints

This great achievement was made possible through the collaborative effort of the central IMID BioResource hubs in Manchester, Newcastle and Leeds, and the hard work of research teams at the 100 sites, each located at participating NHS Trusts. Each new site represents an important step towards achieving the goal of recruiting 16,000 IMID patients, and supporting our mission to accelerate diagnosis and improve patient outcomes for those living with conditions such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and other IMIDs.

Currently, the IMID BioResource is adding around 150 new volunteer participants every week, with to date over 7,000 patients already consented to take part in research since October 2020, including research into IMIDs or any other disease that falls within the NIHR BioResource research focus.

Team at Addenbrookes, Cambridge
Team at Addenbrookes, Cambridge

Excited to join this national programme, the team at Addenbrookes, Cambridge said:

"The Team at the Rheumatology Research Unit, CUH are pleased to have been accepted to participate in this national programme into IMIDs.

We are looking forward to recruiting our first participant."

What is IMID BioResource?

The IMID BioResource is one of several common disease programmes at the NIHR BioResource and launched in Manchester in September 2020. The programme is led by the NIHR Manchester Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) in collaboration with NIHR Newcastle BRC and NIHR Leeds BRC. It studies a wide group of common health conditions which cause inflammation in the body, by triggering the body’s immune system to fight itself. However, as IMIDs lack a defined cause, researchers are trying to understand the factors that determine severity of IMID and treatment response. These conditions affect the lives of many in the UK population with rheumatoid arthritis alone affecting over 400,000 people. IMID BioResource recruitment focuses on three common IMIDs: spondyloarthropathies (which include psoriasis), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).

The establishment of the IMID BioResource supports pioneering research between the NHS, universities and industry to better understand these conditions and develop new treatments for patients.  Patients have consented to be recalled for further research based on their genotype or phenotype, allowing access to thousands of participants around the country.  Researchers interested in tapping into this resource can simply complete an application form and their proposal will be considered by the NIHR BioResource Steering Committee.

Plans for the coming year

Looking to 2023, the IMID team will be reaching out to patient and public involvement (PPI) groups to tackle under-representation of ethnically diverse population of participants and those with more severe disease activity, which has been revealed by initial data analysis to be lacking in the existing group of participants. They will also be actively seeking out new researchers who may be interested in using the IMID BioResource for new research projects by attending conferences, using targeted mailings, and working with academic researchers within our current sites.

We will continue to open new sites, however we will primarily focus our efforts towards ensuring the existing sites are supported, supplied with stock (questionnaires, blood kits and envelopes) and queries are handled promptly. This will ensure an efficient ready resource for researchers.

How you can get involved

You can learn more about our IMID BioResource or contact the IMID team on for further information about registering as a participant.

During recruitment, you will give a small blood sample and health and lifestyle information, which is stored in the NIHR BioResource national database for researchers to use to find potential study participants, provided their application is approved.

If you would like more information about the NIHR BioResource in general please visit our website.

If you are not living with one of the conditions covered by the IMID BioResource, you can still contribute to health research. Please register your interest in volunteering for the general population cohort via our website

If you are a researcher, learn more about using the NIHR BioResource to support your work, in IMID or beyond.

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