NIHR | Manchester Biomedical Research Centre

UK Musculoskeletal Translational Research Collaboration

The UK Musculoskeletal Translational Research Collaboration (UK MSK TRC) is a joint collaboration between the NIHR and Versus Arthritis, bringing together the Versus Arthritis investment in Experimental Arthritis and Osteoarthritis Treatment Centres with the relevant NIHR infrastructure with expertise in MSK. It is chaired by Professor Maya Buch.

The UK MSK TRC aligns investment in MSK translational research creating a UK-wide ambition and focus to drive cutting edge translational research in order to improve outcomes for patients. The UK MSK TRC also provides industry with streamlined access to world leading academic clinicians and scientists who have significant expertise in a wide range of inflammatory and rheumatoid conditions. The UK MSK TRC is made of globally recognised centres and continues to work towards the goal of being at the forefront of MSK experimental medicine.

The UK MSK TRC works collaboratively with all sectors of the health and care ecosystem including the life sciences industry, charities and other funders to further research in MSK disorders and to help develop new diagnostics and treatments.

Who is this for?

To be suitable for UK MSK TRC support, a project is expected to:

  • involve one or more industry partners
  • focus on a disease area recognised as a TRC area of expertise
  • bring significant academic value and the opportunity for scientific leadership from the TRC
  • be at an early stage to enable input and feedback on study design and adopt a collaborative approach to study design
  • utilise experimental medicine approaches such as novel exploratory endpoints, biomarkers and stratification strategies
  • have a trial management team or delegated CRO or academic clinical trial unit in place to ensure effective study delivery.

The UK MSK TRC experts will help you to shape your protocol, providing advice on study design. The UK MSK TRC can offer scientific advice when there is a clear intent to deliver the study through the Collaboration, they are not designed to act as stand-alone advisory boards.

If you already have a fully-developed protocol and are only looking for recruitment sites the NIHR Study Support Service will be able to help you.

Benefits of working with the UK MSK TRC

The UK MSK TRC provide operational support, including a standard pre-approved non-disclosure agreement, contractual templates and a close working relationship with the NIHR Clinical Research Network for identification of sites.

The UK MSK TRC provides cutting-edge expertise in the development of exploratory protocols, biomarkers discovery, and an understanding of pathophysiology and disease mechanisms in a range of inflammatory and rheumatoid  disorders, including:

Connective Tissue Disorders
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus
  • Systemic sclerosisSjögren’s syndrome
  • Idiopathic inflammatory myositis
  • ANCA-associated vasculitis
  • Large vessel vasculitis

Inflammatory Arthritis
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • SpondyloarthropathiesAnkylosing spondylitis
  • Psoriatic arthritis
  • IBD-arthropathy
  • Reactive arthritis

Musculoskeletal Conditions
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Tendinopathies
  • Back and shoulder pain
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Crystal disease
  • Metabolic bone disorders
  • MSK injuries caused by acute traumatic events
  • Other regional pain syndromes

Cross cutting themes
  • Pain
  • Life-Course approach
  • Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement (PPIE)
  • Experimental Medicine Platforms

The UK MSK TRC regularly reviews areas of unmet clinical need to determine emerging topics that could become a focus for the group.