Ana Faria and Fernando Pimentel-Santos, professor at NOVA Medical School and researchers of the Comprehensive Health Research Center (CHRC) and iNOVA4Health, received a Biocodex research grant, of €25,000, with the project entitled “MicroSpA & MicroRA: The role of microbiome on biological therapy efficacy in axial Spondyloarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis - a new paradigm”.
The project focuses on Spondyloarthritis (SpA) and Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), two of the most common chronic inflammatory rheumatic diseases that cause irreversible damage to bones and joints, which can translate into a substantial loss of quality of life.
The introduction of biotechnological therapies has allowed the control of inflammation but not always the control of structural progression. However, a large percentage of patients (around 40%) do not respond to these therapies or have side effects. Therefore, finding predictive factors for response to therapy as well as new therapeutic targets is an urgent need.
Considering that these patients have a distinct microbiota, the main objective of this project is to assess the influence of the microbiota on the response to therapy with TNFi. The identification of specific profiles of microbiota and metabolites that may influence the response to therapy, may lead to a more precise prescription contributing to improve the cost-effectiveness of these treatments.