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Advanced Therapeutics

The Division of Advanced Therapeutics program is the flagship clinical research program in arthritis and autoimmune disorders at the Rebecca MacDonald Centre for Arthritis & Autoimmune Disease. It is devoted to the study of new and innovative therapies for rheumatic diseases with an emphasis on rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and psoriatic arthritis.

The Division of Advanced Therapeutics is recognized as the largest and most successful clinical trial program in Canada devoted to rheumatic diseases, and one of the major centres for experimental therapeutics in the world. The consolidation of resources in one area maximizes the efficiency and scope of all clinical trials. The dedicated facilities and the expertise available to conduct a broad range of studies is enormously attractive to the research community. In addition, the program has the ability to evaluate immunologic and pharmacoeconomic aspects of new therapeutic approaches and works closely with the biopharmaceutical industry developing novel agents with the potential to revolutionize the treatment of autoimmune disease.

The success of the program is directly attributable to the quality personnel performing clinical research. The program's Associate Director Deborah Weber is the most experienced coordinator in Canada in studies of rheumatic diseases. She has an extensive background in rheumatology nursing and an outstanding track record in conducting clinical trials. Ms. Weber brings a broad range of skills necessary to supervise a large and diverse clinical trials program. As well, the innovative nature of therapies being investigated attract some of the most highly skilled study coordinators in the country.

Advanced Therapeutics has fast-tracked the introduction to Canada of the most innovative and potentially effective therapies for autoimmune disorders far sooner than they would have otherwise been available. Therapies are now available for patients with intractable disease for whom conventional therapies have failed. New therapy strategies focus on selectively targeting abnormal elements of the immune system using biologic agents. This new enhanced understanding of the immune process in these complex disorders will inevitably help laboratory scientists further understand the underlying pathophysiology of these diseases. Experimental therapeutics are pivotal in the translational research from bench to bedside.