Research Arthritis Research Coalition Biobank Arthritis Research Coalition Biobank The Arthritis Research Coalition (ARC) was established in 2016 by rheumatologists across Ireland to support research studies and clinical trial activities. The primary aim of the biobank is recruit patients with common rheumatic diseases, and obtain biosamples that will underpin clinical research. A secondary aim is to increase national involvement in clinical trials of novel therapeutic agents. The ARC Biobank is open in seven hospitals across Ireland: The Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Dublin St Vincent's University Hospital, Dublin Cork University Hospital, Cork University Hospital Limerick, Limerick Beaumont Hospital, Dublin Children's Health Ireland at Crumlin, Dublin University Hospital Galway Research leads Coalition lead: Prof Gerry Wilson Rheumatoid arthritis Prof Doug Veale Connective tissues diseases Dr Grainne Murphy Paediatrics Dr Orla Killeen Scleroderma Dr Bernadette Lynch Gout Prof Geraldine McCarthy The importance of this research A recent report assessing rheumatology research excellence, measured by the number of citations per article published between 1996 and 2010, ranked Ireland 1st of the 35 richest countries. Major research outputs have included molecular studies on the pathogenesis of common rheumatic diseases, the discovery and validation of prognostic biomarkers, and clinical studies on novel therapies. These have relied on the recruitment of highly characterized patients populations and by the development of linked biorepositories of blood and synovial tissue. Despite these successes the research activity has been reliant on a fragmented and poorly funded infrastructure. The development of national rheumatology research networks in many European countries including Britain, Sweden and The Netherlands highlights their value. The establishment of Arthritis Ireland chairs, and the development of a Dublin Centre of Excellence, will form the foundation of national rheumatology research strategy, however, the development of a research nurse network will seek to engage all clinicians, co-ordinate all research activities and ensure that Ireland remains on top. Funding This coalition is supported by Arthritis Ireland and the Health Research Board Clinical Research Coordination Ireland (HRB CRCI).