Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis and the single most common cause of pain and physical disability in older adults.
An estimated 10% to 15% of all adults aged over 60 have some degree of OA, with prevalence being higher among women than men and likely representing underreporting which is common in many disease prevalence studies.
Despite the growing OA epidemic and major socio-economic impact, the population is facing a staggering lack of disease-modifying therapies that can bring symptomatic relief and preserve joint function by preventing cartilage and joint degeneration and thus delaying OA progression.
The research specifically aimed at OA management in Europe is scattered and not strategically coordinated, although several networks have OA partly in focus, it is a minor part of their agenda and lacks the focus and dedicated commitment to coordinate progress.
The main aim of EU-netwOArk is to set up the European Society for Osteoarthritis (EUSOA), with three major stakeholder groups:
Patients, Clinicians and Researchers (both from academia and industry)
The NetwOArk Working Groups
Objective: To engage with patients, and to identify novel and effective approaches to engage with patients and patient representation groups.
Objective: Improve the translational approach in research to increase the number of new treatments and prevention strategies that will become available in health care for OA patients.
Objective: To develop consensus on OA phenotyping, how these can be exploited to learn more about OA subtypes and understand the comorbidities associated with OA. Draft roadmap on existing research and defining the major gaps in basic, translational, and clinical research.
Objective: To develop the foundations in terms of strategic objectives, partners, governance, and finance for EUSOA and to start its implementation
The COST Action (CA21110) will allow us to start the process of building such a European Society, with the aim of coordinating and stimulating more interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research, technological development and translation of the results to the clinic aimed at improving the quality of life of those affected by OA in Europe.
The areas to be addressed in this Action are Primary prevention, Diagnostics, Treatment, Interaction (comorbidities) and Care Management. The EU-netwOArk aims to boost new scientific breakthroughs on these five main OA themes.