MRI top of the league for recruitment into biologics register for rheumatoid arthritis

Over the past year, MRI has taken the lead for recruitment into the British Society for Rheumatology Biologics Register nationally (23 patients recruited July 2014–July 2015), with the North West (110 patients recruited July 2014–July 2015) outperforming other regions as a whole.


The biologics register is enabling us to tailor care to individuals and improve outcomes for rheumatoid arthritis patients, like Sandhya and Susan.  Biologic response modifiers (biologics for short) are drugs that are genetically engineered from a living organism, such as a virus, gene or protein, to simulate the body’s natural response to infection and disease.

Professor Kimme Hyrich, Consultant in Rheumatology at MRI, was co-principal investigator for setting up the national biologics register which is managed and monitored by The University of Manchester.

Since the register was set up in 2001, it has identified that:

  • RA is better controlled when the patient takes the biologics, in addition to continuing their background therapy
  • There is a risk of infections, such as listeria and salmonella, in patients taking biologics
    (educating patients to avoid undercooked foods has reduced the risk by 75%)
  • Biologics do not appear to increase risk of cancer
  • Use of biologics whilst pregnant does not appear to increase the risk of birth defects
  • It is beneficial to switch between biologics if the first biologic taken by the patient was ineffective

Learn how biologics have changed Sandhya’s life.

Kimme and patient, Susan Moore, talk about how research has shaped the treatment of RA, in the context of the MAHSC Inflammation and Repair Domain:

Watch video

Video requires access to You Tube (starts c. 9 minutes into video).


MAHSC, Manchester Academic Health Science Centre is a partnership between CMFT, The University of Manchester and six other NHS organisations.