Table 3

Primary and secondary unmet scientific needs within axial spondyloarthritis with regard to translational science, clinical science and therapeutic trials, and clinical care∗

Translational/basic science
  • What are the hallmarks of early SpA and pre-SpA?

  • Better understanding of the links between intestinal disease and the pathogenesis of SpA

  • Improve international collaborations to set up registries and bio-banks on SpA in order to share experience and resources for research

  • Explore novel imaging modalities (PET, enhanced MRI etc) to enable early diagnosis and define imaging parameters in interventional studies

Clinical science/therapeutic trials
  • Improve our knowledge of peripheral SpA, particularly the disease course and the response to therapy. This can be addressed by large cohort studies

  • Design strategy trials to study the optimal use and choice of biologics and small molecules that will deliver the best outcome in SpA

  • Head-to-head trials that compare the efficacy of different biologics in SpA

  • Can early treatment modify the disease course

  • Understanding the biological basis of non-responders to current therapies, especially biologics

  • Identify biomarkers and imaging and clinical markers that differentiate subsets of SpA that respond preferentially to one or another therapy

  • Better understand the effects of treatment of SpA on inflammation of the eye and the gut

  • International collaboration to conduct strategy trials

  • Conduct T2T trials with clinical remission as the target

Clinical care
  • Improved identification of early SpA and early referral to rheumatologists

  • Improved patient education and patient involvement in clinical research and care

  • SpA, spondyloarthritis.