HOME 2018-05-31T03:44:34+00:00

Welcome to the Australian Arthritis and Autoimmune Biobank Collaborative – A3BC

One third of Australians suffer from arthritis, autoimmune or other musculoskeletal diseases, affecting adults, children and toddlers. These diseases cost Australia over $50 billion per year, account for the greatest disability, and further impact the community through substantial out-of-pocket expenses and reduced employment.

The Australian Arthritis and Autoimmune Biobank Collaborative (A3BC) is a national network of state-of-the-art biobanking, data collection/linkage and big data analytics/machine-learning for enabling and translating research discovery. It integrates a broad range of ‘omic’ (genomic, microbiomic etc), patient-reported (demographics, treatment, quality of life, diet etc), medical and administrative health data from people with arthritis and autoimmune disorders across Australia. The A3BC seeks to:

  1. Establish an open-access, best-practice national biobank network to collect, process and store a broad range of biospecimens. The A3BC will link, enhance and expand existing biobanks in the musculoskeletal field to improve capacity and capability.
  2. Integrate this biobank network with the Australian Rheumatology Association Database (ARAD) to link biospecimen ‘omic’ data to ARAD’s patient-reported data. ARAD already has data from >4000 people with inflammatory arthritis and will be expanded/ upgraded as part of the A3BC.
  3. Integrate this biobank and patient-reported data to a range of other datasets, including Commonwealth data (i.e. MBS, PBS), electronic medical records in each state, and cancer/death registries. Data integration will occur through existing ARAD and new linkage approvals.
  4. Apply big data analytics/machine-learning to automatically mine integrated data for potential associations of patient and population significance. From the laboratory to clinic, cutting-edge A3BC systems will revolutionise research/health data capture, integration, analysis and sharing.
  5. Enable pioneering research in precision and preventive medicine for inflammatory arthritis. The provision of critical infrastructure and access to samples, data and integration/analytics support for multidisciplinary research – to facilitate a new era in research innovation and discovery.
  6. Enable the translation of research discovery into inflammatory arthritis healthcare. The development of new data/knowledge sharing pathways – to narrow the gap between research and evidence-based medicine and give the right care, to the right patient, at the right time.

Please view our video below for an overview of the A3BC vision: