The Australian Arthritis and Autoimmune Biobank Collaborative (A3BC) was formed in 2016 by a group of Australian rheumatologists and researchers in response to a clear need to enable better prediction of prognosis and treatment outcomes among Australian men, women and children living with arthritis and autoimmune conditions. It was agreed that the best way to achieve this was to build a state-of-the-art national resource that would enhance rheumatology and related research capacity, thereby addressing the disproportionate support for research into the National Health Priority Area of ‘Arthritis and musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions’ compared to its high health burden and expenditure.

Following a national stakeholder survey, over 40 rheumatologists (and growing) are involved in developing the A3BC project. In addition, over 50 collection sites, biobanks and research labs have been identified as foundation infrastructure to support the project, together with the expertise of Australia’s leading clinical and laboratory researchers, bioinformaticians and epidemiologists.