The Tissue Acquisition Research Group (TRG), also called the RA/SLE Accelerating Medicines Partnership Coalition Tissue Acquisition Research Network (ACTARN) is focused on providing the protocols, infrastructure, quality control and sample management services which will allow for optimal sample procurement, processing, interim storage and appropriate shipping of high-quality specimens to collaborative AMP sites for interrogation, experimental data generation and analytic evaluation. Bringing together nearly 20 investigators from across the US with diverse experience and expertise in systemic autoimmune disease research and target organ damage, we propose a distributed leadership model to ensure that diverse investigators, institutions, and disease-state experts are involved, in concert with the rest of the LC and the UH2/UH3 selected sites, to develop the best protocols and standard operating procedures (SOPs) for the procurement, processing, storage, shipping and utilization of biologic specimens to approved projects and sites, thereby maximizing use of these precious resources.
Our specific aims to complete these activities include: 1) Create a multi-institution, cross-disciplinary, collaborative AMP Coalition Tissue Acquisition Research Network (ACTARN) to obtain and distribute high quality samples for AMP studies. 2) Develop and refine guidelines and standard operating procedures for the procurement, processing and quality control of tissue specimens from SLE, RA and other autoimmune disease patients of interest to the AMP consortium. 3) Ensure delivery of high quality, appropriate samples for AMP projects and technologic evaluations through specimen tracking and processing, as well as providing interim storage, sample inventory management and quality control measures. 4) Oversee, coordinate with Clinical Research Sites, and distribute biological samples to Technology Research Sites as determined by the AMP Network Leadership Committee.
For AMP program success, high-quality samples from well-phenotyped patients are necessary to understand underlying pathogenic mechanisms and potential associated therapeutic targets in systemic lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis. Drawing on previous success in assembling large collections of samples from these patients, ACTARN will assist with the procurement, processing, interim storage and shipping of such samples to approved projects and sites for investigation.