Research Unit

The Rheumatology Associates Clinical Research Unit (RACRU) conducts NIH, investigator-initiated, and pharmaceutical-sponsored clinical trials investigating the use of novel therapies in the treatment of rheumatic diseases including rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and osteoporosis, among others.  Dr. Turkiewicz serves as the Director and Principal Investigator of these studies, and has served as investigator on over 40 clinical trials.  All of the physicians at Rheumatology Associates serve as participating investigators.RACRU is a member of the CORRONA (Consortium of Rheumatology Researchers of North America, Inc.) network.  Studies are offered at no cost and provide medical examinations and therapies at no cost to participants.  Participants in our studies are required to have a primary care physician of record to handle all non-rheumatologic issues and to whom our study physicians can communicate the progress of the studies.

Michael Sullivan, RN is the lead clinical coordinator at RACRU – please contact Michael at 205-933-0320 for any questions regarding clinical trials and/or if you are interested in participating in one of our clinical trials.

Currently (Fall 2014), RACRU is conducting the following clinical trials:

  • Rheumatoid Arthritis: investigating a CD20 biosimilar infusion in patients with rheumatoid arthritis with persistent disease activity despite conventional therapy, and who have failed prior TNF-i (tumor necrosis factor inhibitor) therapy
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis: investigating a subcutaneous IL-6 inhibitor in patients with rheumatoid arthritis with persistent disease activity despite prior TNF-i therapy
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis: investigating a subcutaneous IL-6 inhibitor in patients with rheumatoid arthritis with persistent disease activity despite prior TNF-i therapy and conventional therapy
  • Psoriatic Arthritis: investigating a subcutaneous IL-7 inhibitor in patients with psoriatic arthritis with persistent disease activity
  • Psoriatic Arthritis: investigating an oral JAK inhibitor in patients with psoriatic arthritis with persistent disease activity who have not received prior TNF-I therapy
  • Psoriatic Arthritis: investigating an oral JAK inhibitor in patients with psoriatic arthritis with persistent disease activity who have received prior TNF-I therapy
  • Ankylosing Spondylitis : investigating an oral JAK inhibitor in patients with ankylosing spondylitis with persistent disease activity who have not received prior TNF-I therapy
  • Psoriasis: investigating use of an injectable TNFi for patients with plaque psoriasis who have lost response to adalimumab (Humira)
  • Gout: observational study investigating an infusible therapy for the treatment of gout refractory to conventional urate-lowering therapy
  • Osteoporosis: investigating the effect of continuing or withdrawing therapy with oral bisphosphonate in postmenopausal females with osteoporosis who are currently receiving oral bisphosphonate treatment for their osteoporosis
  • CORRONA registry data collection: patients with rheumatoid arthritis and spondyloarthropathies