The A3BC vision is to identify causes and cures for a wide range of musculoskeletal and autoimmune conditions using biobank-enabled, data-linked, collaborative, and multidisciplinary research. Now merged with the Australian Rheumatology Association Database (ARAD) (and joined forces with the Australian and New Zealand ChiLdhood Arthritis Risk factor Identification sTudY – ANZ CLARITY, the A3BC will identify the biological/environmental causes and phenotypic consequences of musculoskeletal conditions and combine these with a broad range of patient and population health datasets, to uncover unknown patterns and associations for safer, more effective and evidence-based prevention, diagnosis, treatment and prognosis strategies.

Aside from the collection of high-quality, diverse-use biospecimens, the most innovative element in the A3BC vision is the establishment of a level of data analysis and integration not seen before in Australia. The A3BC will link broad biospecimen-derived biological (‘omic’) data, patient-reported outcome data (from the ARAD), cross-jurisdictional electronic medical records (EMR), pathology and medical imaging data, Commonwealth health datasets (MBS, PBS), national cancer and death registries, and longitudinal studies, into a comprehensive platform for discovery and change.


  • Establish a national, open-access (ethics-approved), best-practice biobank network to collect, process and store a broad range of high-quality biospecimens for multi-omic research;
  • Integrate multi-omic data with multiple national datasets, including patient-reported outcome/ experience data (Australian Rheumatology Association Database – ARAD), electronic medical records (~40 hospitals), Commonwealth data (i.e. MBS, PBS) and cancer/death registries;
  • Apply cutting-edge visualisation (dashboards), big-data analytics and machine-learning tools to interrogate these integrated datasets for potential associations/patterns of patient and population significance; and
  • Enable the translation of research discoveries into a comprehensive evidence base for improved musculoskeletal policy/practice across precision and preventive medicine – to give the right care, to the right patient, at the right time!


Initially focused on Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA), Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA), Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) and Vasculitis (including Polymyalgia Rheumatica (PMR)), the network and infrastructure of the A3BC, once established, will provide a platform to expand biospecimen and data collection to other key high-burden MSK conditions, such as Sjogren’s Syndrome, Lower Back Pain, Gout, Scleroderma, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Myositis and Osteoarthritis.

Built upon a national network of consolidated biobank/research infrastructure and leading research/clinical expertise, the A3BC promises a new paradigm in evidence generation for more responsive policy and practice decision-making, and a cost-effective research platform to efficiently uncover vital patient and population data associations to drive a new era in disease diagnosis, therapy, prognosis and hopefully – prevention and cure.