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.


  1. Develop a higher level of capability by collaborating across multiple disciplines and sectors.
  2. Progress precision medicine by growing capacity in open-access, data-linked biobanking.
  3. Innovate preventive medicine by forming unique partnerships with population health research.
  4. Demonstrate a new era of data linkage and use to inform policy and practice decision-making.


  • Establish a national, longitudinal arthritis and autoimmune biobank collection comprised of blood products, cells, tissues and diverse related data at various disease/care stages.
  • Establish state-of-the-art technologies and processes in enduring data linkage, real-time analytics and big data modelling / machine learning to advance patient and population research.
  • Create a collaborative network of Australian researchers to share collective knowledge and expertise with Australian rheumatologists for improved preventive and precision medicine.
  • Add significant value to the Australian Rheumatology Association Database (ARAD), by integrating ‘omic’ data, electronic medical record, imaging, Commonwealth health and other data.


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.