MAximising Sle ThERapeutic PotentiaL by Application of Novel and Systematic Approaches (MASTERPLANS)

Project Details


The MASTERPLANS project (2015 – 2021) analysed a range of datasets and biological samples to identify predictors of patients responding to key drugs used in the treatment of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE; lupus).

MASTERPLANS was a 20-partner collaboration funded by the Medical Research Council (£3.7m) under its Stratified Medicine Initiative, supported by further funding from LUPUS UK (£79K).

SLE is a chronic autoimmune disease affecting approximately 16,000 people in the UK. The disease is very variable, and overall, only 40-60% of patients respond well to each drug used, though certain groups of patients respond very well to particular drugs. By identifying the features of patients that respond well to particular therapies, MASTERPLANS has developed tools ('algorithms') predicting response to rituximab, belimumab and mycophenolate (MMF). Following future research beyond MASTERPLANS, care for SLE patients could be improved by putting them on the right drug, sooner.

MASTERPLANS had a very active patient and public involvement (PPI) group of 18 members. We have evaluated the impact of PPI within MASTERPLANS, as an example of PPI within a complex multi-partner, multi-disciplinary basic science project.
Short titleR:KAE BRUI16
Effective start/end date15/06/1528/02/21

Collaborative partners

  • The University of Manchester (lead)
  • Pfizer Ltd (Collaborator)
  • MedImmune (Collaborator)
  • Aeirtec Limited (Collaborator)
  • Genentech Inc (Collaborator)
  • UCB Pharma S A (Collaborator)
  • Epistem Ltd (Collaborator)
  • Myriad RBM Inc (Collaborator)
  • GlaxoSmithKline LLC (Collaborator)
  • Aurinia Pharmaceuticals Inc (Collaborator)
  • Medical Research Council (MRC) (Collaborator)
  • University of Bath (Collaborator)
  • University of Birmingham (Collaborator)
  • University of Cambridge (Collaborator)
  • Imperial College London (Collaborator)
  • King's College London (Collaborator)
  • University of Leeds (Collaborator)
  • University of Liverpool (Collaborator)
  • University College London (UCL) (Collaborator)
  • Imagen Therapeutics Ltd (Collaborator)
  • MRC Biostatistics Unit (Collaborator)

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being


  • systemic lupus erythematosus
  • SLE
  • lupus
  • research
  • biologics
  • drugs


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