The Canadian early ArthriTis CoHort Study (CATCH for short) is a Canadian multicentre research study that aims to improve the quality of care for people with early inflammatory arthritis. CATCH is the only Canada-wide early arthritis cohort study that is following people with new onset inflammatory or rheumatoid arthritis over time to examine the course of their disease and their response to the treatments provided by their healthcare team.

In 2017, the CATCH study celebrated its milestone tenth year, with over 3,000 people participating in our investigator-initiated research program. An investigator-initiated research study means the investigators who run the CATCH study make all decisions on what research is done and maintain control of the results. The CATCH study was designed and implemented by the investigators and financially supported through unrestricted research grants from: Amgen and Pfizer Canada - Founding sponsors since January 2007; AbbVie Corporation since 2011; Medexus Inc. since 2013; Eli Lilly Canada since 2016, Merck Canada since 2017 and Sandoz, Canada Biopharmaceuticals since 2019. Previously funded by Hoffmann-LaRoche and Janssen Biotech from 2011-2016, UCB Canada and Bristol-Myers Squibb Canada from 2011-2018, and Sanofi Genzyme from 2016-2017.

Here is some basic information about CATCH:

  • Goals: To learn more about the impact of early arthritis through watching arthritis progress in people who have new joint inflammation that is thought to be due to rheumatoid arthritis. We hope to better understand the most effective treatment strategies for this disease process. By identifying people with RA very early in their disease,    we wish to show the advantages and benefits of early arthritis diagnosis and treatment. Timing is very important and we are committed to finding clinically meaningful evidence about the most effective treatment strategies and helping more people to achieve remission sooner.
  • Mission: To educate on the benefits of early arthritis treatment.
  • Sites: CATCH has a network of 17 clinical sites across Canada that are in both teaching hospitals and community-based hospitals or clinics.
  • Participants: CATCH has more than 3,000 participants and that number is increasing each year by about 350-400 more participants. Being a participant involves regular collection of information (data) about your health status and about your treatments, joint swelling, and overall disease progress.
  • How to Participate: If you have new onset joint inflammation or Rheumatoid Arthritis and wish to find a doctor close to you who is participating in CATCH, please click here.


We have recently updated our website so that people may use it for educational materials about early inflammatory arthritis and to provide new information about our research findings.