The European Clinical Research Infrastructure Network (ECRIN) has announced the launch of the Paediatric Clinical Research Infrastructure Network (PedCRIN). The three-year project brings together ECRIN and the founding partners of the European Paediatric Clinical Trial Research Infrastructure (EPCT-RI) to develop capacity for the management of multinational paediatric clinical trials.
Children represent 20% of the European population and their health is a major societal challenge for Europe and the world, requiring the development of evidence-based paediatric medicines and treatment strategies. Yet, there is a current lack of data specific to neonates, infants and children; over 50% of the medicines used in these groups have not been tested on them specifically, but rather, on adults. This is problematic as neonates/infants/children and adults differ widely in many ways, from their physiology to their metabolic pathways
It is thus important to conduct paediatric trials to increase the knowledge base to develop appropriate, safe and effective health interventions for neonates, infants and children. However, there are various challenges to paediatric studies including dosage and form, recruitment, and many ethical concerns (informed consent, exposure to molecules while still developing, etc.). Therefore, the management of paediatric trials requires the highest level of ethical standards and scientific rigour.
Through PedCRIN, ECRIN aims to address the above challenges to paediatric trials. This will be achieved by bridging paediatricians and other partners across Europe (and internationally) to combine resources and expertise to conduct and manage robust studies, while minimising risk and protecting the child participants.
Sabrina Gaber, Communications Officer, ECRIN
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