What's the problem?
For a long time, children were treated like miniature adults when it came to medication, meaning that drugs were not tested on children. It was previously assumed that children would react similarly to adults (adjusting dosage for weight), however in fact they process, excrete and metabolise medications completely differently. The European Union’s Paediatric Regulation came into force in 2007 and aims to ensure that medicines for children are of high quality, ethically researched and authorised appropriately. This policy change has led to an increase in the amount of research into child-specific medication, yet despite these developments, there are still many challenges and unmet medical needs to address, including childhood cancer; a fraction of the number of anti-cancer medicines for kids are authorised compared to those for adults, for example. An additional problem is posed by the clinical trial process – as children are growing constantly, new designs for trials must be implemented.
What are we doing about it?
There are a number of Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) projects in the paediatric field. We're setting up a sustainable infrastructure for delivering paediatric clinical trials, transforming the way clinical trials are conducted particularly for paediatric rare diseases, building a platform to identify promising molecules to fight paediatric cancer, studying genetic newborn screening for rare diseases, and tackling infectious diseases that plague children, all while placing kids and their families at the centre of research.
IHI / IMI research is...
|...addressing childhood cancer||
|... building clinical trial networks and improving on their design||
|…tackling infectious diseases in children||
|... studying the safety of medications during pregnancy and breastfeeding||
|...putting parents and children at the centre of research||