Donato Bonifazi, CVBF CEO and EPTRI Coordinator, participated as Work Package (WP) Leader of the WP dedicated to development of tools to facilitate paediatric clinical trials and chaired the session ‘Beyond PedCRIN: Synergies with the existing networks and initiatives’, during the PedCRIN (Paediatric Clinical Research Infrastructure Network) final meeting held on June 16th, 2021.
PedCRIN is an EU funded project aimed at integrating the paediatric clinical research framework, linking an ESFRI ERIC like ECRIN with the existing paediatric clinical trials networks. During the meeting, D. Bonifazi has shown that, despite all the efforts carried out by the several initiatives supporting paediatric clinical research as well as all legislative efforts, the availability of medicines specifically designed and tested for children are still far from being acceptable. The number of paediatric trials is significantly less than adult ones (21% in average) and the trend got even worse in the last two years, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
While clinical research is receiving some more attention and financial resources, the pre-clinical part lagged. This was also highlighted in the meeting organised by the European Commission held on 14th of April, where D. Bonifazi pointed out the need of having an integrated paediatric research system with other interested stakeholders, able to cover all the paediatric medicines discovery and development processes, including basic, pre-clinical and translational research, which are all needed to effectively underpin paediatric studies.
Providing children of all ages with access to all the innovations, from paediatric medicines and medical devices to advanced therapies and artificial intelligence applications, it is the only way to respect their rights to an equal access to care and the best opportunities for a healthy life!