The initiative involves the establishment of a national research network to undertake important clinical studies into the safety and effectiveness of medicines for children. A consortium led by the University of Liverpool acts as the co-ordinating centre for the network, based at the Institute of Child Health at Alder Hey.
Many of the medicines used to treat children have been designed for adults and have not been properly tested on the young. Health professionals use their skill and judgement when prescribing medicines for the young but need better information from studies conducted with children to inform these decisions.
Andy Burnham, Minister of Delivery and Quality for the Department of Heath, who will formally launch the project tomorrow, said: “The Government is committed to making the UK the best place in the world for medical research and will invest over £750 million this year.
“Establishing the Medicines for Children Research Network will ensure that children benefit directly from the latest medical advances and treatments designed, developed and licensed specifically for their use.
"By bringing together the research expertise of the University of Liverpool and the world renowned children's care at Alder Hey, this initiative is a significant boost to Liverpool - putting it at the forefront of research of children's medicines in this country.”
Professor Sally C. Davies, Director General of R&D at the Department of Health said:
"This unique achievement will drive partnerships between the NHS and its young patients with top class researchers and with funding from the public, commercial and charitable sectors to meet the very specific needs of children across the entire range of health care and services. Our children are entitled to the same standards of treatment as adults and the MCRN will place this important issue at the heart of the national research effort."
The Medicines for Children Research Network (MCRN) is one of six topic-specific Research Networks which form a part of the UK Clinical Research Network, an initiative funded by the Department of Health to strengthen and facilitate clinical research across the UK with the aim of improving the quality, speed and coordination of research.
The network involves all types of health professionals, the pharmaceutical industry and most importantly, children and parents, who are helping to develop new medicines. A Young Person’s Advisory Group has been established which comprises 17 young people aged from nine to 18 who have been recruited through schools and youth organisations in Liverpool.
The group, which has named itself ‘Stand Up, Speak Up!’, will develop an understanding of the project and learn about the role of medicines in the promotion of good health.
They will work with project leaders on publicity material for children about the initiative and will act as ambassadors to encourage young people receiving medical care to participate in research projects.
Rosalind Smyth, Professor of Paediatric Medicine and director of the co-ordinating centre said: “This is the most important development towards improving children’s health that has happened during my professional career. We now have - in partnership with the pharmaceutical industry and other organisations that fund medical research - a real opportunity to provide medicines which will be of specific benefit to children.”
The MCRN will enable the development of a wide variety of drugs for children, including those for the prevention and treatment of diseases affecting newborns and children requiring intensive care. Researchers are developing treatments for a range of diseases in children such as meningitis, asthma, epilepsy and migraine.
The work of the MCRN is being undertaken by six Local Research Networks (LRNs), in England which will liaise with similar groups in the rest of the UK. These include more than 150 hospitals and Primary Care Trusts. University researchers are working jointly with the Trusts on drug development.
The Royal Liverpool Children's Hospital has been appointed as the host institution for the Cheshire, Merseyside & North Wales LRN, with Dr Matthew Peak and Dr Jo Blair as co-directors and Dr Charlie Orton as manager.
A £20 million grant will support the MCRN over five years and help to establish a world-class health service infrastructure to support clinical research and embed good clinical practice and quality in all clinical trials.
The MCRN has been developed in collaboration with the University of Liverpool; the Royal Liverpool Children’s Hospital; Imperial College, London; the Liverpool Women’s Hospital; the National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit at the University of Oxford and the National Children’s Bureau. It will be launched at Alder Hey on Thursday, 7 December.
Joanna Robotham | alfa
A promising target for kidney fibrosis
21.04.2017 | Brigham and Women's Hospital
Stem cell transplants: activating signal paths may protect from graft-versus-host disease
20.04.2017 | Technische Universität München
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
Two researchers at Heidelberg University have developed a model system that enables a better understanding of the processes in a quantum-physical experiment...
Glaciers might seem rather inhospitable environments. However, they are home to a diverse and vibrant microbial community. It’s becoming increasingly clear that they play a bigger role in the carbon cycle than previously thought.
A new study, now published in the journal Nature Geoscience, shows how microbial communities in melting glaciers contribute to the Earth’s carbon cycle, a...
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
03.04.2017 | Event News
21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
21.04.2017 | Health and Medicine
21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy