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  Children's National part of NIH initiative to speed drug R&D for children
October 1, 2010

Washington, DC— The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) has awarded the new Pediatric Trials Network contract to a consortium of core pediatric academic institutions that includes Children’s National Medical Center. The Pediatric Trials Network creates an integrated group of institutions that will partner with NICHD and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to facilitate safe and effective development and testing of drugs for use in children. The network will provide support and assistance throughout the entire regulatory process, from development to study execution and regulatory submission.

“Because very few medications are specifically developed for children, doctors write prescriptions that are often just smaller doses of adult-approved drugs,” said John N. van den Anker, MD, PhD, Chief of Pediatric Clinical Pharmacology at Children’s National, and a co-principal investigator for the new consortium. “The process of childhood development has significant impact on how medications are absorbed and distributed within a growing body, which is why pediatric drugs need to be tested and approved using the same safeguards developed for adult medications.”

Dr. van den Anker will co-direct the Mentorship Core for the new network. This core aims to train the next generation of clinical pharmacologists and clinical trial researchers by partnering junior investigators with program leaders and senior investigators.

Led by Duke University, the Pediatric Trials Network will consist of more than 100 participating clinical institutions to provide pediatric medication trials safely, efficiently, and to the highest standards. For the first seven years, the network will study therapeutic drugs identified by NICHD through its Best Pharmaceuticals for Children initiative as “priority compounds for pediatric use,” including drugs for neonatology, cancer, infectious diseases, cardiovascular diseases, gastroenterology, and respiratory diseases. In addition to medications, this network will study the effectiveness and safety of medical devices developed for infants and children.

The other core members of the Pediatric Trials Network include Children’s Mercy Hospital (clinical pharmacology core), the University of California at San Diego (pharmacometric core), Wake Forrest University (device core), and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (safety and ethics core).

Contact: Jennifer Stinebiser or Paula Darte: 202-476-4500

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Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC, has been serving the nation’s children since 1870. Home to Children’s Research Institute and the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation, Children’s National is consistently ranked among the top pediatric hospitals by U.S.News & World Report and the Leapfrog Group. With 283 beds, more than 1,330 nurses, 550 physicians, and seven regional outpatient centers, Children’s National is the only exclusive provider of pediatric care in the Washington metropolitan area. Children’s National has been recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center as a Magnet® designated hospital, the highest level of recognition for nursing excellence that a medical center can achieve. For more information, visit www.ChildrensNational.org, receive the latest news from the Children's National press room, or follow us Facebook and Twitter.