A research infrastructure to improve medicines for children
Children benefit from what has been learned from clinical studies with adults. Likewise, adults benefit from the findings of paediatrics, especially since many chronic diseases originate in early childhood. Long-term observations and longitudinal cohort studies in paediatrics contribute greatly to the understanding of disease evolvement. Therefore, it remains an enigma that paediatricians have never been funded to do research.
The Swiss Research Network of Clinical Pediatric Hubs (SwissPedNet) facilitates national research in paediatrics on a countrywide scale and thus meets an unmet and urgent need for paediatric translational and clinical studies.
During the early phases of life, many environmental factors modify and programme normal and abnormal development. A better understanding of the processes involved in early organ development provides unique opportunities for early disease recognition using novel biomarkers as well as early preventive and therapeutic strategies. The latter are the basis for the emerging field of personalised medicine in paediatrics.
SwissPedNet puts Swiss experts on a par with colleagues in other countries and enables them to perform nationally and internationally competitive clinical research. At the same time, they can obtain relevant Swiss data to implement evidence-based medicine for children.
SwissPedNet consists of nine clinical paediatric hubs throughout Switzerland within the university children’s hospitals in Basel, Bern, Geneva, Lausanne and Zurich as well as in Aarau, Bellinzona, Luzern and St. Gallen.
In addition, SwissPedNet integrates the platform SwissPedRegistry, which has services regarding the establishment of paediatric registries and cohort studies, with the platform SwissPedPha, which is the centre for paediatric pharmacology.
The SCTO is the backbone of the infrastructure SwissPedNet. There is close collaboration between the paediatric hubs and the SCTO network of CTUs. The SwissPedNet Coordinator is located at the SCTO Executive Office.