America’s biopharmaceutical researchers are currently conducting more than 2,100 industry-sponsored pediatric clinical trials and testing 80 investigational medicines involving more than 1.2 million pediatric patients, according to a new report from PhRMA, the drug industry trade association.
Medicines in development include a gene-edited cell therapy that could become a one-time treatment for sickle cell disease, a monoclonal antibody okayed to treat asthma in adults and children 12 and older and being tested for children age 6 to 11, and the first DDP-4 inhibitor, approved for adults with type 2 diabetes in the U.S. being tested in children ages 10 to 17.
There are also a number of trials and related projects currently under way to test other medicines approved for adults to determine if they are appropriate for children. Investigations include:
- 125 treatments for genetic diseases, including medicines for cystic fibrosis.
- 86 treatments for cancer, which remains a leading cause of death for children age 1 to 19.
- 75 medicines for infectious diseases, such as HIV/AIDS, ear infections, pneumonia, and hepatitis.
- 55 medicines for skin disorders, including atopic dermatitis, a chronic condition affecting about 20% of children in the U.S.
Author: Michael Causey