Ukraine is actively involved in the EPTRI project through the participation of “State Institute of Paediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynecology” (UKR) as Beneficiary, which collaborates in the work package of the “Governance and Sustanaibility” and in the Thematic Research Platforms on “Paediatric Medicines Discovery” and “Paediatric Biomarkers and Biosamples”.
The Ukrainian respondents of the EPTRI WP3 surveys show to have mainly expertise in “paediatric medicines discovery” (40%) in immunology and oncology and “paediatric biomarkers and biosamples” (40%) identifying, characterizing and validating biomarkers as diagnostic, prognostic and predictive tools. The 10% of respondents has expertise in “developmental pharmacology” and the other 10% in “paediatric medicines formulations and medical devices”.
The Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine granted the official support to EPTRI by signing the political support letters (EoS) in 2019 to include EPTRI in the European Strategic Forum for Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) 2021 Roadmap.
Furthermore, the State Institute of Paediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynecology, the State Institute of Genetic and Regenerative Medicine of NAMS of Ukraine, the Re Kavetsky Institute of Experimental Pathology, Oncology and Radiobiology, NAMS of Ukraine, the State Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology of NAMS of Ukraine, and the Ukraine Association of Biobank signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to state the intent to take steps towards the preparation phase and development of the EPTRI Research Infrastructure and organise the research institutes into a National Node (EPTRI-UKR).
The participanting Research Institutes signed also the “Agreement for the Creation of a Joint Research Unit (JRU)” to set up the EPTRI Ukrainian National Node to facilitate the participation of the national scientific community in paediatric research and to coordinate national activities .
More details on these Institutions are provided below:
- Institute of Paediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynecology: is a leading public institution in the field of maternal and child health and includes several divisions tailored on paediatric research. In particular,its Research Units (RUs) study the paediatric development mechanisms which could be relevant in immonology (eg asthma) and neurology especially autism and rare diseases, and develop new model platforms using placenta and umbilical cord. They are working to reveal the structural features and rare cell populations of stem cells of placenta tissue based on immunohistochemical researches. Moreover, they use biomarkers as diagnostic, prognostic and predictive tools for paediatric rheumatology, hepatology, pulmonology and gynecology diseases. They perform also characterisation, identification and validation of biomarkers.
- Institute of Genetic and Regenerative Medicine of NAMS of Ukraine: its research departments work on the development and application of the newest gene and cell technologies in basic science and practical medicine. At the Cell and Tissue Culture Laboratory, the researchers study the paediatric development mechanisms which could be relevant for cerebral ischemia and for cardiomyopathy. They develop new model platforms using placent and umbilical cord and 3D organoid cell cultures from paediatric samples ( used mainly for drug screening). They perform also studies on stem cell and in-vitro models for the neonatal periventricular leukomalacia, and juvenile animal studies for the cerebral palsy and cardiomyopathy. They use circulating endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) biomarkers as prognostic and predictive tools. At the Department of Genetic Diagnostics, the RUs work on the inherited metabolic diseases, rare diseases and multifactorial diseases in paediatrics. They use aminoacides, acylcarnitines, organic acides, lysosomal enzymes, biopterins and molecular genetic rearrangements in causal genes as diagnostic tools, biopterins and molecular genetic rearrangement in drug metabolism genes as prognostic toolsand predictive biomarker. Moreover they have a sector dedicated to paediatric biosamples (leukocites, whole blood, urine, dry blood spots, DNA).
- Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology of NAMS of Ukraine: Itis an innovative Institution in the field of scientific research and development of new pharmaceuticals in the fields of endocrinology, gyneacology and hepatology. The research activities are focused on reproductive system changes caused by metabolic syndrome in juvenile age. To this aim, they perform studies on juvenile animals as for the analysis of biochemical disturbances in testes on albino rats with metabolic syndrome induced in prepubertal age with metformin treatment.
- Re Kavetsky Institute of Experimental Pathology, Oncology and Radiobiology, NAS of Ukraine: The principal research areas include haematology, oncology, biology and metabolism of tumour cell, molecular and cellular markers. The research activities include identification, characterisation and validation of biomarkers used as diagnostic and predictive tools in early diagnosis of malignant and chronic diseases, but also as prognostic tools for disease course, relapse-free survival, overall survival in cancer patients. Moreover they use biomarkers to predicte therapy effectiveness. All these expertise allow them to perform early diagnosis of oncohematological diseases, screening and early diagnosis of the most common malignant neoplasms, and to determine the sensitivity of medical treatments in cancer patients.
- Ukraine Association of Biobank: The Association is active inpaediatric research with a particular focus on the orphan diseases. The research activities that they perform are identification, characterisation of the biomarkers used as diagnostic tools, and validation of different types of biomarkers. They have a biobank exclusively dedicated to paediatric biosamples with frozen and formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue, serum, plasma and urine.
- Group of Pharmaceutical Companies “Lekhim”: It is a group of companies which includes the pharmaceutical companies Joint Stock Company “Lekhim”, PJSC “Technolog” and JSC “Lekhim-Kharkiv”. The group offers a wide range of generic medicinal products of almost all therapeutic groups: antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, anti-inflammatories, painkillers, antipsychotics, hypnotics, and others. PJSC “Technolog” established a pharmacovigilance service which is responsible for the proper functioning of the collection, evaluation, research and prevention of problems associated with the use of drugs. JSC “Lekhim-Kharkiv” is specialized in the manufacturing of pharmaceuticals of different dosage forms: tablets, ampoules, suppositories, solutions for infusions, solutions for injections, powders for solution for injections, and sachet.