Swiss National Node

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Switzerland is represented in the ID-EPTRI Project by the “Swiss Clinical Trial Organisation” (SCTO) which is involved in the work packages of the “Context Analysis”, “Underpinning Activities to Paediatric Clinical Studies” and “Ethics”.

The Swiss respondents of EPTRI WP3 Survey declared to work in “Development Pharmacology” (60%) in neonatology and infectious diseases mainly, but also in endocrinology, gynaecology, nephrology, urology, neurology, oncology and rheumatology, while the 20% of the respondents described expertise in “Paediatric Medicines Formulations” with competence in neonatology, neonatal and paediatric intensive care, endocrinology, gynaecology, immunology, infectious diseases, nephrology, urology, neurology, nutrition and rheumatology. The last 20% has expertise in “Paediatric Medical Devices” in neonatology, endocrinology, gynaecology, nephrology, urology and rheumatology.

Switzerland and its Institutions play an important role in the paediatric research and in the cutting-edge research as well as into the EPTRI project. The Swiss Institutes have been involved in the Memorandum of Understanding declaring the intent to develop the EPTRI Infrastructure and organise the main research institutes into a National Node (the Swiss Hub) to link the Swiss scientific community to EPTRI.

The Swiss Hub (EPTRI-CH) will be constituted by the following Institutes:

  • University of Basel: Within the Faculty of Medicine, the Departments of Biomedicine participate in a joint venture among the University Hospital Basel, the University Children’s Hospital Basel and the University of Basel. The researchers work in many areas of interest as immunology, oncology, infectious diseases, neonatology, endocrinology, gynaecology, nephrology, urology, rheumatology and haematology. They study the circulating tumour cells and developed a novel device for the elimination of cancer cells from blood specimens. Moreover, they are testing a treatment composed of new immunotherapy inhibitors. In collaboration with the University Children’s Hospital Basel, the researchers work on developmental physiology and experimental pharmacology in pregnant women, neonates, children, as well as on modelling and simulation approaches including physiologically based pharmacokinetic, pharmacometrics models applied on different groups, diseases and ethnicities, machine learning, control theory, placental platforms, studies to quantify placental drug transfer, and tools for systematic use of small biological samples. Furthermore, they are very active in the stem cell biology and regenerative medicine studying how stem cells of the blood are maintained in the bone marrow, differentiated into the various different cell-types of the hematopoietic system, and how their differentiation potential is altered in malignant states (e.g. leukaemia or lymphomas). They study the autoimmune diseases, the complexity of immune system and its functionality, as well as its effects, its responsiveness and the consequence of aberrant immune reactions. At the Department of Paediatric, researchers study also infectious diseases and bacteria. Other topics of research are the effects of different drugs in children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis and other rheumatic diseases, as well as on epidemiology and treatment of pertussis, antibiotic dosage in newborns and in children, and diagnosis of respiratory diseases (e.g. tuberculosis). They also use biomarkers as diagnostic, prognostic and predictive tools, and use cytokine profiles and leucocyte ratios as biomarkers. They perform animal models (e.g. on mice). At the Paediatric Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Technology Unit, the researcher developed several prototypes of tools based on specific mathematical algorithm to support clinical decisions.
  • University of Bern: The University promotes research in areas of great social and scientific importance and offers the best conditions for inter-, trans-, and multidisciplinary research of the highest level. It excels in five major areas among which health and medicine with top achievements in the medical, natural, and human sciences. At the University Clinic for Paediatrics, the researchers work on haematology, oncology, immunology, nutrition, genetics and infectious diseases and study neutropenia and its complications in children undergoing chemotherapy. They investigate different causes that can develop cancer in childhood, and they also study new types of treatment. They perform stem cell biology and regenerative medicine based on hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. In genetics, they use next generation sequencing to discover novel mutations and new genes targets implicated in oncology and/or immunology (autoimmune diseases) and provide precision medicine for rare metabolic disorders, as well as they study the role of RNA in diseases mechanism and the genes alterations in autism patients to comprehend the causes of social behaviour. They performed important research on membrane transport with several active projects concern multidrug transporter, genetics of membrane transporters, astrocyte-specific targeting. At the Institute of Cell Biology, the research groups are focused on a variety of topics ranging from biology and molecular parasitology to neuro-development biology. They perform basic research on the development of bacteria/parasites in human organs, on epigenetics mechanisms of complex genome editing, on the regulation of gene expression, on mRNA localization, development, cell cycle and growth.