The evaluation of drugs that are used in children has been neglected historically but is now well established as an essential part of clinical drug development. The increase in pediatric activity among industry, and other sectors, has highlighted the importance of joint working. All participants in pediatric drug development need to be aware of the "big picture." An increasingly important part of this big picture in pediatrics, as in other populations, is the design and conduct of clinical trials in networks. This narrative review provides an overview of the roles of clinical research networks in pediatric drug development. Networks take many forms as specialty networks and geographic networks but work toward common principles, including sharing resources between trials, and using experience with trial conduct to improve trial design. Networks develop standardized processes for trial conduct (including performance management) that increase the speed and predictability of trial conduct while reducing burdens on sites, sponsors, and intermediaries. Networks can provide validated, real-world information about natural history, participant distribution, and standards of care to inform planning of development programs, including extrapolation and clinical trial simulation. Networks can work across geographic and jurisdictional barriers to promote global interoperability of drug development. Networks support participant centrality. Networks offer an opportunity to develop relationships with investigators, sites, and methodological experts that span pre-competitive foundations for drug development and specific products. Sustainable networks benefit all stakeholders by providing a multifunctional platform that promotes the quality and timeliness of clinical drug development.

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Clinical Therapeutics: the international peer-reviewed journal of drug therapy
Department of Pediatric Surgery

Turner, M. A., Attar, S. (Sabah), de Wildt, S., Vassal, G., Mangiarini, L. (Laura), & Giaquinto, C. (2017). Roles of Clinical Research Networks in Pediatric Drug Development. Clinical Therapeutics: the international peer-reviewed journal of drug therapy, 2017, 1–10. doi:10.1016/j.clinthera.2017.09.001