Phoenix Children’s Hospital in the US has formed a new institute, the Ronald A. Matricaria Institute of Molecular Medicine, to provide genomic analysis and drugs access to paediatric patients.
The new institute will carry out clinical studies in children for better understanding of the specific differences between children and adults, resulting in the development of safe, effective and age-suitable treatments.
Phoenix Children’s president and CEO Robert Meyer said the objective of the institute is to bring genomics research to the forefront of paediatrics.
"Research and development of novel treatments for paediatric diseases has fallen short over past decades," Meyer added.
"We also must address a fundamental flaw in traditional and personalised medicine – diagnosis and treatment of a disease based on clinical instead of genomic information."
By studying the patient’s genetic makeup, researchers will be able to identify the individual’s susceptibility to disease and response to specific drugs.
The institute will initially focus on paediatric cancers and later expand to other paediatric disease research.
The University of Arizona College of Medicine will bring academic and research programmes, in addition to the academic credentials needed to develop a research programme, while Translational Genomics Research Institute will contribute expertise in genomics and bioinformatics, as well as sophisticated laboratory space.
"Our collaboration with TGen and University of Arizona opens the doors to making a portfolio of drugs and compounds available immediately," Meyer added.