Experimental Arthritis Treatment Centre for Children team

About us

The work of the EATC4Children focuses on children and young people with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), JIA-associated uveitis, juvenile-onset systemic lupus erythematosus, bone and bone health disorders, and other related conditions.

Our work will have a clear impact on multiple beneficiaries. Patients will benefit from a better understanding of the molecular pathophysiology of musculoskeletal disorders that will deliver new biomarkers for the diagnosis and outcome prediction, and new individualised and target-directed treatments some of which may be delivered by re-purposing of already existing medicines. Assuming success in commercialisation (or the discovery of a new indication for an existing licensed drug), benefit will extend to the public sector (via the University) and the commercial sector (the manufacturer of the product).

Our major focus is to deliver excellence in care and ensure that the research we do is always directed towards answering the priority questions our patients and their families have.

Our vision

  • To improve the health and well-being of children

By providing an internationally excellent children's centre, for conduct of experimental medicine studies and early phase clinical trials, which will be an important resource for the pharmaceutical industry.

  • To establish a platform of expertise

Expertise that is internationally competitive and fully integrated with existing paediatric rheumatology, collaborative strengths and NIHR infrastructures.

  • To develop a national consortium

This will support existing experimental treatment resources, to enhance the delivery of “first in childhood disease” studies of novel therapies, diagnostics and prognostic biomarkers.

  • To understand the mechanisms of adverse drug reactions

This will allow the development of mechanism-based biomarkers to improve the benefit-risk ratio of medicines.

Achieving our goals

The EATC4Children is underpinned by nationally and internationally recognised expertise in:

  • Paediatric rheumatology and musculoskeletal health, in early and late phase clinical trials in children and young people
  • Capability and infrastructure to sustain every stage of drug development, in a manner consistent with EU Regulations developing Paediatric Investigation Plans (PIPs)
  • Drug development, drug safety, pharmacogenomics, stratification of medicines and training in paediatric clinical pharmacology
  • Development of trial designs using novel adaptive trial designs, supported by the MCRN Clinical Trials Unit and the NW MRC Methodology Hub
  • Basic science, translational research and training.

Partnership collaborations

Through partnership collaborations with the Versus Arthritis adult-based Clinical Studies Group’s, NOCRI Translational Research Partnership, and MRC/ABPI Inflammatory Arthritis Initiative, the EATC4Children optimises potential impact across the clinical and regulatory age groups (child through adolescents to adult).

“The UK’s EATC4Children has already made great strides in improving our care and understanding of childhood autoimmune conditions. What is commendable is that all of their work is inspired by and involves children, young people, and their families, and is always directed towards answering the priority questions they have. This speaks to Versus Arthritis' ambition to ensure our research is aligned with the impact on individuals, especially children and young people - an otherwise overlooked demographic.”

Dr Neha Issar-Brown, Versus Arthritis’ new Director of Research

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