1.2 million euro grant awarded to MRC Centre for Drug Safety Science


A major new research programme to improve the development of drugs for children has been awarded €1.2 million.

The study, called PAMPER, is being led by the MRC Centre for Drug Safety Science at the University of Liverpool, and involves partners from the UK, Estonia, Poland and the Netherlands.

It will use a sensitive analytical instrument known as an accelerator mass spectrometer to measure drug concentrations in small blood volumes.

Model drugs will be studied in pre-term to two-year-old infants who will be patients at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital as well as the children’s clinic in Tartu, Estonia.

The laboratory work will take place at the University while the drug analysis will be carried out in Zeist, the Netherlands.

Professor Kevin Park, Principal Investigator for the consortium, said: “The doses of drugs given to children are based on adult doses and yet we know children are not mini-adults. Their cells and tissues are immature meaning that they often don’t respond to drugs in the same way as adults.

This research programme will devise new methods to speed the development of drugs for children that should be faster and safer than currently used approaches.”

The grant was won on a competitive basis with the scientific assessors scoring the research programme as outstanding.

John Flamson, Head of Partnerships & Innovation, said: “This collaboration is yet another excellent example of how research taking place at the University, and in particular within one of our specialist centres of expertise, has the potential to exert a positive impact on a highly vulnerable group within society.

“I would like to take this opportunity to wish both teams every success with this valuable programme of work. The University looks forward to reporting on both the future outcomes of this project and our ongoing research commitment to developing safer drug treatments for the future.”

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