|[December 02, 2013]
Children's Hospitals Celebrate Enactment of National Pediatric Research Network Act
WASHINGTON --(Business Wire)--
Capping a more than six year advocacy effort, President Obama has signed
into law legislation authorizing the National Institutes of Health (NIH)
to establish the National Pediatric Research Network to strengthen and
enhance the nation's commitment to pediatric biomedical research.
On Wednesday, November 27th, President Obama signed into law
the PREEMIE Reauthorization Act which contains the National Pediatric
Research Network Act as Title II. The legislation enjoyed strong
bipartisan support and passed the House and Senate via unanimous voice
votes last month. The Coalition for Pediatric Medical Research, a group
of about 25 of the nation's leading children's hospitals, has been the
leading advocate behind the network for years.
"The President's action is a major victory for our nation's children who
stand to benefit from the network because it will help better fund and
better coordinate pediatric medical research to accelerate scientific
discovery and, ultimately, the development of new therapies and
treatments for children," said Dr. Arnold Strauss, Chair of Pediatrics
and Chief Medical Office at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical
The law authorizes the NIH to develop a network of pediatric research
consortia. Eachconsortium would be comprised of multiple research
institutions in a "hub and spoke" arrangement, would be
investigator-initiated, and would be competitively selected via the NIH
peer review process.
The network legislation was sponsored by Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH)
and Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Representatives Cathy McMorris Rodgers
(R-WA), Lois Capps (D-CA (News - Alert)), Peter King (R-NY) and Diana DeGette (D-CO).
Other key supporters included House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA),
House Energy & Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Senate
Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee Chairman Tom
Harkin (D-IA) and Ranking Member Lamar Alexander (R-TN).
"We have seen over the years that research networks help strengthen
collaboration and coordination, accelerate research and ensure resources
are used wisely. This law will provide NIH with additional tools to
advance networked research throughout pediatrics broadly," said Dr.
David Williams, Chief, Division of Hematology/Oncology and Director,
Translational Research at Boston Children's Hospital.
"The law demonstrates what is possible when members of Congress work
together on a bipartisan basis to support our nation's children," added
Dr. Bill Hay, Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Colorado
School of Medicine. "I look forward to working with the coalition and
with NIH leaders to implement the network so it can begin to achieve its
Following are key provisions of the network law:
Authorizes NIH to establish a National Pediatric Research Network to
more effectively support pediatric research and optimize the use of
federal research funds.
Funding can be used to support basic, clinical, behavioral, or
translational research as well as training of researchers to address
unmet pediatric research needs.
An appropriate number of awards would go to consortia working on
pediatric rare diseases or conditions or birth defects and conducting
clinical trials of potential therapies for pediatric rare diseases or
Each consortium shall be comprised of multiple institutions, be
coordinated by a lead institution and agree to rapidly and efficiently
disseminate research findings.
Funding allocated to consortia must supplement and not supplant other
funding, and award periods cannot exceed five years but may be
extended at the discretion of the director of NIH.
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