Over the last 40 years, academic research within the paediatric oncology community has made significant progress in increasing patient survival rates of up to 80% from previously 10%. This was only achievable through close collaboration in multinational clinical trials, building on the growing experience and expertise from running these trials. Clinical trials remain essential, so does the industry involvement to further improve the outcome, particularly in poor-risks groups with less favorable perspective.


Collaboration with European Medicine Agency (EMA)

Within the framework of the European Medicine Agency (EMA), ENCCA aims to increase and facilitate contacts and collaborations between the network and pharmaceutical companies, in order to introduce safe and effective targeted therapies into clinical research and standards of care. The objective is to establish a solid communication basis among industry at large and, then, agree on sustainable solutions for the development of new drugs.


Club of industrial interest

In order to achieve this purpose, ENCCA will create a “Club of industrial interest” gathering the pharmaceutical industry, diagnostic companies and SMEs. This club will act a as facilitator between individual companies and clinicians involved in Paediatric Investigational Plans (PIPs). It has the objective of bringing industrial partners together with other important stakeholders, such as patient organisation and ethics' committees, to strengthen the consortium and ensure patient-centered  outcomes. Through its extensive network of partners, the Club will establish strong links with industry to facilitate the exchange of information, and industry partners will be invited to take part to expert working groups where synergies will be discussed.

The ultimate goal of this club is to increase industry collaboration and facilitate access to new drugs, as well as to accelerate exploitation and technology transfer.


Intellectual property rights issues

Today, most institutions hosting a biology research programme on paediatric malignancies seem to have their own policy for Intellectual Property Rights (IPR). This may result in a differentiation of the study protocol/patent, as each review may induce specific changes to the protocol, which may complicate the studycoordination. Additionally, multiple assessments of the same research protocol (which for example occurs in the case of multinational trials) may result in diverging or even contradictory evaluation outcomes. This renders the process of data generation/analyses unpredictable, as the same protocol may be accepted at one site and rejected at another within the same country.

As the current number of investigator-driven clinical trials partly funded by the pharmaceutical industry tends to increase, it has become a necessity to adequately protect all generated knowledge and expertise. ENCCA will look into IPR issues to better monitor and protect knowledge and exploitation of clinical research results and technologies.


Cooperation with the Innovative Therapies for Children with Cancer (ITCC) Network

To achieve the above mentioned goals, ENCCA will jointly work with the Innovative Therapies for Children with Cancer (ITCC), an academic network dedicated to early drug development for all tumour types acting as a ‘one stop-shop’ for the pharmaceutical industry as concerns paediatric oncology drug development in Europe.


Strong interactions between industry and ENCCA will:

  • Provide access to a paediatric oncology 'Network of Excellence', gathering all important actors in clinical and translational research trials

  • Increase collaboration between academia and industry

  • Accelerate drug development and improve children and adolescents cure by enhancing contacts between industry  and academia

  • Enable young investigator access to common research and joint training programmes on industry needs in terms of drug developments

  • Finance activities of mutual interests

  • Boost paediatric oncology research in general by stimulating funding at regional, national and international levels

  • Establish knowledge-sharing for clinicians and industry, in order to exchange expertise and experienced challenges

  • Facilitate access to information to any interested industrial partner

  • Contribute to the network sustainability with the creation of services for public and private sectors


ENCCA’s strong presence in paediatric oncology coupled with the involvement and support at industrial level is likely to raise significant public, scientific and corporate awareness that will contribute to advances in paediatric oncology clinical trials


For further information on industry matters, please contact Louis Vivier at the following address vivier@igr.fr