Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) is the most common chronic paediatric rheumatic disease and an important cause of short and long-term disability and quality of life impairment. Methotrexate (MTX) is the second line agent of first choice for the treatment of children with polyarticular JIA who do not respond to NSAIDs.
Patients with JIA who do not respond or are intolerant to MTX are candidates for the treatment with biologic agents such as etanercept, infliximab, adalimumab, abatacept and others currently in development. However, little information exists on the long term safety of these agents that are currently being used in children with JIA.
Pharmachild is a pharmacovigilance project which aims at observing children with JIA for 3-10 years undergoing treatment with MTX or biologic agents in order to collect moderate, severe or serious adverse events occurred.
This project is conducted by the participating centres of the more than 50 countries belonging to the Paediatric Rheumatology INternational Trials Organisation (PRINTO, certified ISO 9001-2008), or the Pediatric Rheumatology European Society (PRES). More than 200 PRINTO centres worldwide have already expressed their interest in participating to the project.
Pharmachild has been funded by the European Union (EU) within the FP7 framework (contract number 260353, principal investigator Dr Nico Wulffraat, co-principal investigator Dr Nicolino Ruperto).
The Pharmachild study has obtained the ENCePP Study Seal (ENCePP). The European Network of Centres for Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacovigilance (ENCePP®) is a collaborative scientific network coordinated by the European Medicines Agency and developed in collaboration with European experts in the fields of pharmacoepidemiology and pharmacovigilance. The ENCePP Study Seal means that a study upholds high standards throughout the research process based on the principles of transparency and scientific independence.
Several researchers involved in this project are members of the European Reference Network for Rare Immunodeficiency, Autoinflammatory and Autoimmune Diseases -Project ID No 739543.