April 2016
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 Improving children's health through research

PTNA is proud to announce its 2016 membership!
Associate Member of the Australian Clinical Trials Alliance
Need ethics or governance advice for your paediatric clinical research at multiple sites across Australia?
The Australian Paediatric Research Ethics and Governance (APREG) Network can help and can be found on the PTNA website under the new APREG tab.

The APREG Network was established in 2013 and formalised a commitment under its Steering Committee within paediatric Australian public health organisations to streamline the ethics and governance review of multicentre projects using the National Mutual Acceptance (NMA) Scheme. APREG also aims to identify opportunities for collaboration and project initiatives in the ethics and governance of paediatric research.

The partner members of APREG are the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network; The Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne; Monash Health, Melbourne; Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital, Brisbane; Mater Hospital, Brisbane; Women’s and Children’s Hospital, Adelaide; and Princess Margaret Hospital, Perth.
The PTNA Capability Map

PTNA’s has begun mapping out the paediatric research expertise and infrastructure across each of its member organisations in Australia.

The PTNA Capability Map will help facilitate collaboration by identifying the people and sites who are ready and able to conduct high quality research.  This will enable us to put you touch with the right people at the right time when it comes to:
  • Multi-site grants
  • Multi-site investigator driven trials
  • Peer review and endorsement
  • Commercial trial opportunities
  • Drug safety management boards
  • PTNA annual trial symposia.
Please participate in The PTNA Capability Map if you would like to:
  • Increase your access to Australia’s leading paediatric clinicians
  • Access rigorous peer review prior to grant submission to improve the probability of success
  • Increase your pool of participants for investigator-driven studies
  • Receive industry sponsored trial opportunities
  • Interface with the community through the PTNA website and consumer advisors
  • Engage with government to inform paediatric health policy and practice
New members will be asked participate in The PTNA Capability Map upon joining.
PTNA Objectives
  • Increase the quality and quantity of investigator-driven paediatric clinical studies 
  • Improve the Australian operating environment for paediatric clinical trials sponsored by industry 
  • Provide a platform for advocacy for collaborative clinical research for paediatrics in Australia
  • Deliver a sustainable network for paediatric researcher
Commonwealth Government Clinical Trials Consultations
PTNA continues to advocate on behalf of paediatric clinical trials.

Recently the Chair and EO attended the consultation on how to improve recruitment and retention for clinical trials in Australia.  The consultation was undertaken by Ernst & Young.  EY was engaged by the Commonwealth Government under its Clinical Trials Jurisdictional Working Group (CTJWG): 

The strongest message was that clinical trials are lacking in infrastructure to partake in trials.  While there is a great deal of good will and enthusiasm to participate in trials, sites do not have the resources to adequately start-up, recruit and maintain them.

While networks in general were a mechanism to improve recruitment it was recognised that some networks are more established, supported and funded than others.  This caused a large variance between networks’ abilities to participate in trials.

Suggested solutions included: Embedding research into healthcare through research KPIs linked to tertiary health service funding, better trial metrics; increased resourcing at the coal face (study co-ordinators, research nurses, protected research time for clinician-researchers); improved technology to identify patients to whom trials can be offered, addressing of language barriers to ensure equity and to widen the pool of participants; and links with consumer advocacy groups.

The [CTJWG] is a time limited jurisdictional working group consisting of senior officers from all jurisdictions’ health agencies to scope practical opportunities to encourage multi jurisdiction clinical trials within Australia with the intention of enhancing Australia’s ability to attract national and international clinical trials.”  - Ernst & Young

Click here to Learn more about CTJWG and federal clinical trial initiatives:


The Review of Research Infrastructure is being conducted by an advisory committee under the Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel.

In support of the review Therapeutic Innovation Australia is conducting its third biennial 2016 National Translational Health Research Survey. This survey offers YOU the opportunity to inform TIA of areas of emerging need and to build an understanding of the sector. 

Have your say by completing this 15 minute survey:

The survey is open until 12th of May.  
Please feel free to forward the link to your colleagues engaged in R&D activities.

Not a PTNA member yet?
PTNA is an inclusive network of organisations that undertake high quality paediatric clinical trials.  If your site would like to become a member please email

Membership for a large site is $4,000 per annum and $1,000 per annum for a small site.  This will entitle you to discounts on registration for PTNA events and discounted WebSpirit fees; as well as access to peer review for new proposals, access to an Australian wide network of paediatric experts and facilities and clinical trial opportunities (both investigator-driven and industry sponsored) as they arise. 

Upcoming events

PTNA will hold its annual trials day 14th October

We are excited to be partnering with BT4K (Better Treatment for Kids) which will hold its Kaleidoscope meeting on
15th October. 

The NSW Better Treatment 4 Kids Network is committed to developing a research priority setting project for children and adolescents with chronic conditions. The project is known as ‘The Kaleidoscope Project and it will bring together patients, carers and clinicians in Priority Setting Partnerships (PSP) to identify and prioritise research or unanswered questions that they agree are the most important. 
This helps to ensure that those who fund health research are aware of what really matters to both patients and clinicians.

Are you an asthma researcher?

Are you interested in collaborating with other Australian researchers to develop your own study in asthma in school aged children? The research will include the Illawarra region and Professor Ian Wright would like to hear from you.

Please contact or
New Executive Officer
PTNA is happy to announce its the newest staff member, Rebecca Lennon. 

Rebecca's background is in cancer clinical trials. Her experience includes managing a large clinical trial site, the Austin Health Cancer Clinical Trials Centre, the Monash University Ethics and Compliance unit and the clinical trials team at Cancer Trials Australia, working closely with sponsors and sites.  Most recently she was the project manager at the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre.  

Rebecca is based in Melbourne, hosted by one of PTNA's member sites Murdoch Childrens Research Institute; and operates alongside Sydney-based PTNA Database Manager, Michael Emamooden.

She is looking forward to leading Paediatric Trials Network Australia, along with its Steering Committee, into the next exciting phase of growth and success. 
The WebSpirit data management system is currently used for 19 projects ranging across multiple study types and therapeutic areas. There are approximately 150 registered WebSpirit users based at over 30 institutions throughout Australia and New Zealand. Data for over 17,000 participants has been entered in WebSpirit to date.
PTNA Steering Committee:
 NSW    Prof Chris Cowell                 Kids Research Institute at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Sydney
 NSW  Prof Jonathan Craig  The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Sydney
 NSW  Prof Ian Wright  Hunter New England Health, John Hunter Children’s Hospital, Newcastle
 VIC  Prof Andrew Davidson
 Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne
 VIC  Prof John Carlin  Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, University of Melbourne, Melbourne
 SA  Prof Helen Marshall  Women's and Children's Hospital, Adelaide
 QLD  Prof Ross Pinkerton  Children's Hospital Queensland
 QLD  Prof Peter Sly  Queensland Children’s Medical Research Institute, Children's Hospital Queensland 
 WA  Prof Peter Richmond  Telethon Institute, Princess Margaret Hospital for Children, Perth
PTNA Website
PTNA Website
General Enquiries
General Enquiries
WebSpirit Enquiries
WebSpirit Enquiries
Copyright © 2016 Paediatric Trials Network Australia, All rights reserved.

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