STAND4Kids is the Portuguese National Hub for paediatric clinical trials. Our story dates back to 2018, as an emerging network born within c4c. We are fully dedicated to build a sustainable, lean, fit-for-purpose, national paediatric trial network that facilitates high-quality, child/family- and clinically-relevant, operationally efficient pediatric clinical trials in Portugal.

Our team is led by Ricardo Fernandes, a paediatrician, professor and researcher in paediatric clinical pharmacology and trial methodology. Inês Cabrita, Liliana Bento, Inês Amaral are three faces of our team, providing a range of experience and competences in clinical trials operations and management, regulatory affairs, dissemination and communication. STAND4Kids is based in Lisbon, working in synergy with CETERA, a Portuguese Academic Consulting Research Organization (CRO) at the Association for Research and Development of the Faculty of Medicine – AIDFM, our c4c beneficiary.

Our national network includes 10 academic hospitals sites across the country which deliver tertiary care and opportunities for research in multiple paediatric specialties. We support sites throughout the life cycle of paediatric clinical trials, working closely with the sponsor or delegated CRO. Currently STAND4Kids supports the c4c TREOCAPA academic proof-of-viability study and participated in the now terminated cAsperCF study. We are also working in a growing portfolio of c4c adopted industry trials, from feasibility to trial execution, by aligning with local teams from different sponsors.

Our support to STAND4Kids sites includes regular sharing sessions and ongoing communication, and engagement with paediatricians, study coordinators, research nurses and pharmacists’ communities. We are particularly active in promoting c4c Academy training opportunities, which have had great success within our network.

In its 4 years as the go-to paediatric clinical research network in Portugal, STAND4Kids has built a set of activities and collaborations with key national stakeholders to promote awareness and foster development of paediatric clinical trials. Working closely with the Portuguese Society of Paediatrics, STAND4Kids has links with competent authorities, ethics committees, research agencies and funders, and the national industry association and CRO. We are also developing our Public Patient Involvement in research activities, through patient organizations and by supporting the creation of YPAG Lisboa group (Young People Advisory Group) and involvement with eYPAGnet (European YPAG Network).

Beyond our borders, we pursue active participation in paediatric research initiatives, including being a member of Enpr-EMA. The team has grown in its active involvement in c4c, with Francisca Figueiras now a Network Infrastructure Office (NIO) member along with our National Hub Lead roles in NIO and as coordinator of the National Hub Forum.

Our vision is to grow as an efficient and sustainable national network and a national single point of contact to promote high-quality paediatric trials in Portugal by disseminating and supporting the implementation of high-quality standards and training activities for the qualification and capacity building of national sites.

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