Seattle Children’s is excited to announce the launch of a novel nonprofit research group that will accelerate the development of new medicines for childhood cancer and other debilitating pediatric diseases.

The new enterprise, Seattle Children’s Therapeutics, reimagines what a pediatric research organization should look like. It is intentionally structured like a biotech company rather than a typical academic research group. The people and functions needed to bring new medicines from bench to bedside — research scientists in the lab, clinical trials management teams, regulatory compliance specialists, business managers and a state-of-the-art on-site facility for manufacturing cellular and genetic therapeutics — have been brought together under one roof, under one management and leadership team.

Seattle Children’s Therapeutics includes a team of 130 led by Dr. Michael Jensen, Seattle Children’s chief therapeutics officer. A renowned pediatric cancer researcher and former founding scientist at Juno Therapeutics, Jensen says Seattle Children’s is “breaking the status quo” of pediatric disease research.

“We can have the best children’s hospital on the planet, but if we don’t continue striving to find new therapies, we will either continue to lose children whose disease cannot be cured by current therapies or leave them with long-lasting and debilitating side effects from today’s therapies,” says Jensen.

Medicines designed specifically to meet the needs of children are often not pursued by biotech or pharmaceutical companies due to limited fiscal return on investment. They focus on adult medications, which are more lucrative. While many children with cancer still rely primarily on decades-old chemotherapy and radiation therapies that were developed for adults and can cause serious side effects, Seattle Children’s is a leader in bringing the latest discoveries in genetic and cellular research to create exciting new gains in pediatric cancer treatment.

Seattle Children’s Therapeutics’ home is Building Cure, Seattle Children’s newest building in downtown Seattle.

To find more details about Seattle Children’s Therapeutics work to invigorate the field of pediatric disease research, read the following: