Director: Richard Finkel, MD
The Center for Experimental Neurotherapeutics (CENT) is designed to facilitate the rapid clinical development of promising treatments for catastrophic pediatric neurological diseases. With a focus on tractable, genetically defined diseases, CENT will draw from the ever-expanding list of therapeutic candidates emerging from academia, as well as the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. CENT is designed to respond to opportunities, identifying science that has matured to a point that is sufficient for clinical investigation. Clinical trials will focus on novel treatments that target the fundamental genetic underpinnings of the disease process. St. Jude will once again pioneer efforts to bring bench to bedside, expanding to focus on pediatric neurological diseases.
CENT will not only conduct the trials for experimental neurotherapeutics but will also establish clinical trial readiness and design protocols for first-in-human trials, poising the institution to be an invaluable partner for collaboration. A relationship with Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital will serve as a central pillar to the mission, extending the breadth of St. Jude’s capabilities to epilepsy and neurodevelopmental disorders. CENT will bolster its translational impact through increased access to patient populations thanks to strategic partnerships with patient foundations.