Simplified Prescription of AntiRetrovirals in Children (SPARC)

Developing Novel Prescription Tool and App for Practical Dosing of Antiretroviral Drugs in Pediatric Patients with HIV/AIDS.

The World Health Organization (WHO) 2013 pediatric guidelines recommend universal initiation of lifelong antiretroviral treatment (ART) among children under five years of age. A wide range of antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) dosing regimens is used in HIV-infected children. ARVs prescribing errors may lead to suboptimal exposure, treatment failure, development of viral resistance and drug toxicity, and significant drug-drug interactions with other medications. A mobile prescription tool and App that produces correct pediatric ARVs dosing, advises on handling and administration, warns for most important toxicities and drug interactions, has a great potential to significantly improve the quality of ART in HIV-infected children and to facilitate the prescription of the ART by healthcare providers worldwide.

In 2014, Rudraya Corporation in collaboration with John N.Y. Van Den Anker (St. Albans School for Boys, Washington, DC) and Dr. Marc Pfister (University of Basel Children’s Hospital, Switzerland) has developed a novel prescription tool and App for pediatric ARVs named SPARC (Simplified Prescription of AntiRetrovirals in Children). In June 2015, SPARC, previously validated by the clinical providers, was successfully presented at the 15th Congress of the European Society for Developmental, Perinatal and Paediatric Pharmacology in Belgrade, Serbia.

The SPARC team is currently working on developing a global version of the pediatric HIV dosing App to optimize initiation and continuation of ART for infants in children in resource-limited settings most heavily affected by HIV epidemic. The project objective is to develop, validate and evaluate a novel user friendly electronic pediatric ART dosing tool that can be used on the base of with and without internet access. The project utilizes current SPARC version as a platform to modify it to correspond to the needs and reality of the providers in resource-limited settings. The expanded Global version of the App will also create a framework for adding additional anti-infective agents, such as antimicrobials, for further development. Pharmacometric PK modeling will further be incorporated to enhance the App to leverage viral resistance profile and clinical patient data to individualize dosing strategies, reduce prescription errors and optimize ART outcome in HIV-infected infants and children.

SPARC Project Team

  • Sachin Sanduja –Project Director
  • John N.Y. Van Den Anker – Lead Content Developer
  • Professor Marc Pfister –Senior Scientific Lead
  • Paul Jewell – Senior App Developer

SPARC Advisory Board

  • Professor Natella Rakhmanina, MD, PhD, The George Washington University, Director Special Immunology Program, Children’s National Health System and Director, Technical Leadership, Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation Washington, DC.
  • Assistant Professor Kathleen Ferrer, MD, The George Washington University, Special Immunology Program, Children’s National Health System, Washington, DC.
  • Doctor Apollinaire Tiam, MBCHB, DIPHIVMAN, MMED, Country Director, Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, Lesotho.
  • Doctor Judith Kose-Otieno, MD, Regional Senior Technical Officer, Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, Kenya.

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