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IMI impact on paediatric medicine - event

For a long time, paediatric medicine development has largely been neglected. Although progress has been made in recent years, there are still many challenges and unmet medical needs. This event showcases how Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) projects are delivering results and making a difference in this important area.

Close up of a newborn baby's feet. Image by aviahuisman via Shutterstock.

About this event

For a long time, paediatric medicine development has largely been neglected, meaning that drugs used in children have not been appropriately tested in paediatric populations. However, European legislation introduced more than 10 years ago, as well as equivalent legislation in the United States, have stimulated research efforts in this area. By 2016, 101 paediatric medicines and 99 new paediatric indications had been authorised by regulators, and there has been an increase of almost 50% in the number of clinical trials that include child participants. Yet despite these developments, there are still many challenges and unmet medical needs to address, including childhood cancer; a fraction of the number of anti-cancer medicines for kids are authorised compared to those for adults, for example.

Medical innovation has often been slow to trickle down to children and adolescents, and IMI's paediatric research portfolio hopes to change that: we're setting up a sustainable infrastructure for delivering paediatric clinical trials, transforming the way clinical trials are conducted particularly for paediatric rare diseases, building a platform to identify promising molecules to fight paediatric cancer, studying genetic newborn screening for rare diseases, and tackling infectious diseases that plague children, all while placing kids and their families at the centre of research.

This event provided an opportunity to present that the results already generated by these still ongoing projects.

The target audience for this event included IMI project members, industry representatives, European Commission representatives, regulators, journalists, members of parliament, parents/children and members of the IMI patient pool, NGOs, funding organisations (also outside Europe), among others.

Agenda and presentations


Welcome and introduction

Nathalie Seigneuret, Senior Scientific Project Manager, IMI


The challenge, the vision and the value

Solange Corriol-Rohou, Senior Director Regulatory Affairs, AstraZeneca - Presentation


How IMI projects contribute to advance the paediatric research and development

  • Stefan Pfister, Director Preclinical Program, Hopp Children’s Cancer Center Heidelberg (KiTZ) – ITCC-P4 project- Presentation
  • Heidrun Hildebrand, Paediatric Development Alliance Manager, BAYER – c4c project- Presentation
  • Rianne Oostenbrink, General paediatrician, ErasmusMC - Sophia - EU-Pearl project- Presentation


Q&A Time


Closing remarks 

by Claas Röhl, Member of the IMI Scientific Committee and President of NF Kinder  
and Nathalie Seigneuret, Senior Scientific Project Manager, IMI

                                                   You can watch the recording of the presentation below: