Juvenile animal studies for the development of paediatric medicines: a description and conclusions from a European medicines agency workshop on juvenile animal testing for nonclinical assessors


  • The views presented in this editorial are those of the authors and should not be understood or quoted as being made on behalf of the European Medicines Agency and/or its scientific Committees.

  • Beatriz Silva-Lima and Mette Due Theilade Thomsen wrote the first draft. All authors contributed data and to the writing of the article.


A workshop organised by the European Medicines Agency involved assessors and experts present in a Nonclinical Working Group evaluating juvenile animal studies for Paediatric Investigation Plans in collaboration with the Paediatric Committee and the Safety Working Party of the Committee for Human Medicinal Products. The objective of the workshop was to analyse which juvenile animal studies proposals were received and agreed by the Paediatric Committee, to check consistency and how to apply the existing European guideline on juvenile animal studies. A comparison of main organ system development in man vs. animal species was presented to guide the review and to support species selection and protocol design. An analysis of juvenile animal studies included in finalised PIP's was also presented. Out of 109 paediatric investigation plans finalised between November 2008 and March 2009, 43 included one or more juvenile animal studies. In most cases the preferred species was the rat; one species only was requested to be studied (20/22), but in a minority two species were required (2/22). When deciding on the characteristics of the juvenile animal studies, such as age of animals at study start, the age of the children targeted by the medicine was considered. It is expected that the increasing experience gained by Applicants and Regulators will allow further refining the criteria for these juvenile animal studies. Further research on this topic is highly encouraged in the European Regulatory framework. Birth Defects Res (Part B) 89:467–473, 2010. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.