Dr Daniel Brasseur, acting chair of the European Medicines Agency’s (EMEA) Paediatric Committee (PDCO), has been given the job on a more permanent basis, with a three-year mandate effective from 26 September 2007.

At its fourth meeting on 26-28 September, the PDCO elected Dr Brasseur as its first official chair and Professor Gérard Pons as vice-chair. The former chair of the EMEA’s Paediatric Working Party, Dr Brasseur is a Belgian physician who specialises in paediatric medicine. He is currently co-ordinator of medical assessors at the Belgian Federal Agency for Medicines and Medicinal Products, as well as head of the Infantile Unit at the University Children’s Hospital in Brussels.

Dr Brasseur served two terms (2001-2004 and 2004-2007) as chair of the EMEA’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP).

Professor Pons is French and heads up the Department of Clinical Pharmacology at Cochin St Vincent de Paul Hospital in Paris. He also co-ordinates the French network for the investigation of medicinal products in children (RIPPS) and is president of the Paediatric Working Party at the French medicines agency, Afssaps.

'Important role' for PDCO

Stressing the committee’s public health mandate, Dr Daniel Brasseur said the PDCO would play “an important role in fostering the very pragmatic implementation of novel ‘paediatric thinking’ on medicines across Europe”. The committee’s priorities, he added, were the scientific assessment of paediatric investigation plans (PIPs), building a network of paediatric experts, establishing good relations with academic centres and learned societies, pragmatic guidance for researchers and industry, and identifying acute needs in the treatment of children.

The Paediatric Committee was established under the EU’s new paediatric regulation that came into force last January. It held its inaugural meeting in July 2007.

At the meeting on 26-28 September, the PDCO noted that so far it had received applications corresponding to 105 requests for PIPs or waivers from paediatric studies. The therapeutic areas covered were oncology, ophthalmology, infectious diseases, endocrinology, immunology, neurology, cardiovascular diseases and pneumology.