Predictive Pediatric Modeling and Simulation Using Ontogeny Information

J Clin Pharmacol. 2019 Sep;59 Suppl 1:S95-S103. doi: 10.1002/jcph.1497.


Food and Drug Administration submissions of physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) modeling and simulation of small-molecule drugs document the relevance of pediatric drug development and, in particular, information on dosing strategies in children. The most relevant prerequisite for reliable PBPK-based translation of adult pharmacokinetics of a small molecule to children is knowledge of the drug-specific absorption, distribution, metabolism, and elimination (ADME) processes in adults together with existing information about ontogeny of ADME processes relevant for the drug. All mechanisms driving a drug's clearance are of specific importance. For other drug modalities, our knowledge of ADME processes and ontogeny is still limited. More research is required, for example, to understand why some therapeutic proteins show complex differences in pharmacokinetics between adults and children, whereas other proteins seem to follow simple allometric scaling rules. Ontogeny information originates from various sources, such as (semi)quantitative mRNA expression, in vitro activity data, and deconvolution of in vivo pharmacokinetic data. The workflow for pediatric predictions is well described in several articles documenting successful translation from adults to children. The technical hurdles for PBPK modeling are low. State-of-the-art PBPK modeling software tools provide integrated pediatric translation workflows. For example, PK-Sim and MoBi are freely available as fully transparent open-source software via Open Systems Pharmacology (OSP). With the latest 2019 software release, version 8.0, OSP even provides a fully integrated technical framework for the qualification (and requalification) of any specific intended PBPK use in line with Food and Drug Administration and European Medicines Agency PBPK guidance. Qualification packages for pediatric translation are available on the OSP platform.

Keywords: Modeling and Simulation; Ontogeny; Open Source; Open Systems Pharmacology; PBPK; PK-Sim; Pediatrics; Prediction; Qualification.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Computer Simulation
  • Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Models, Biological*
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations
  • Pharmacokinetics*
  • Software


  • Pharmaceutical Preparations