Prof. Adriana Ceci

Scientific Coordinator of DEEP, based at the University Aldo Moro, Bari, Italy

Research field

Medicines for Children

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Research Profile


Adriana Ceci is an Associate Professor of Paediatrics and a member of the Paediatric Committee of the European Medicines Agency. She is enthusiastic when she talks about the DEEP project: “I’m very satisfied that the development of medicines for children is finally recognised as a fundamental issue at the European level.”


Worldwide, about 60,000 children are born with thalassemia every year. Frequent blood transfusions can ensure adequate oxygen carrying capacity in patients. However, the transfusions result in an accumulation of iron in the body. Deferiprone can remove the excess iron, but the correct dosage for children is uncertain.


DEEP aims to determine the correct doses of deferiprone in children of different ages. Deferiprone is prescribed to patients with thalassemia, a severe inherited form of anaemia. The proper use of deferiprone in children is a challenge because, like most drugs, it has only been tested on adults in clinical trials.


DEEP is a multi-national network of researchers that face the complex task of conducting clinical trials in children. The European collaboration allows us to share our expertise. Our major challenge is the development of protocols in accordance with ethical and methodological standards and international recommendations.

Developing drugs for children: children are not small adults

In the Picture
In the Picture
Image credits

Background image: DEEP

Portrait of the project coordinator: DEEP

Timeline (in chronological order): DEEP