Penta began as a network focused on the treatment of paediatric HIV, and as such has a long history of activities in this area. In addition to observational studies and more than 15 clinical trials among HIV positive children and pregnant women, Penta has regularly published guidelines for the treatment of paediatric HIV and conducted training programs for healthcare professionals who care for women and children living with HIV.

While contributing to the search for a vaccine or cure, these activities are primarily focused on improving every day of life for children and women infected with HIV, and preventing the spread of the virus from mother to child.


In an era when increasing levels of antibiotic resistance threaten the ability to prevent and treat severe infections, which can be life threatening for children and especially newborns, research on how to efficiently and conservatively use antimicrobials in various populations is urgently needed.

Penta has been involved in several European and global initiatives aimed at better characterizing the use of antimicrobials among children and neonates, as well as the scale of resistance in this population and investigating optimal treatment regimens for common neonatal infections.


The World Health Organization has identified children and pregnant women as potentially vulnerable populations for SARS-CoV-2. However, to date, they have remained a low priority for research on COVID-19, as well as treatment and vaccination, for example with paediatric and pregnancy vaccine trials slow to start and report.

Since 2020, Penta has been working with partners to advance treatment and care of COVID-19 and building research preparedness for future emerging infections with the potential to impact maternal and child health.

Other viruses

Penta is involved in research into viruses other than HIV that impact pregnant women and children.

In the case of Zika virus and cytalomegalovirus, we leverage our expertise in study and prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV to investigate the mechanisms and consequences of vertical transmission of these other viruses. We apply our experience with development and marketing of paediatric medicines to both vaccines and treatments for respiratory syncytial virus among children and neonates.

Our aim is to continue to identify other areas where the skills and experience of our network can be effectively applied to improve the health of children and women.

Network building

While most of Penta’s activities involve paediatric medicines, the projects under this heading are those that focus specifically on building capacity for the development and marketing of paediatric formulations or medicines or address identified gaps or urgent needs in the development of drugs for children.

Our objective is to facilitate the generation of information needed to ensure that the right drugs at the right doses are available for use by children and newborns.

Training & Education

To accomplish its mission to improve the day-to-day lives of women and children, Penta has adopted two directions:

  • Training of researchers and clinicians on the prevention and management of paediatric infectious diseases;
  • Education of younger people on the prevention of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases

Penta is dedicated to bringing the experience and expertise of our network not only to healthcare professionals and scientists around the world but also to students in schools, using innovative e-learning strategies together with face-to-face teaching. By training the next generation of professionals at the front line of paediatric infectious diseases and educating young people about HIV and sexual health, Penta continues its mission to prevent, diagnose and treat childhood infections.

Youth engagement & participation

Having young people involved in Penta’s work is extremely important and impactful. We do this in a meaningful and ethical way through our youth engagement projects.

Read More