International Consortium Awarded €6M to Validate Pre-Eclampsia

Cork, Ireland and Ghent, Belgium – 5 November 2012 – The European Union has award­ed 6 mil­lion euro of research fund­ing under the FP7-health frame­work to a con­sor­tium which is work­ing to bring a pre­dic­tive test for pre-eclamp­sia to mar­ket. The con­sor­tium is coor­di­nat­ed by Prof Louise Kenny at University College Cork, Ireland and dri­ven by two com­pa­nies, Pronota NV of Belgium and Metabolomic Diagnostics Ltd. of Ireland, both at the fore­front in the dis­cov­ery and devel­op­ment of nov­el blood-borne bio­mark­ers for dis­ease pre­dic­tion.
The IMPROvED (IMproved PRegnancy Outcomes by Early Detection) project will estab­lish a mul­ti­cen­tre clin­i­cal study to assess and refine two inno­v­a­tive pro­to­type screen­ing tests for this com­mon late preg­nan­cy com­pli­ca­tion. These tests are based on pro­teom­ic and metabolom­ic pro­files devel­oped by the two com­pa­nies.
Prof Louise Kenny, co-ordi­nat­ing prin­ci­pal inves­ti­ga­tor of IMPROvED com­ment­ed: “Pre-eclamp­sia is a very seri­ous con­di­tion. It affects almost one in 20 first time moth­ers and glob­al­ly caus­es approx­i­mate­ly 70,000 mater­nal deaths each year. We were there­fore extreme­ly pleased to see that researchers from dif­fer­ent fields, cen­tres and coun­tries were enthu­si­as­tic about the IMPROvED project. Our ulti­mate goal is to devel­op a robust pre­dic­tive test for pre-eclamp­sia and to improve the out­come of preg­nan­cy for both moth­ers and their babies.”
Katleen Verleysen, CEO of Pronota says: “A pre­dic­tive test for preeclamp­sia, and in par­tic­u­lar, for preterm preeclamp­sia will sig­nif­i­cant­ly improve mater­nal and fetal health. We are excit­ed to be part of the con­sor­tium. The IMPROvED clin­i­cal tri­al will allow Pronota to progress its pro­teomics based risk strat­i­fi­ca­tion test.”
Charles Garvey, CEO of Metabolomics Diagnostics added “Metabolomic Diagnostics, is delight­ed to be involved in this inno­v­a­tive con­sor­tium: “We believe that an ear­ly preg­nan­cy-screen­ing test can make a major con­tri­bu­tion to mater­nal safe­ty and this project, once com­plet­ed, will help accel­er­ate its adop­tion.” The four-year IMPROvED project will estab­lish a high qual­i­ty preg­nan­cy biobank with blood sam­ples col­lect­ed from 5,000 first-time preg­nant women recruit­ed from at least five coun­tries includ­ing Ireland, the United Kingdom, Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands. All recruit­ment cen­tres involved (University College Cork, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Klinikum der Universitaet zu Koeln, The University of Liverpool, Karolinska Institute, University of Keele) are major obstet­ric cen­tres with a proven track record in the research and man­age­ment of pre-eclamp­sia. The sci­en­tif­ic val­ue of the biobank will be enhanced by the col­lec­tion and stor­age of com­pre­hen­sive clin­i­cal data along with the sam­ples (Medscinet AB, 2 of 3 Sweden). Dedicated and inde­pen­dent teams of sta­tis­ti­cians (Region Hovedstaden, Denmark) and eco­nom­ics (University of Groningen) will ascer­tain clin­i­cal and health eco­nom­i­cal valid­i­ty of the devel­oped pro­teomics and metabolomics tests.
Prof Phil Baker (Keele University), co-prin­ci­pal inves­ti­ga­tor, added: “An effec­tive screen­ing test will allow ante­na­tal care to be tai­lored to an indi­vid­ual woman’s risk, such that at risk women receive the best pos­si­ble care – so dimin­ish­ing the bur­den of this poten­tial­ly dev­as­tat­ing dis­ease. The approval of IMPROvED is a strong endorse­ment of European researchers and recog­nis­ing the impor­tance of enhanc­ing mater­nal and fetal health.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *