Development of therapies for pregnancy complications

There are currently no drugs available to treat or prevent serious pregnancy complications such as pre-eclampsia and fetal growth restriction.

There are a number of reasons for this, including:

  • the lack of information about how drugs work in pregnant women;
  • studies on drug transfer across the placental barrier that might harm the growing baby;
  • lack of investment from pharmaceutical companies in this important area;
  • exclusion of pregnant women from clinical trials.

Our Centre is urgently trying to address this issue, using a range of approaches to learn more about drug effects in pregnancy and create safer, more effective medicines.

Our current projects include the following.

Novel treatments

Identification and assessment of novel treatments for complications of pregnancy, including fetal growth restriction and pre-eclampsia.

These are mainly focused upon improving placental function.

Blood pressure treatments

Clinical trials of new and established blood pressure treatments for women with high blood pressure in pregnancy (including pre-eclampsia) and assessment of their effects on placental function.

Cardiovascular health

Clinical trials of medication to improve cardiovascular health in women after a pregnancy complicated by hypertension

Drug delivery and targeting

Optimising the delivery of therapeutics by specifically targeting the placenta, reducing the risk of potential side effects.