Press Release to Announce Project Launch

IMPROvED outlook for pre-eclampsia due to €6M EU award.

A consortium led by University College Cork (UCC) has secured €6 million euro in FP7-health framework research funding to combat pre-eclampsia, a life-threatening pregnancy complication.

The condition, whereby high blood pressure arises in the second half of pregnancy, accounts for as much as 24% of maternal deaths in Europe each year and over 500,000 infant deaths annually across the globe. This award by the European Union will bring the likelihood of a readily-available predictive test for pre-eclampsia closer to fruition, a development that would revolutionise prenatal care. The IMPROvED (IMproved PRegnancy Outcomes by Early Detection) project is coordinated by Professor Louise Kenny of UCC, who is also a principle investigator, and driven by two companies, Metabolomic Diagnostics Ltd of Ireland, and Pronota NV of Belgium. Both companies are industry leaders in the discovery and development of novel blood-borne biomarkers for disease prediction.

The four-year IMPROvED project will establish a multicentre clinical study to assess and refine two innovative prototype screening tests for this common late pregnancy complication. One of the two tests was developed at UCC and funded by the Health Research Board and Science Foundation Ireland. (…)