The EU has awarded EUR 6 million of research funding under the FP7-health framework to a consortium that is working to bring a predictive test for pre-eclampsia to market. The consortium is co-ordinated by Professor Louise Kenny at University College Cork, Ireland and driven by two companies, Pronota of Belgium and Metabolomic Diagnostics of Ireland.
The IMPROvED (IMproved PRegnancy Outcomes via Early Detection) project will establish a multicentre clinical study to assess and refine two prototype screening tests for pre-eclampsia. These tests are based on proteomic and metabolomic profiles developed by the two companies.
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 UK, Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands. All recruitment centres involved (University College Cork; Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands; Klinikum der Universitat zu Koln, Germany; the University of Liverpool and Keele University, UK; and Karolinska Institute, Sweden) 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, Sweden). Dedicated and independent teams of statisticians (Region Hovedstaden, Denmark) and economics (University of Groningen, the Netherlands) will ascertain clinical and health economical validity of the developed proteomics and metabolomics tests.