The University of Edinburgh is developing a new drug to help women who have suffered repeated miscarriages maintain their pregnancy.
The researchers at The Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh – supported by the University of Edinburgh –are seeking women who have experienced three or more unexplained miscarriages to take part in the study.
The new medication – called NT100 – mimics a naturally occurring protein called G-CSF. It is thought to work by promoting the growth of embryonic tissue and the early placenta.
Women taking part in the trial will be asked to inject themselves every day for two months following a positive pregnancy test result.
Half of the women will be given the active drug and half will be given a placebo, but neither the patients nor the doctors will know who has received which treatment allocation until after the study.
The participants will receive extra scans and blood tests throughout their pregnancy to monitor the progress of the drug.
The UK-wide trial involves 21 hospitals with The Royal Infirmary the only one in Scotland involved in the study.
Sister Lisa Starrs, Manager for the Pregnancy Support Centre at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, said: “Women who experience recurrent miscarriages with no explanation can understandably feel desperate, yet there is no treatment we can currently offer to increase their chances of success next time.
“This trial aims to ease that heartache by testing a drug that could help in the very early weeks of pregnancy.”
Andrew Horne, Professor of Gynaecology and Reproductive Sciences at the University of Edinburgh, who is leading the study in Scotland, said: “We know that this drug is safe for use in pregnancy, and has shown encouraging effects in IVF patients.
“Our hope is that it can have a similarly positive impact on women who have lost numerous pregnancies by promoting the growth of the baby and placenta in those first precious months of the pregnancy.”
Researchers are aiming to recruit women in Edinburgh for the study. To fulfil the trial criteria, they must have an EH postcode and have had three or more miscarriages.
“They must also be aged 18 – 37, have a BMI of 19 – 35 and be intending to try for a pregnancy in the very near future.
Women keen to take part should contact Lisa Starrs at the Royal Infirmary in Edinburgh on 0131 242 7904 or go towww.responseresearchstudy.co.uk.