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Discovery & Development Drug Discovery

Preventing Preterm Problems

This article was published in our sister publication, The Small Molecule Manufacturer, which celebrates the field of small molecule drug development and manufacturing with interviews and articles focusing on success stories, equipment, and new processing techniques. Read more about The Small Molecule Manufacturer here https://themedicinemaker.com/manufacture/small-but-never-forgotten


Researchers testing candidate drugs on small pieces of donated uterine tissue.

Birth before 37 weeks of gestation accounts for 15 million deaths each year, but tocolytics – the drugs used to suppress labor – have limited use. “Currently there are no FDA-approved drugs that reliably halt spontaneous preterm labor (sPTL) – none of the most commonly used tocolytics can delay preterm birth beyond 48-hours,” says Scott Barnett, a researcher at the University of Nevada’s Reno School of Medicine. “This short reprieve, at best provides, a limited window to administer corticosteroids to help develop the infant’s lungs prior to birth.”

And so, with the aim of providing pregnant women with a more effective range of safe medicines, the Iain L.O. Buxton research group, of which Barnett is a senior postdoctoral fellow, has characterized a molecular pathway that contributes to the phenomenon of sPTL, and identified four drugs with the potential to prevent it (1).

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About the Author

Maryam Mahdi

Associate Editor

After finishing my degree, I envisioned a career in science communications. However, life took an unexpected turn and I ended up teaching abroad. Though the experience was amazing and I learned a great deal from it, I jumped at the opportunity to work for Texere. I'm excited to see where this new journey takes me!

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