On 24 November 2016, Action on Pre-eclampsia (APEC) held an expert meeting in London, which A1M Pharma scientists attended. There aren’t many charities for pre-eclampsia so it was an important event for A1M Pharma to attend to meet health professionals and scientists working in the area and patients affected by the condition.
APEC is a UK-based charity which arranges many different activities to support families affected by pre-eclampsia and offers training and continued education for doctors and nurses. In doing this, the charity aims to raise public and professional awareness of pre-eclampsia, as well as improving care and easing or preventing the physical and emotional suffering caused by the condition.
During the meeting, a large number of planned, ongoing and recently completed clinical trials were presented. Several studies in UK are focused on improving the standard of care, including the IPPIC (International prediction of pre-eclampsia individual patient data collaborative network), PHOENIX (Pre-eclampsia in hospital: early induction or expectant management) and SNAP-HT (Self-management of postnatal anti-hypertensive treatment) trials.
In the IPPIC trial, researchers are completing a meta-analysis of data from 400 thousand women to find the most accurate predictive tests for early pre-eclampsia so that the condition can be better treated. Conversely, for those cases where pre-eclampsia is not detected early, the PHOENIX trial is investigating whether delivering the baby early reduces complications for the mother without affecting the baby, while the SNAP-HT trial is an early study to see whether it is appropriate and successful for women to manage their own blood pressure medicine after their baby has been born.
During the day a variety of different approaches to tackle pre-eclampsia were presented. However, collaboration is needed and particularly in early onset pre-eclampsia which is rarer, meaning it is hard to recruit enough patients for a study.
“Hearing about the work of other scientists in pre-eclampsia reminded me of the challenge we are facing. Pre-eclampsia is a heterogeneous condition presenting with different symptoms. The aetiology is not fully understood which means there is a range of different types of research – all of which have an important role to play in tackling the condition.” said Professor Stefan Hansson, A1M Pharma’s co-founder and chief clinician who presented during the meeting.
A1M’s work at the meeting
In addition to the presentation of clinical trials, researchers from A1M Pharma, who sponsored the event, were invited to present the company. Here Dr Rolf Gunnarsson, A1M Pharma’s senior director of medical affairs, introduced A1M’s work, aims and our candidate drug RMC-035 – a recombinant version of the endogenous protein alpha-1-microglobulin (A1M) – which is in preclinical development.
Professor Stefan Hansson presented the theory and pre-clinical research behind our work – that extra fetal haemoglobin is produced in the placenta and causes damage to blood vessels which eventually leads to the manifestations seen in pre-eclampsia. He also presented positive results of our drug in different pre-eclampsia animal models.
“It was great to see experts and patients come together at the APEC expert meeting to share the latest updates in pre-eclampsia. Presenting our work alongside some of the best, cutting edge research in the field was important for us and we’re delighted that it provoked a positive discussion within such an esteemed group of scientists, medics and patients,” said Dr Rolf Gunnarsson. “We hope that one day in the future we will be presenting our own successful clinical trial results at such a meeting.”