Children’s charity Action Medical Research and premature birth research charity Borne are proud to announce their continued work together with recent funding of £697,120 awarded for three new research projects to help tackle premature birth.
Each year, around 55,000 babies in the UK are born preterm and sadly more than 1,000 babies die as a result1-5. Children who survive can experience lifelong disabilities such as cerebral palsy, learning difficulties, blindness and hearing loss. Despite being the single biggest cause of neonatal death in the UK6, premature birth remains an underfunded and overlooked area of research.
The two charities joined forces back in 2016 when they pledged to work together to help babies born too soon and attract more funding to this vital area of research. Since then, together they have invested £1,421,068 into eight research projects to further our understanding of why babies are born prematurely, diagnose women for their risk of preterm labour early in their pregnancy, and develop new treatments to help reduce the numbers of babies being born too soon.
Current jointly funded projects underway to help tackle premature birth are:
- Developing immunotherapy to prevent spontaneous preterm birth
- Led by Professor Rachel M Tribe at King’s College London.
- Reducing the risk of preterm birth
- Led by Professor Michael J Taggart at Newcastle University.
- Understanding how labour starts to uncover new ways to prevent spontaneous preterm birth
- Led by Dr Victoria Male of Imperial College London.
- Investigating whether a different surgical procedure can help reduce the risk of preterm birth after previous emergency caesarean section
- Led by Professor Andrew Shennan at St Thomas' Hospital, King's College London.
- Developing a new antimicrobial therapy that can help prevent preterm labour in women at high risk
- Led by Dr Ashley Boyle, Professor Simon Waddington, Professor Donald Peebles of University College London.
- Office for National Statistics, Vital statistics in the UK: births, deaths and marriages - 2020 https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/populationandmigration/populationestimates/datasets/vitalstatisticspopulationandhealthreferencetables [website accessed 16 February 2023]
- Birth characteristics in England and Wales: 2020 https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/livebirths/bulletins/birthcharacteristicsinenglandandwales/2020
- Office for National Statistics. Childhood mortality in England and Wales 2020. Table 17. http://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/datasets/childmortalitystatisticschildhoodinfantandperinatalchildhoodinfantandperinatalmortalityinenglandandwales [website accessed 16 February 2023]
- National Records for Scotland. Section 4: Stillbirths and Infant deaths: https://www.nrscotland.gov.uk/statistics-and-data/statistics/statistics-by-theme/vital-events/general-publications/births-deaths-and-other-vital-events-quarterly-figures/3rd-quarter-2022 [website accessed 16 February 2023]
- Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency. Registrar General Annual Report 2015 – Stillbirths and Infant Deaths: https://www.nisra.gov.uk/publications/registrar-general-annual-report-2015-tables-and-full-report [website accessed 16 February 2023]
- Preterm labour and birth, November 2015 (updated June 2022), National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). Context | Preterm labour and birth | Guidance | NICE [website accessed 12 May 2023].
Notes to Editors
For more information on Action Medical Research:
Action Medical Research is the leading UK-wide charity dedicated to saving and changing children’s lives through medical research. For over 70 years we’ve helped pioneer ways to prevent disease and develop treatments benefiting millions of people. Our research has helped to beat polio in the UK, develop ultrasound in pregnancy, fight meningitis and prevent stillbirths. But we urgently need to develop more new treatments and cures for sick babies and children and we can’t do it without you. Join our fight for little lives today.
Charity reg. nos 208701 and SC039284.
For more information on Borne:
Follow Borne on Twitter at @BorneCharity
Like Borne’s Facebook page at @BorneCharity
Follow Borne on Instagram at @BorneCharity
Follow Borne on LinkedIn at Borne
Borne is a medical research charity working to identify the causes of premature birth. We bring scientists and doctors together to advance our understanding of pregnancy, and to find effective ways to screen women at risk of preterm birth and develop new treatments to prevent it. We believe every child should have the chance of a full and healthy life, unaffected by disability. A baby’s first hours should not be its hardest, or its last. Help us find answers to premature birth.
Registered charity no. 1167073