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Professor Claudia Nold, 2023 Vanguard Grant

Stopping inflammation to prevent early life heart disease

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Stopping inflammation to prevent early life heart disease

Professor Claudia Nold, Monash University

2023 Vanguard Grant - Two Year

Years funded: 2024 - 2025

Every year, preterm birth exposes 15 million infants worldwide (WHO), and ~26,000 infants in Australia, to serious early life diseases of heart and lung such as bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), pulmonary hypertension associated with BPD (BPD-PH) and patent ductus arteriosus (PDA). Short- and long-term health issues arising from these diseases pose a serious socioeconomic burden. Importantly, the lack of safe and reliable therapies makes neonatal cardiovascular diseases an area of urgent unmet medical need. Inflammation, and specifically the potent inflammatory mediator IL-1, is now recognised as a key culprit promoting early life illness. IL-1Ra, the natural protein that blocks IL-1, has been safely used to treat many diseases for decades. Our clinical trial investigates whether IL-1Ra can protect preterm babies from BPD, BPD-PH and PDA. It is the first to offer preterm infants an anti-inflammatory treatment specifically tailored to address the disease-causing mediator, thereby offering these young patients a brighter outlook on life.

Last updated12 March 2024