Context and reality
Improving maternal health has been a global priority since the establishment of the Safe Motherhood movement in 1987.
Globally, the focus has been on increasing skilled birth attendance, institutional births, and improving quality of care including the provision of essential, quality-assured medicines. Through these efforts maternal mortality ratio has decreased significantly since 2000.
Despite these positive developments, almost 300,000 women still die every year from pregnancy-related conditions and complications.
The majority of these deaths occur in low-and middle-income countries, especially in vulnerable groups within these countries.
We envision a world where medicines and technologies are developed and made accessible to pregnant women for the prevention and treatment of pregnancy-specific conditions.
Our mission is to define and implement the pathways for accelerating development and introduction of innovative products for pregnancy-specific conditions through global partnerships.
Where are we now?
Concept Foundation, Policy Cures Research and Burnet Institute have conducted three distinct activities to:
- understand the current landscape and challenges for pregnancy-specific medicine development
- conduct a comprehensive pipeline analysis
- develop target product profiles for the most urgent priority needs
Across stakeholders there is widespread support for an accelerated action plan for the development of new medicines especially for pre-eclampsia/eclampsia, impaired fetal growth, and preterm labor and birth. Although there is some demand for the inclusion of ‘device development’, most stakeholders agreed that new or repurposed ‘medicines’ are the priority.
Our recent report on the current state of the field of maternal health medicines development, including the most recent progress and key market drivers, can be found on the Resources page.
We aim to create a partnership that links the development of new solutions with access for those with greatest need. A rigorously designed and executed research project for promising medicines is essential and researchers will focus on those projects. However, we also need to plan and strategize all the steps from research to normative guidance, manufacturing, quality assurance, distribution, pricing, purchasing, distribution, training, and monitoring of implementation. Additionally, we need to advocate for this neglected area from the beginning and must address the challenges that have made investing in this area difficult, such as a range of market access challenges.
What will success look like?
Our pipeline analysis suggests that there is significant research available in this area. However, efforts are inconsistent and lack end-to-end thinking, planning, and execution.
AIM cannot be delivered by one donor or partner. As has been the case with product development partnerships in infectious diseases, a multisectoral partnership will be essential. Therefore, the main indicator of success will be the initiation of research within this collaborative framework. The support structures, governance, liability de-risking and the research implementation will be built around a promising and exciting pipeline that have been put through scientific due diligence.