Borne and Action Medical Research invest over £1 million to help tackle premature birth

Each year, around 60,000 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.

Children’s charity Action Medical Research and premature birth research charity Borne are pleased to announce their continued working together and investment of over £1 million through joint funding of a further two research projects, as well as future funding of projects to help identify the causes behind prematurity and find ways to prevent it.

The two charities joined forces back in 2017 when they pledged to work together to help babies born too soon and attract more funding to this vital area of research.

Borne and Action Medical Research are now jointly funding four projects at a total of £591,589 to help 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.

The four projects are:

Led by Professor Michael J Taggart at the Institute of Genetic Medicine, Newcastle University.

Led by Dr Melanie Griffin at the Academic Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust.

Led by Dr Rachel M Tribe at the Department of Women and Children’s Health, St Thomas’ Hospital, King’s College London.

Led by Professor Donald M Peebles at the Department of Maternal and Fetal Medicine, Institute for Women’s Health, University College London.

In addition to these four projects, Action Medical Research and Borne are also teaming up to fund more project grants in 2020 from across the UK, with up to £500,000 available for translational research into the causes of preterm birth in order to develop diagnostic, treatment and prevention strategies to reduce the rates of prematurity.

Applications will be considered through the Action Medical Research peer review system with the closing date for outline applications will be the 20 November 2019.

Applications for co-funded projects will need to meet the remit and guidelines on the Action Medical Research website.