"Project ASPRE is a commercially led development project that aims to boost translation of the results of PREGENESYS (FP6 EU #37244) into effective applications for prenatal care. PREGENESYS has identified several biomarkers for early (11-13 weeks’ gestation) and effective identification of pregnancies at high risk of developing pre-eclampsia (PE). This disorder affects 2-8% of pregnant women and is a major cause of short- and long-term maternal and perinatal morbidity and mortality. Studies under PREGENESYS using in-vitro research methods suggested that aspirin is the most promising agent for preventing PE. Evidence from small clinical studies has indicated that prophylactic use of low-dose aspirin starting before 16 weeks’ gestation can potentially halve the PE prevalence and its associated complications. Objectives: Widespread clinical implementation of a strategy of screening and prevention of PE: (1) Reduce the prevalence of PE requiring delivery before 37 weeks (preterm PE) by at least 50%, (2) Demonstrate through a large multicentre screening and prevention study the acceptability, uptake and efficacy of first trimester multi-parameter screening of preterm PE and its preventative treatment with aspirin, (3) Develop affordable, automated and reliable methods for high throughput measurement of biomarkers and commercial platforms for PE risk assessment software, (4) Develop management protocols for high risk and low risk pregnancies for PE, (5) Improve education and training of healthcare professionals involved in pregnancy care, (6) Conduct the dissemination and training required to drive clinical acceptance and adoption of multi-parameter PE screening and aspirin treatment. Expected results and impact: Generating a market demand for SME-based newly developed products for PE screening and prevention, including machines, kits and software, thereby transforming research success into economic growth for SMEs and upholding European leadership in perinatal care."
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