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  • Writer's pictureAadil Qayium

U.K. policy report sets out a vision to incentivise industry to develop pregnancy-specific medicines

The United Kingdom published its first policy commission report on maternal drug development. The report was launched in the House of Common's on 12 May 2022, entitled: Healthy Mum, Healthy Baby, Healthy Future: The Case for UK Leadership in the Development of Safe, Effective and Accessible Medicines for Use in Pregnancy.

Around the world, every day, over 800 women and nearly 7,000 new-borns die, while around 5,500 babies are stillborn. Many of these deaths are preventable.

Every minute a woman or a baby dies from preeclampsia. There are no accurate diagnostics to predict preeclampsia or no approved pharmacological agents available to treat or prevent preeclampsia. Babies and mothers continue to suffer and even die during the pregnancy process. There is a lack of approved medicine available to treat or prevent diseases such as preeclampsia and fetal growth restriction. The unmet medical need is obvious.

The commission has sought evidence and insights on barriers to pregnancy specific drug developments from leaders in industry, academia, charity, and government over the last year. MirZyme also provided evidence and one of our team members, Dr Allyah Abbas-Hanif was part of the Commission. The report provided eight recommendations to improve the route ahead. In our view, the top three recommendations were 1) incentivise industry to develop pregnancy-specific medicines, 2) deliver effective advocacy for medicines in pregnancy and 3) de-risk insurance processes for clinical trials in pregnancy. These recommendations are welcomed by companies focused on developing pregnancy-specific therapeutics such as MirZyme Therapeutics.

At the dawn of the femtech evolution, the UK is an ideal place to drive innovation in this sector by ensuring these companies and their investors are incentivised. A scheme of no capital gain tax for investors investing in unmet medical need for pregnancy complications should be introduced. The commission also recognised a ‘need to explore and implement economic incentives, such as the extension of a medicine’s licensing patents. Raising awareness and a clear message is vital in driving women’s health innovation forward. Women planning to become pregnant and become mothers must be aware of all the risks and complications they may face. The public should be aware of the detrimental effect that pregnancy complications and the lack of preventative measures have on people and society. Awareness is also key amongst investors to ensure that they are aware of the ‘white space’ opportunities available in the sector and long-term importance of investing in companies focused on women’s health, specifically in pregnancy complications that affect women and families.

MirZyme Therapeutics is focused on solving pregnancy complications such as preeclampsia and fetal growth restriction by developing accurate diagnostics and targeted therapeutics. The consequences of these conditions impact health outcomes across multiple generations and represents a multi-billion-dollar market opportunity in established and emerging markets. MirZyme’s mission is to make preeclampsia history and the vision is to help create a world free from chronic disease by stopping the molecular damage before it starts in utero. This will tackle the Fetal Origin Adult Disease (FOAD) head-on and address many of the concerns raised in the report.

Ends -

For further information contact:

Dr May Rezai, Executive Communication Officer, MirZyme Therapeutic, United Kingdom

Phone: +44 7447046763; Email:

Dr Allyah Abbas-Hanif is Head of Clinical Development at MirZyme and was part of this Commission and the report.

You can download a copy of the report below:

Healthy Mum, Healthy Baby, Healthy Future - Digital Copy FINAL
Download PDF • 6.09MB

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