In The Media

Viagra may help babies’ growth

July 2013

Gravida’s announcement on 11 July that it is leading the world’s first clinical trial treating women diagnosed with severe intra-uterine growth restriction (IUGR) with a closely-monitored course of sildenafil citrate (Viagra) made headlines in and around the world.

The clinical trial is the culmination of more than 15 years of research by Gravida Director, Prof Phil Baker, and will operate beside a network of continuing studies by other Gravida researchers looking at the ongoing effects of the intervention with offspring and other applications such as assisting with troubled twin and triplet sheep pregnancies. The potential of the treatment is considered significant on a world-wide scale because there is currently no clinical treatment available for IUGR other than early delivery.

Gravida partnered with the Science Media Centre of NZ to deliver a national briefing via online/tele-briefing technology.

An item on the 6pm news on One News (11 July) that evening explained the magnitude of the issue for families struggling to deal with an IUGR diagnosis by interviewing trial lead researcher Dr Katie Groom and a brave family whose daughter was born incredibly small and premature. Watch the family’s story here and hear how they wished a treatment option had been available to them at the time.

Professor Baker was also interviewed on 3 News, explaining the history of discoveries that led to the trial being approved. Watch it here.

The NZ Herald also covered the announcement and interviewed another family about their experience here.

If you would like to learn more details of the science behind the trial you can also watch our 40 minute presentation (slides and audio) here at the Science Media Centre.

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