New research at Saint Mary’s recruits first patient in Europe for respiratory distress syndrome trial

Congratulations to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) research team at Saint Mary’s Hospital who have recruited the first patient in Europe to Curoneb phase II research trial involving preterm babies who are spontaneously breathing but with mild to moderate respiratory distress syndrome (RDS).

Phase II of the Curoneb study opened to recruitment in March 2019 and is investigating the safety, tolerability and efficacy of inhaled nebulised Curosurf® in comparison with nCPAP alone in treating premature babies with RDS.

RDS is a common lung disorder affecting all infants born before 28 weeks of pregnancy and around half of babies born between 28 and 32 weeks of pregnancy, although in recent years the number of premature babies born with RDS has been reduced with the use of steroid injections given to mothers during premature labour.

Treating premature babies born with RDS requires around-the-clock treatment of surfactant replacement therapy, breathing support and oxygen therapy. Most babies will show signs of breathing problems and a lack of oxygen at birth because their lungs aren’t fully developed and don’t make enough surfactant – a liquid that coats the inside of the lungs. Without enough surfactant, their lungs can’t provide enough oxygen to support organs, causing breathing difficulties and in serious cases, damage to the baby’s brain and other organs can arise.

The Curoneb study is being led locally at Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust by Principal Investigator Ranganath Ranganna, Consultant Neonatologist at Saint Mary’s Hospital.

Dr Ranganna said;

I would like to extend a special thank you to our dedicated team of Neonatal Research Nurses who stayed behind after a clinical shift and to the Research Sister who came into work having just flown back from a holiday to ensure that the first baby in Europe had the opportunity to take part in this important research. I would also like to thank the families who consent their children to take part in such important studies, making a difference to the outcome of future babies.

The study is sponsored and funded by Chiesi Farmaceutici S.p.A. and supported by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Clinical Research Network: Greater Manchester.  Saint Mary’s Hospital was selected as one of three UK sites to participate in Part 1 of the study  and was one of two sites to successfully recruit.

The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) research team

The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) research team