University Health Network — Preterm Birth Research (2019)

University Health Network
Award Date:
To support a proof of principle efficacy trial (randomized, controlled, clinical trial) investigating efficacy of supplementation with the amino acids L-arginine and L-citrulline to reduce preterm birth in Malawi.

The Open Philanthropy Project recommended a grant of $1,134,975 to the University Health Network, a Canadian research center affiliated with the University of Toronto, to support a randomized controlled trial investigating the efficacy of an intervention to reduce preterm birth in Malawi. Preterm birth is a leading cause of global under-five mortality, resulting in over 1 million deaths each year.

Pregnant women living in sub-Saharan Africa and southeast Asia face high rates of preterm birth as a result of multiple risk factors, including protein-deficient diets and a high burden of diseases, including malaria, anemia, and HIV. This trial will compare the current standard of care for expectant mothers in Malawi, which includes dietary supplementation of iron and folic acid, to the same standard of care with the addition of the amino acid L-arginine, an essential nutrient in pregnancy that contributes to healthy placental development. The research will be led by Kevin Kain and Chloe McDonald.

This falls within Open Philanthropy’s interest in scientific research, and specifically within its interest in advancing human health and wellbeing.

Read more: