Which DMTs cross the placenta during pregnancy?

Women with MS who are planning to conceive or are pregnant may be advised to stop taking some disease modifying therapies (DMTs). Because we don’t yet know exactly what the impact is of all DMTs on babies in the womb.

About the project

When you’re pregnant, your blood doesn’t mix with the blood of the baby in the womb. Instead, the placenta allows your and your baby’s blood to come very close together. Oxygen and nutrients can travel from you to your baby, and waste products from your baby to you.

If you’re taking a medication, there’s the possibility of drug molecules passing to your baby through the placenta. In some cases, this can potentially cause problems for babies. So it’s important we carry out research to understand which medications are more or less likely to cause problems.

One way to do this is to study which drugs can move through the placenta from mothers to babies. You can do this using animals, but we want to reduce our reliance on animal testing where possible. And getting data directly from women who continue taking drugs during pregnancy is challenging.

But we can use maths to better understand the movement of drug particles within the placenta. This project will develop and use computer and mathematical models to evaluate the possibility of different medications crossing the placenta.

How the project will help people with MS

Stopping taking your DMT for many months can increase your risk of relapse. So it’s important people with MS who are planning to get pregnant have good information about any possible impact of their DMT.

The results will inform policy makers on the safety guidelines on current DMTs and could help with future development of DMTs that are safe during pregnancy.

The difference you can make

We want everyone with MS to have access to the treatments they need to live well with MS. With your help, we can continue to support vital research like this.