Inhaled Oxytocin Project

Bringing gold standard PPH therapy to all women

Every year, over 100,000 women die of postpartum haemorrhage (PPH), a condition of excessive blood loss after childbirth. Although PPH can be effectively prevented or treated with an injection of oxytocin, access to this drug is limited due to the requirements for refrigeration, storage and trained medical personnel for administration. A team at Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, led by Dr. Michelle McIntosh, is working on a project to develop a novel aerosol delivery system for oxytocin that can be inhaled by patients from a simple, disposable device immediately after childbirth. This approach will increase access to this life saving commodity in resource-poor settings, where a large number of women give birth outside medical facilities or in understaffed and ill-equipped clinics with limited or no refrigeration facilities.

Project status

The project is currently at a very exciting stage, we have made considerable progress towards the development of a heat stable and rapidly effective oxytocin product for delivery to the respiratory tract. The lead candidate that we are taking forward is directed to inhaled (i.e. pulmonary) delivery and the following key milestones have been achieved:

  • A prototype dry powder formulation demonstrating enhanced stability at elevated temperatures (up to 50°C) with the required aerodynamic properties for inhalation.
  • Preclinical studies using an in vivo postpartum model based on dry powder, pulmonary delivery demonstrate pharmacokinetic profile and rapid pharmacodynamic response comparable with intramuscular injection.
  • Local and international support for the project.
  • Initiate a collaboration with a large pharmaceutical company to take the project through to phase 1 clinical trials and beyond.

Our people

Meet the Inhaled Oxytocin Project research team.

Supporting our research

Your donations will contribute directly to the Inhaled Oxytocin Project.

More information

Find out more about the Inhaled Oxytocin project with some of our recent media releases and publications and further resources.

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