Drug development in pregnancy and particularly in preeclampsia has been long neglected. Preeclampsia is a leading cause of maternal mortality, and early-onset preeclampsia can result in serious long-lasting consequences to the neonate. Many treatments have been trialed with varying success including vitamin supplementation, low-molecular-weight heparins, and aspirin. In this commentary, we particularly focus on the current status of drugs in development specifically aimed at preeclampsia. We outline the current understanding of the causes of the endothelial dysfunction seen in preeclampsia and, as such, potential therapeutic targets. With treatment of preeclampsia being largely unchanged in decades, there is an urgent need for novel therapies particularly those directed at the underlying causes that may allow for extremely preterm delivery, and its myriad consequences, to be avoided.
- drug development