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Novel Application of Melatonin Antagonists in Obstetrical Practice

Tech ID:
Principal Investigator:
Dr. Olcese
Licensing Manager:

This is a method for the prevention of pre-term labor that will introduce, intravenously, a melatonin antagonist to women who are predisposed to premature birth. Melatonin antagonists are drugs that do not provoke a biological response themselves, but bind to melatonin receptors, and, therefore, prevent endogenous melatonin itself from binding to the receptor. It is believed that the inhibition of melatonin action will prevent women from beginning labor.

Melatonin is a naturally occurring neurohormone found in most animals, including humans. Its role in the body is associated with the maintenance of a biological clock, or circadian rhythm. Besides this function, it is also a powerful antioxidant. Melatonin, or melatonin analogues, are consumed daily by millions of people for sleep induction. However, the application of melatonin in obstetrics represents a completely novel approach to the management of labor.

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  • Method for using melatonin to delay pre-term labor by targeting mothers who are at risk for premature labor.


  • Delay pre-term labor
  • Save millions of dollars from premature births each year
  • Prevent thousands of work hours for healthcare providers each year
  • No expensive new drug development