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Prolacta Bioscience Recognizes Advances in Preterm Care During NICU Awareness Month

Premature Infants in the NICU are Surviving and Thriving Like Never Before Thanks to Advancements in Neonatal Nutrition 

DUARTE, Calif., Sept. 19, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- There have been incredible breakthroughs in neonatal care over the last decade, with premature infants born as early as 22 weeks now surviving and thriving. From heart rate monitoring to lung therapies, one of the biggest changes in the NICU has been how these fragile, premature infants are fed. This Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) Awareness Month, Prolacta Bioscience® recognizes how proper care, including critical nutrition in the NICU — with 100% human milk-based nutrition — has improved the health and well-being of preterm infants.

Today, the world's leading clinicians and NICUs offer Prolacta's human milk-based nutritional products as the standard of care because they have been shown to reduce some of the most serious complications of prematurity. Compared to cow milk-based fortifiers, an Exclusive Human Milk Diet (EHMD) with Prolacta's 100% human milk-based nutritional products has been clinically proven in multiple clinical studies to:

  • Lower mortality and morbidity1,2,3
  • Reduce incidence of feeding intolerance4
  • Achieve adequate growth5,6,7
  • Reduce incidence of bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD)1,4,5,8
  • Reduce incidence of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP)1,4,8
  • Reduce late-onset sepsis incidence and evaluations1,8,9
  • Reduce risk of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC)1,4,10,11
  • Improve long-term outcomes such as neurodevelopment12,13,14
  • Shorten stays in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU)4,10
  • Reduce hospital costs4,10,15

Hospitals have been reporting for years on the benefits of Prolacta's EHMD, which not only helps premature infants thrive but also helps NICUs save money — up to $3.4 million annually — by reducing comorbidities and getting babies home sooner.10

A May 2023 peer-reviewed report published in BMC Pediatrics underscores the clinical benefits and cost savings associated with the adoption of Prolacta's EHMD. Based on real-world data from seven diverse NICUs, the study found:

  • Implementation of Prolacta's EHMD resulted in a reduction in the total (medical and surgical) necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), regardless of the size or level of care of the NICU, as well as reductions in bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), and late-onset sepsis — all common complications of prematurity.10

  • Very low birth weight (VLBW) infants fed Prolacta's EHMD also experienced shorter NICU stays at five of the seven hospitals, savings ranging from $307,916 to $2,520,000 per institution annually.10

  • The study emphasizes that the cost of Prolacta's EHMD represents a fraction of the usual cost of care for a VLBW infant — approximately $12,500 per infant for an EHMD over a 90-day NICU stay, compared to a total NICU cost of $693,000 to $774,000 for 90 days, depending on level of care.16,17

  • A reduction in length of stay has a sizable impact on total cost expenditure compared with the investment in an EHMD.10

"This study underscores that an EHMD reduces the risk of complications for preterm infants, which in turn saves costs for NICUs," said lead author Jonathan R. Swanson, MD, MSc, of the University of Virginia Children's Hospital in Charlottesville.

"NICU Awareness Month reminds us to take a step back and reflect upon how far we've come in neonatal care over the last decade. We should recognize the fact that something as fundamental as proper nutrition, such as using an EHMD in the NICU, can make all the difference in the lives of premature babies and their families," said Melinda Elliott, MD, chief medical officer for Prolacta and a practicing neonatologist.

About Prolacta's Human Milk-Based Nutritional Products
Available to hospitals since 2006, Prolacta's human milk-based fortifiers changed the standard of care for critically ill, premature infants by providing a proven alternative to cow milk-based fortifiers in the NICU.2,3,11 The naturally occurring bioactive components in human milk are thought to support infants' immunity, development, growth, and long-term health.18

Prolacta's products have the highest bioactivity in the human milk industry19 and are clinically proven to significantly boost human milk bioactive proteins and antioxidant activity.20 The company's proprietary processing ensures pathogen inactivation and the highest level of safety while retaining as much of the natural bioactivity of the milk as possible, compared to other human milk processing methods.19,21,22

About Prolacta Bioscience
Prolacta Bioscience® Inc. is a privately held, global life sciences company dedicated to Advancing the Science of Human Milk® to improve the health of critically ill, premature infants. Prolacta's 100% human milk-based nutritional products have been evaluated in more than 20 clinical studies published in peer-reviewed journals. More than 90,000 premature infants have benefited from Prolacta's nutritional products worldwide to date.23 Established in 1999, Prolacta is the world's leading provider of human milk-based nutritional products for hospital use and is also exploring the therapeutic potential of human milk across a wide spectrum of diseases. Prolacta maintains the industry's strictest quality and safety standards for screening, testing, and processing donor human milk. Operating the world's first pharmaceutical-grade human milk processing facilities, Prolacta uses vat pasteurization and a patented, FDA-reviewed manufacturing process to ensure pathogen inactivation while protecting the nutritional composition and bioactivity of its human milk-based products. Prolacta is a global company with headquarters in Duarte, California, and can be found online at www.prolacta.com, on X, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn

Media Contact:
Loren Kosmont
Lkosmont@prolacta.com
310-721-9444

References

  1. Hair AB, Peluso AM, Hawthorne KM, et al. Beyond necrotizing enterocolitis prevention: improving outcomes with an exclusive human milk-based diet [published correction appears in Breastfeed Med. 2017;12(10):663]. Breastfeed Med. 2016;11(2):70-74. doi:10.1089/bfm.2015.0134
  2. Abrams SA, Schanler RJ, Lee ML, Rechtman DJ. Greater mortality and morbidity in extremely preterm infants fed a diet containing cow milk protein products. Breastfeed Med. 2014;9(6):281-285. doi:10.1089/bfm.2014.0024
  3. Cristofalo EA, et al. Randomized trial of exclusive human milk versus preterm formula diets in extremely premature infants. J Pediatr. 2013;163(6):1592-1595. doi:10.1016/j.jpeds.2013.07.011.
  4. Assad M, Elliott MJ, Abraham JH. Decreased cost and improved feeding tolerance in VLBW infants fed an exclusive human milk diet. J Perinatol. 2016;36(3):216-220. doi:10.1038/jp.2015.168
  5. Huston R, Lee M, Rider E, et al. Early fortification of enteral feedings for infants <1250 grams birth weight receiving a human milk diet including human milk-based fortifier. J Neonatal Perinatal Med. 2020;13(2):215-221. doi:10.3233/NPM-190300
  6. Huston R, Markell AM, McCulley EA, Gardiner SK, Sweeney SL. Improving growth for infants ≤1250 grams receiving an exclusive human milk diet. Nutr Clin Pract. 2018;33(5):671-678. doi:10.1002/ncp.10054
  7. Hair AB, Hawthorne KM, Chetta KE, Abrams SA. Human milk feeding supports adequate growth in infants ≤ 1250 grams birth weight. BMC Res Notes. 2013;6:459. doi:10.1186/1756-0500-6-459
  8. Delaney Manthe E, Perks PH, Swanson JR. Team-based implementation of an exclusive human milk diet. Adv Neonatal Care. 2019;19(6):460-467. doi:10.1097/ANC.0000000000000676
  9. O'Connor DL, Kiss A, Tomlinson C, et al. Nutrient enrichment of human milk with human and bovine milk–based fortifiers for infants born weighing <1250 g: a randomized clinical trial. Am J Clin Nutr. 2018;108(1):108-116. doi:10.1093/ajcn/nqy067. Published corrections appear in Am J Clin Nutr. 2019;110(2):529. doi:10.1093/ajcn/nqz091 and Am J Clin Nutr. 2020;111(5):1112. doi:10.1093/ajcn/nqaa042
  10. Swanson JR, Becker A, Fox J, et al. Implementing an exclusive human milk diet for preterm infants: real-world experience in diverse NICUs. BMC Pediatr. 2023;23(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12887-023-04047-5
  11. Sullivan S, Schanler RJ, Kim JH, et al. An exclusively human milk-based diet is associated with a lower rate of necrotizing enterocolitis than a diet of human milk and bovine milk-based products. J Pediatr. 2010;156(4):562-567.e1. doi:10.1016/j.jpeds.2009.10.040
  12. Hair AB, Patel AL, Kiechl-Kohlendorfer U, et al. Neurodevelopmental outcomes of extremely preterm infants fed an exclusive human milk-based diet versus a bovine milk-based diet: a multi-center study. J Perinatol. Published online September 28, 2022. doi.org/10.1038/s41372-022-01513-3
  13. Bergner EM, Shypailo R, Visuthranukul C, et al. Growth, body composition, and neurodevelopmental outcomes at 2 years among preterm infants fed an exclusive human milk diet in the neonatal intensive care unit: a pilot study. Breastfeed Med. 2020. 15(5):304-311. doi:10.1089/bfm.2019.0210
  14. Rahman A, Kase J, Murray Y, et al. Neurodevelopmental outcome of extremely low birth weight infants fed an exclusive human milk diet is not affected by growth velocity. Breastfeed Med. 2020;15(6):362-369. doi:10.1089/bfm.2019.0214
  15. Ganapathy V, Hay JW, Kim JH. Costs of necrotizing enterocolitis and cost-effectiveness of exclusively human milk–based products in feeding extremely premature infants. Breastfeed Med. 2012;7(1):29-37. doi:10.1089/bfm.2011.0002
  16. Nationwide Children's. Price Information. Accessed 27 Jan 2023. https://www.nationwidechildrens.org/your-visit/billing-and-insurance/pay-my-bill/price-information-list
  17. Hampson G, Roberts SLE, Lucas A, Parkin D. An economic analysis of human milk supplementation for very low birth weight babies in the USA. BMC Pediatr. 2019;19:337.
  18. Gila-Diaz A, Arribas SM, Algara A, Martín-Cabrejas MA, López de Pablo ÁL, Sáenz de Pipaón M, Ramiro-Cortijo D. A review of bioactive factors in human breastmilk: a focus on prematurity. Nutrients. 2019;11(6):1307. doi:10.3390/nu11061307
  19. Liang N, Koh J, Kim BJ, Ozturk G, Barile D, Dallas DC. Structural and functional changes of bioactive proteins in donor human milk treated by vat-pasteurization, retort sterilization, ultra-high-temperature sterilization, freeze-thawing and homogenization. Front Nutr. 2022;9. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnut.2022.926814
  20. Philip RK, Romeih E, Bailie E, et al. Exclusive human milk diet for extremely premature infants: a novel fortification strategy that enhances the bioactive properties of fresh, frozen, and pasteurized milk specimens. Breastfeed Med. April 2023;18(4):279-290. http://doi.org/10.1089/bfm.2022.0254
  21. Meredith-Dennis L, Xu G, Goonatilleke E, Lebrilla CB, Underwood MA, Smilowitz JT. Composition and variation of macronutrients, immune proteins, and human milk oligosaccharides in human milk from nonprofit and commercial milk banks. J Hum Lact. 2018;34(1):120-129. doi:10.1177/0890334417710635
  22. Lima HK, Wagner-Gillespie M, Perrin MT, Fogleman AD. Bacteria and bioactivity in Holder pasteurized and shelf-stable human milk products. Curr Dev Nutr. 2017;1(8):e001438. doi:10.3945/cdn.117.001438
  23. Data on file; estimated number of premature infants fed Prolacta's products from January 2007 to December 2022.

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SOURCE Prolacta Bioscience

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