Goat Lung Surfactant for Treatment of Respiratory Distress Syndrome Among Preterm Neonates: A Multi-Site Randomized Non-Inferiority Trial

J Perinatol. 2019 Sep;39(Suppl 1):3-12. doi: 10.1038/s41372-019-0472-0.


Objective: To investigate the safety and efficacy of goat lung surfactant extract (GLSE) compared with bovine surfactant extract (beractant; Survanta®, AbbVie, USA) for the treatment of neonatal respiratory distress syndrome (RDS).

Study design: We conducted a double-blind, non-inferiority, randomized trial in seven Indian centers between June 22, 2016 and January 11, 2018. Preterm neonates of 26 to 32 weeks gestation with clinical diagnosis of RDS were randomized to receive either GLSE or beractant. Repeat dose, if required, was open-label beractant in both the groups. The primary outcome was a composite of death or bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) at 36 weeks postmenstrual age (PMA). Interim analyses were done by an independent data and safety monitoring board (DSMB).

Result: After the first interim analyses on 5% enrolment, the "need for repeat dose(s) of surfactant" was added as an additional primary outcome and enrolment restricted to intramural births at five of the seven participating centers. Following second interim analysis after 98 (10% of 900 planned) neonates were enroled, DSMB recommended closure of study in view of inferior efficacy of GLSE in comparison to beractant. There was no significant difference in the primary outcome of death or BPD between GLSE group (n = 52) and beractant group (n = 46) (50.0 vs. 39.1%; OR 1.5; 95% CI 0.7-3.5; p = 0.28). The need for repeat dose of surfactant was significantly higher in GLSE group (65.4 vs. 17.4%; OR 9.0; 95% CI 3.5-23.3; p < 0.001).

Conclusions: Goat lung surfactant was less efficacious than beractant (Survanta®) for treatment of RDS in preterm infants. Reasons to ascertain inferior efficacy of goat lung surfactant requires investigation and possible mitigating strategies in order to develop a low-cost and effective surfactant.

Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02774044.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase II
  • Clinical Trial, Phase III
  • Comparative Study
  • Equivalence Trial
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Area Under Curve
  • Biological Products / therapeutic use*
  • Cattle
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Goats
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature* / blood
  • Male
  • Oxygen / blood
  • Pulmonary Surfactants / therapeutic use*
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome, Newborn / drug therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Biological Products
  • Pulmonary Surfactants
  • beractant
  • Oxygen

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT02774044