Thursday, 10 August 2017

Today, the Chain Reaction Challenge Foundation riders and alumni can be proud to say that their efforts in fundraising have helped make this possible.  Since 2012, the New South Wales Chain Reaction Challenge has donated over $2.5 million to help fund the research project into congenital heart disease at the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute.

“Philanthropic backing for research projects such as this is vital to their success, and we’re very pleased to have been able to harness the support of our corporate network of riders and sponsors to facilitate the funding for this research program that has been able deliver such tangible results,” explains Berrick Wilson, Partner at KordaMentha and Founder of Chain Reaction Challenge Foundation.

Published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine, the Victor Chang Institute has announced a blockbuster, world first discovery expected to prevent miscarriages and multiple types of birth defects, including congenital heart disease which is the most common form of birth defect, affecting 1 in 100 babies.

This historic discovery, which is believed to be among Australia’s greatest ever medical breakthroughs, is expected to forever change the way pregnant women are cared for around the globe.

“The ramifications are likely to be huge. This has the potential to significantly reduce the number of miscarriages and birth defects around the world, and I do not use those words lightly,” says Professor Sally Dunwoodie who leads the research team.

The landmark study found that a deficiency in a vital molecule, known as NAD, prevents a baby’s organs from developing correctly in the womb. After years of research, is has been discovered that the common vitamin B3, also known as Niacin, taken during pregnancy can prevent miscarriages and birth defects.

Research such as this takes time and comes at a high cost and many research projects and institutions rely heavily on private donations to continue their work.

“The Victor Chang Research Institute is close to the heart of our Chain Reaction cyclists and this fantastic result from Sally’s team makes those thousands of kilometres worthwhile. This is an incredibly significant breakthrough that will change lives not just in Australia but globally,” says Berrick. “We’re very pleased that the years of hard work put in by Sally and her team has paid off and so many will now benefit from their efforts.”

Berrick Wilson and Professor Sally Dunwoodie from the Victor Chang Institute.

More information on this discovery can be found at and

More information on the Chain Reaction Challenge Foundation can be found at

Read the Financial Review's story, 'The pedalling power that drove a profound medical discovery.'