FERTILITY in women with reproductive health problems can be improved using a new drug according to a recent study from researchers and clinicians at Imperial College London, London, UK.
Lead author Prof Waljit Dhillo noted that: “Reproductive health issues are common for women around the world. Infertility as a result of these conditions can cause a lot of distress.” Kisspeptin-54 (KP54), a naturally occurring form of kisspeptin, has been researched for several years to treat reproductive disorders. Previous studies had shown that kisspeptin can be used to safely stimulate reproductive hormones in women undergoing in vitro fertilisation treatment without causing ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome. However, in this study, the researchers investigated whether MVT-602, a novel drug that targets the kisspeptin system to stimulate reproductive hormones that affect fertility, menstruation, and sexual development, could target the kisspeptin pathway and produce a longer hormonal release than KP54.
The study was conducted from 2017 to 2019 and included 24 females aged 18–35 years who were given MVT-602; 12 were healthy volunteers and 12 were patients with polycystic ovary syndrome or hypothalamic amenorrhea. The healthy volunteers were given an injection of the KP54 and saline placebo for comparison. First, the reproductive hormone levels after receiving MVT-602 and KP54 were compared, and then the reproductive hormone levels after MVT-602 between healthy patients, patients with hypothalamic amenorrhea, and those with polycystic ovary syndrome were compared.
Results highlighted that patients given MVT-602 showed a longer duration of raised luteinising hormone and follicle stimulating hormone levels than when they received KP54. Fellow study author Dr Ali Abbara emphasised that: “This is the first study to show that a single dose of MVT-602 can induce a longer duration of hormonal stimulation in women than naturally occurring kisspeptin. Therefore, it reveals exciting potential to treat a range of reproductive health conditions using MVT-602 and offers women improved treatment options. However, further research is needed to fully characterise its effects in specific disorders that affect reproductive health.” The authors are hopeful that in the future, MVT-602 could be used to treat a wider range of reproductive disorders.