Pill to prevent painful menstrual periods in women is currently undergoing patient studies.
The new pill code-named VA111913 has been found not only effective in preventing the occurrence of pain drug menstruation but to treat such condition also once it begins, according to Vantia Therapeutics, the developer of the pill.
VA111913 is an oral small molecule drug candidate in Phase II clinical development for prevention and treatment of painful menstrual periods or dysmenorrhoea.
Dysmenorrhoea is frequently debilitating and psychologically taxing for many women and is one of the leading causes of absenteeism from work and school.
Period pains are caused by abnormal contractions of the uterus during menstruation.
VA111913 has been shown to reduce excessive contraction of smooth muscle, such as that found in the uterus wall.
By targeting receptors of a hormone called vasopressin, it is hoped that VA111913 will prove effective in controlling the contractions that cause period pain.
The drug has been recently patented and represents a novel structural class of compounds.
In its first trials in women, Vantia showed VA111913 to be safe and well tolerated and Phase II trials are currently underway in Europe and the US to evaluate how well it works to control pain and other symptoms of dysmenorrhoea.
Dysmenorrhoea is associated with raised vasopressin – a hormone – levels. VA111913 acts by blocking vasopressin 1a receptors in smooth muscle in the uterus wall.
Preclinical studies have found the drug to normalise smooth muscle contraction in response to vasopressin, thereby offering the potential for it to be the first drug that directly targets the cause of this condition in the uterus.
Dysmenorrhoea affects a large number of women for whom there are currently no targeted therapies. Treatments that are in common use however include over-?the-?counter painkillers like ibuprofen or oral contraceptives used ‘off-?label’.
These current therapies are not completely effective for all women and sometimes do not provide satisfactory relief of symptoms, particularly in women with more severe pain.
It is estimated that the market opportunity for a drug for the prevention and treatment of dysmenorrhoea is at least $1 billion per year.
Vantia Therapeutics is an emerging pharmaceutical company developing novel, small molecule drugs.
Its clinical pipeline includes VA106483 for nocturia in BPH patients and VA111913 for dysmenorrhoea, product candidates.Dysmenorrhoea is a condition characterized by abnormal contractions of the uterus during menstruation causing severe pain.