New drug can improve fertility in women with reproductive health problems


Twenty-four women were injected with a drug called MVT-602 which targets the kisspeptin system to stimulate reproductive hormones that affect fertility, sexual development and menstruation. The naturally occurring form of kisspeptin called kisspeptin-54 (KP54) has been researched for a number of years to treat reproductive disorders, but in the new study, MVT-602 induced more potent signalling of the kisspeptin system over a longer period of time than KP54.

The researchers behind the study suggest that MVT-602 may be used to effectively treat a range of reproductive conditions that affect fertility such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) – a common condition that affects how a woman’s ovaries work and hypothalamic amenorrhea (HA) – a condition where a woman’s periods stop.

Professor Waljit Dhillo, lead author, NIHR Research Professor in Endocrinology and Metabolism at Imperial College London and Consultant in Endocrinology at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust said:

“Reproductive health issues are common for women around the world. Infertility as a result of these conditions can cause a lot of distress. Although we have made great strides in developing treatments for infertility and other reproductive disorders there is a need to find more effective treatments. Our previous work showed that kisspeptin can be used to stimulate ovulation in women undergoing in vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatment, but there are some limitations on using the naturally occurring kisspeptin hormone as its effectiveness wares off after a few hours. This study suggests that MVT-602 can stimulate kisspeptin over a longer period of time with no side effects, which means we could potentially use it to treat a wider range of reproductive disorders. This is an early stage study and more research needs to be carried out to fully determine the effects of MVT-602 on more patients.”

The researchers will now aim to carry out further studies on the effects of MVT-602 on women with reproductive disorders.

The study was funded by NIHR Imperial BRC and an NIHR Professorship & Clinician Scientist Awards.

Read the full story by Maxine Myers here. © Imperial College London