Vantia Therapeutics announced that its very new development, an oral small molecule drug known as VA111913, just entered its second phase of testing as a treatment for painful periods ( very painful periods are technically known as dysmenorrhea.) If the results prove to be successful the drug would be available for use within four years.
The fact of the matter is that there is nothing currently available that provides complete elimination of menstrual pain for the entire time of the cycle. Women must seek relief for menstrual pain from over the counter painkillers and “off-label” contraceptive labels.
In preclinical trials it’s been proven that VA111913 normalizes muscle contractions that cause the painful abdominal contractions during a woman’s period. And what is the cause of those famous abdominal contractions? According to Sandra Arcaro, of the gizmag website, (where I obtained the information for this article), they are due to the presence of the hormone vasopressin, which causes the smooth muscle of the uterus wall to contract. When the vasopressin levels are very high, the painful period sets in with a vengeance to the point that women can become incapacitated. Daily activities such as going to work or school, doing tasks or simply taking a walk, become practically impossible. The drug works by blocking vasopressin 1 a receptors in smooth muscle tissue in the wall of the uterus, “potentially making it the first drug to directly target the cause of dysmenorrhea.”
The great news is that so far the drug has tested successfully in the Phase 1 study. It has been shown to be safe and tolerated well by subjects, with no serious side effects.
Phase 11 will test 128 women ranging in age between 18 and 25 in the UK and the U.S. The subjects will be dosed with VA111913 and a placebo in a cross over design during a period of two consecutive periods. The results are expected to be reviewed in 2010.
Arcaro points out that 80 percent of women suffer pain during their periods. This of course means that there is an overwhelming demand for a drug that will eliminate all pain during a menstrual cycle.