di , 28/02/2024

Time to share my women’s health updates from February 2024: research breakthroughs, clinical trial findings, endometriosis deep dive, and more.

A Stanford University School of Medicine-led study shows why women are at greater risk of autoimmune disease and why it has gone unnoticed for a long time in research.

Autoimmune diseases disproportionately affect women, with 4 out of 5 patients being female. The ratio for lupus is 9 women to 1 man, and for Sjogren’s syndrome, it’s 19 to 1. A molecule produced by one X chromosome in every female cell can generate antibodies to a woman’s own tissues. In female mammals, cells shut down one or both X chromosomes early in development to avoid overproducing certain proteins, which can lead to autoimmune disorders. This process, called X-chromosome inactivation, is controlled by a molecule called Xist. However, traditional testing methods, which use male cell lines lacking Xist, fail to identify anti-Xist complex antibodies in female patients, contributing to autoimmune susceptibility.

The first promising results from the clinical trial of the first non-hormonal, non-surgical treatment for endometriosis started in 2023 in Scotland, plus my deep dive into the endometriosis area.

A clinical trial for the first non-hormonal, non-surgical treatment for endometriosis showed promising results. The drug, dichloroacetate (DCA), reduces high levels of lactate, offering relief to patients. With larger trials underway, the drug could hit the market in 5-7 years. Meanwhile, innovations like Hera Biotech’s non-invasive test and Ziwig Biotech’s saliva test offer hope for a quicker diagnosis. Startups like Imagendo and Syrona Health also provide digital solutions for tracking symptoms and accessing information. More digital therapies are needed to offer immediate relief to endometriosis patients.

The first new endometriosis treatment in 13 years, Ryeqo by Gedeon Richter Australia, has been approved by Australia’s drug regulator, even though it won’t receive government subsidies.

Preliminary results from a 3-decade Finnish study show increased disease among women: almost 50% of women born in 1986 and followed since developed some kind of chronic disease, despite their young age.

The Swedish study finds that menopause is getting worse: the prevalence of symptoms increased from 24% to 35% over 1 generation, with no straightforward explanation to be found yet.

With 60% of women dropping out of their healthcare journey in France, Paris-based Sorella Care aims to transform women’s patient journeys with their hybrid clinics. Sorella announced a €5 million round just one year after launching its first multidisciplinary health clinic.

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