Exciting innovations in fertility and women's health

Exciting innovations in fertility and women's health

Photo credit: Oviva Therapeutics

This past weekend, I went to an incredible longevity conference. I am so inspired by the many doctors and researchers making strides in this area and I am excited for what’s to come. 

One particular speaker, Daisy Robinton of Oviva Therapeutics, talked about ovarian aging and the incredible therapies her team is developing in this area. In a nutshell, Oviva is addressing the factors that drive ovarian aging in order to preserve function and extend healthy lifespan in women.

As we know, the ovaries tend to age faster than the rest of the body. Because ovaries are endocrine organs, not just reproductive organs, the loss of ovarian function affects many health markers in the body (e.g., glucose metabolism, cardiovascular health, neurocognitive health, sleep, bone density, sexual function, immune function). 

Oviva is developing an analog for Anti-Müllerian Hormone (AMH). AMH is produced by cells within the growing follicles in the ovary and is thought to play a role in regulating the depletion of the ovarian reserve.

With “anti-aging” protocols in general, there are often two options: 1) reduce the decline or 2) reverse the decline. It is usually easier to reduce than to reverse. This intervention by Oviva would fall into the reduce bucket - it has the potential to reduce the depletion of the ovarian reserve during a woman’s reproductive years. (Stem cell treatments, for example, might fall into the reverse bucket). 

Why does this matter? In a therapeutic context, Oviva is showing that AMH can synchronize follicles and increase egg quantity during ovarian stimulation and retrieval for those individuals undergoing IVF. This intervention can significantly impact their likelihood of success. This therapeutic may also have implications for protecting the ovarian reserve of females who need to undergo chemotherapy. Maybe even a method of contraception as well. 

Of course, all medications and interventions have side effects, so those remain to be seen. We will have to weigh the risks and benefits once we know more.

This is all to say that there is a lot of potential in this space right now. Oviva’s research is currently underway and it is wildly exciting. I’d encourage you to check it out!

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