The exact number of women suffering from endometriosis is unknown. However, it is estimated that 10% of women worldwide are affected. Endometriosis is a debilitating disease in which the endometrial cells that usually line the uterus are found in other regions of the body.
Every month, as part of the menstrual cycle, the endometrial lining in the uterus will thicken in preparation for a fertilized egg. If the egg is not fertilized, the endometrial lining will break down and bleed. Normally, this blood leaves the body as a period.
In endometriosis, the endometrial cells in other parts of the body also react to the menstrual cycle and bleed. But the blood cannot leave the body. This triggers a number of symptoms.
In our latest infographic supported by Evotec, we have defined endometriosis, explained why there are not enough treatments out there, and discovered what is being done to develop better therapies for this debilitating disease.
You can download a free version of the infographic here!
Historically, the topic of menstruation and menstrual pain was taboo, which resulted in a lack of awareness around endometriosis. Even today, there is a lack of funding to find endometriosis treatments and very few companies are working on developing effective therapies.
Moreover, most therapies out there cause challenging side effects. The most common form of endometriosis treatment are hormonal therapies, such as the recently approved Elagolix, which forces the female body into early menopause. Women taking hormonal therapies cannot conceive, which means there is a great need for non-hormonal treatments for women of reproductive age.
Collaborating closely, Evotec and Bayer are therefore working to develop effective, non-hormonal endometriosis treatments. Their work is based on developing small molecule antagonists that block the P2X3 receptor, which is known to play a role in pain caused by endometriosis.
To learn more about the Evotec and Bayer alliance and its focus on endometriosis, download this free whitepaper!
Text by Larissa Warneck, Science Journalist at Labiotech.eu
Images & Design by Elena Resko