On the agenda - Period pains may be thing of the past

In a nutshell Scientists from Southampton have created a pill to cure women's period pains. Pharmaceutical company Vantia Therapeutics has developed a drug called VA111913 designed to tackle the agony of monthly stomach cramps, called dysmenorrhoea.

Period pain: potential cure heralded
Period pain: potential cure heralded

How far has it got?

The drug is currently in the second phase of testing. The trial will recruit 128 women aged between 18 and 35 years with primary dysmenorrhoea, which limits daily activity and typically requires medication for relief. Results are expected in 2010.

Why is this important?

There is currently no targeted therapy to treat the condition, which is estimated to affect 80 per cent of women at one time in their lives. VA111913 has been shown to directly target the cause of dysmenorrhoea, rather than masking the painful symptoms.

PR strategy and support

A press release was sent by retained agency Citigate Dewe Rogerson to select health journalists on the nationals. It was also sent to Southampton media outlets and to the pharmaceutical trade press. Citigate director in the pharma and biotech team Chris Gardner said: ‘It was key that the story was not over-hyped by the media so the press release was careful to stress that the drug is in an early stage.’

Media coverage

The story was broken by the Southern Daily Echo in Southampton. It was also picked up by the Daily Mail and The Daily Telegraph, which ran with the headline: ‘Scientists test miracle pill to cure period pains.

80%
of women will be affected by period pains in their lives

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