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ZABALA participates in a new health project on Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) affects 5-10% of women worldwide, making it the most common chronic endocrine-metabolic disorder in women of reproductive age. The new Horizon 2020 health project SPIOMET4HEALTH will test a novel treatment to improve the quality of life of adolescents and young women suffering from PCOS.

The project is coordinated by Dr Lourdes Ibañez, from the Hospital Sant Joan de Déu (Barcelona, Spain), and has been funded by the European Commission with a budget of 6 million euros. It was launched in April 2021 and will last for the next 5 years.

The SPIOMET4HEALTH project proposes a communication challenge on health-related topics for ZABALA, which is the leader of the project’s Dissemination and Communication work package. Moreover, ZABALA collaborates with the engagement of the patients, who will be involved throughout the project and will also contribute to the final evaluation of the study.

Health is now one of the most strategic areas, not only in the European Union but worldwide, due to the major health crisis of COVID-19. Laura Sesma, leader of the Health Knowledge Area at Zabala Innovation, says:

“This project offers the EU a unique opportunity to enable a robust attempt to generate medical benefits for patients with PCOS, and to reduce the psycho-social and economic burden of PCOS on health care systems across Europe and worldwide.”

SPIOMET4HEALTH’s challenges

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is the most frequent cause of anovulatory subfertility, and it is also associated with other lifelong disorders like type 2 diabetes, premenopausal cancer and anxiety/depression, with a negative impact on the health and quality of life of these subjects and their offspring.

Currently, there is no approved treatment for PCOS in adolescents and young women, and approximately 98% of them are prescribed oral contraceptives (OCs). OCs do alleviate key symptoms; however, they do not revert the underlying pathophysiology, and patients remain at risk for post-treatment subfertility.

Pilot studies developed by Dr Lourdes Ibañez, and other members of the consortium have identified a new treatment for PCOS based on the combination at low doses of three medications: spironolactone (SPI), pioglitazone (PIO) and metformin (MET): SPIOMET.

SPIOMET4HEALTH aims to test a novel treatment consisting of SPIOMET in a single tablet (SPI, 50 mg; PIO, 7.5 mg and MET, 850 mg) administered daily. Combining SPIOMET with lifestyle measures, the consortium aims at normalising ovulation and endocrine-metabolic status through the reduction of hepato-visceral fat excess.

To face this challenge, SPIOMET4HEALTH, coordinated by Fundació Sant Joan de Déu/Hospital Sant Joan de Déu, will collaborate with 17 organizations;  key research groups working on PCOS across Europe (ES, BE, DE, AT, DK, NO, IT, TR, IE): Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Fundació Institut D’investigacio Biomedica De Girona Doctor Josep Trueta, Private Universitaet Witten/Herdecke Ggmbh, Medizinische Universitat Graz, Region Syddanmark, Norges Teknisk-Naturvitenskapelige Universitet, Alma Mater Studiorum – Universita Di Bologna, Istanbul Universitesi, Optimapharm, Laboratorio Reig Jofre SA, Complutense University of Madrid, Outcomes’10 SL, European Institute of Women’s, Make Mothers Matter EU Delegation, Asphalion SL and Zabala Innovation.

SPIOMET4HEALTH may change the current paradigm of PCOS treatment by offering a pathophysiological approach since the new therapy will focus not only on the gonadotropic axis but will also impinge on the underlying mechanisms responsible for the development of PCOS.

To find out more about the project, you can take a look at the new SPIOMET4HEALTH website www.spiomet4health.eu or follow the project on Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram to stay up to date.

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