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expert reaction to study looking at drug acting via kisspeptin hormone system, and measures of a fertility hormone in a group of women

A study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation looks at whether a drug that acts via the kissepeptin hormone system has the potential to treat reproductive health problems in women.


Dr Bassel Wattar, NIHR Academic Clinical Lecturer in Women’s Health, University of Warwick, said:

“The treatment seems to be targeted specifically at women with subfertility secondary to ovulatory problems, an important distinction from the general subfertility population.

“Though promising, the findings are very early and experimental, far away from being used in clinical practice to help subfertile women with ovulatory problems.

“The study is reporting on luteinising hormone (LH) as a surrogate marker of ovulation, therefore, longterm follow up is needed to assess fertility outcome like clinical pregnancy and live birth.

“Kisspeptin has been evaluated for many years as a player in the ovulatory mechanism.  The novelty here is the evaluated new ‘drug’ that seems to offer longer half life and improved activity.

“The sample in this study is too small and experimental to yield meaningful results and selection bias is always a risk in early studies.

“If proven effect in larger more established studies, this drug might help to improve pregnancy hopes in women who do not regular ovulate – but we don’t know that at this stage.  Clearly, subfertility is a multi-factorial condition and anovulation is a small group of women seeking fertility treatment, so we can’t say that this is relevant to all women with fertility problems.”



‘Kisspeptin receptor agonist has therapeutic potential for female reproductive disorders’ by Ali Abbara et al. was published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation at 21:00 UK time on Monday 16 November 2020.

DOI: 10.1172/JCI139681



Declared interests

None received.

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