Low ovarian reserve is a core driver of the decline of ovarian function, and a critical component of why and when women enter peri-menopause.
The ovarian reserve is the number of eggs a woman has at any given point in time, peaking in utero at 20 weeks gestation and significantly declining as our lives proceed.
At Oviva we are focused on extending ovarian longevity through reducing the depletion of the ovarian reserve during a woman’s reproductive years.
Our ovaries are important beyond their role in reproduction – they are essential contributors to each woman's systemic health and well-being. Loss of ovarian function is linked to a number of health conditions including cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis.
The hormonal changes associated with menopause speed up cellular aging by ~6%. When the ovaries decline, this affects glucose metabolism, cardiovascular health, neurocognitive health, sleep, bone density, sexual function and immune function – significantly impacting quality of life.
Anti-Müllerian Hormone, or AMH, plays a crucial role in regulating the depletion of the ovarian reserve. It is produced by cells within the growing follicles in the ovary. Follicles are the fundamental unit underlying ovarian function, each one housing a single egg and responsible for producing many hormones, including AMH.
AMH acts at the earliest possible step during folliculogenesis, presenting a unique opportunity to intervene on the ovarian reserve itself. There has yet to be any successful therapeutic development to date around this mechanism of action. Oviva’s recombinant AMH program is the most advanced asset in the space, driven by the world’s experts on AMH biology.
Women’s health remains an under-funded and poorly understood space, from the perspective of both biomedical research and clinical development. Our pre-clinical and clinical strategies will close many gaps of knowledge and seed the ground for continued innovation to support ovarian health and female healthspan (the years of life spent in good health).
Validation of Oviva’s recombinant AMH in an acute disease indication is a strategic starting point to enable the development of chronic and prophylactic dosing paradigms supporting ovarian longevity.
Our first therapeutic is an enhanced form of human AMH. Its potency has been demonstrated in pre-clinical studies across several species, illustrating both its conserved function and efficacy impacting folliculogenesis (see Kano et al, 2019 and 2017).
AMH can synchronize follicles and increase egg quantity during ovarian stimulation and retrieval. This can significantly impact the likelihood of success for women trying to conceive by IVF. Importantly, this represents the first in human proof-of-concept for a therapeutic with the ability to modulate folliculogenesis at the earliest possible stage, with important implications for fertility treatment, contraception, and patients with diminished ovarian reserve or premature ovarian insufficiency.
Women who go through menopause later tend to live longer, and women who enter menopause early tend to have shortened lifespans. In mice, transplantation of young ovaries into older animals can extend their lifespan by ~6-11%. These data show us that ovarian health and function is linked to longevity.
By utilizing AMH to preserve the ovarian reserve, we have the potential to extend the function of the ovaries, delay the onset of menopause and – most importantly – improve healthspan in women as they age.