GlobalData analysed the number of clinical trials examining polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) with start dates between 1 January 2009 and 21 January 2019.

PCOS is a condition in women where ovaries are polycystic, meaning that the follicles in which eggs are matured become undeveloped due to elevated androgen levels. This can lead to a variety of issues such as irregular menstrual cycles, irregular ovulation, excessive hair growth, weight gain and acne.

Polycystic ovary syndrome treatment

Patients with PCOS also have an increased chance of developing Type 2 diabetes and increased cholesterol levels. The cause of PCOS remains unknown, but it is thought to be related to both genetic and environmental factors. PCOS currently has no cure, however, the condition can be managed through medication and diet.

GlobalData has determined that the main therapy drug for the management of PCOS, by the number of clinical trials, is metformin (24.7% of trials), as shown in Figure 1. Metformin is primarily used to treat Type 2 diabetes, but can also regulate blood sugar levels in women with PCOS. The drug can also stimulate ovulation, thereby helping women with PCOS conceive.

Similarly, clomophene citrate (7.6% of trials) is also used to treat fertility issues in women who have PCOS. The drug works by releasing an egg from the ovaries every month, helping to regulate menstrual cycles. The majority of PCOS trials analysed by GlobalData were in Phase II (52.3%), followed by Phase IV (21.0%). Most of these trials were led by non-industry sponsors (92.1%). Among the top five countries to conduct PCOS trials, Iran had the highest rate at 30.6%, followed by China at 24.2%.

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