Women’s health: QUALIblood innovations in blood testing support development of tomorrow's breakthrough therapies!

The Nature Outlook supplement on Reproductive health of December 2020 highlights the most recent approaches in the field of contraception that are currently being developed, including Mithra’s innovative product candidate Estelle®. The article also refers to the work conducted by Prof. Jonathan Douxfils (UNamur, Pharmacy department) at NARILIS and QUALIblood, aiming at developing new analytical tools for the evaluation of the thrombotic risk in women using oral contraceptives.

Mithra’s new generation contraceptive pill Estelle® contains two active ingredients: estetrol (E4), which is a naturally occurring human estrogen, and drospirenone. In a phase III clinical trial in 2019, Estelle® showed a high efficacy in preventing pregnancy with fewer side effects in comparison to other birth-control pills. Moreover, Estelle® might be less likely to be associated with venous thromboembolic risk than ethinylestradiol-containing products, which increase the activity of several coagulation factors in the blood. This favorable profile of estetrol (E4) on hemostasis compared to ethinylestradiol was demonstrated thanks to investigations led in phase II study on different markers of coagulation. The results of these investigations recently gave rise to a publication, in collaboration with Estetra, an affiliate’s company of Mithra Pharmaceuticals (Douxfils et al., 2020). The paper includes data generated using the novel ETP-based activated protein C resistance test, developed and validated by QUALIblood (Douxfils et al., 2019).