Diabetic drug sitagliptin could also be repurposed as the first line of treatment to prevent miscarriages by targeting the lining of the womb, according to a latest study.
The University of Warwick-led study, published in EBioMedicine, found that the drug increases the number of stem cells in the lining of the womb, improving conditions in the womb to support pregnancy.
The latest findings follow a previous revelation (by the same team) that a lack of stem cells in the womb lining caused thousands of women to suffer from recurrent miscarriages.
The clinical trial observed 38 women aged between 18 and 48, who underwent a large number of recurrent miscarriages, and gave them either an oral course of sitagliptin or a placebo for three menstrual cycles.
The researchers found an average increase of 68 per cent in stem cell count and a 50 per cent decrease in the number of ‘stressed’ cells among those women who took a full course of the diabetic drug.
However, no significant increase was observed among those who received placebo pills.
Professor Jan Brosens, Consultant in Reproductive Health at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust said: “There are currently very few effective treatments for miscarriage and this is the first that aims at normalising the womb before pregnancy.
“Although miscarriages can be caused by genetic errors in the embryo, an abnormal womb lining causes the loss of chromosomal normal pregnancies. We hope that this new treatment will prevent such losses and reduce both the physical and psychological burden of recurrent miscarriage.”
Researchers are now aiming for a large scale clinical trial.