Stress Urinary Incontinence

Stress urinary incontinence (SUI) is a serious condition where the unintentional leakage of urine occurs during normal daily activities with increased abdominal pressure (such as coughing, sneezing, running or lifting heavy objects). This inability to control urine flow occurs when the involved sphincter and support muscles become weak or do not function properly. Women suffer more frequently from SUI because the most common causes include childbirth or other injury to the short urethral area. Men can also be afflicted, particularly because muscle control can be impacted by medications, prostate enlargement or surgery in the pelvic/prostate area.

SUI, the most common type of incontinence suffered by women can occur in young women after childbirth, but becomes more prevalent around the time of menopause in women who are not on hormone replacement therapy. Click here to learn more about the various approaches to treating SUI in women.

The muscles responsible for SUI have a high number of androgen receptors and are responsive to the body’s hormonal status. Enobosarm (GTx-024, Ostarine®) has been shown to increase muscle mass in other settings, such as muscle wasting, or cachexia. The Company plans to commence a clinical trial to evaluate enobosarm’s ability to increase muscle mass and strength in the sphincter and pelvic floor muscles in women with SUI. The goal will be to reduce involuntary or unintentional leakage of urine.

Treatment of Stress Urinary Incontinence

There are a variety of approaches to treating SUI in women. They are listed below in the order in which they are usually implemented as the disease progresses in severity.

  • Behavior modification
  • Pelvic floor physical therapy
  • Medications *
    Anticholinergic/tricyclic antidepressant drugs to relax the bladder muscles;
    Antimuscarinic drugs block bladder contractions;
    Beta agonists enhance bladder relaxation; and
    Estrogen therapy
    * There are currently no approved therapies indicated for the treatment of SUI.
  • Surgery
    Artificial urinary sphincter or male sling (males);
    Bulking injections around the urethra;
    Repair of vaginal prolapse;
    Suspensions to lift the bladder and urethra;
    Tension-free vaginal tape supports the bladder and urethra;
    and Vaginal sling to support the urethra