Clinical Research in Women’s Health
Dr. Andrea Wagenfeld wants to ease the pain and burden that trouble many women. She looks for biomarkers that reflect effective treatment of gynecological diseases.
Pain, heavy menstrual bleeding and severe fertility problems may be the result of gynecological diseases that greatly impair a woman’s life. Underlying illnesses could be endometriosis, fibroids, or polycystic ovary syndrome. I’ve committed my research to fighting all of these.
One Symptom – Many Diseases
Between 50 and 60 percent of all women have fibroids. These are benign tumors in the uterus. In ten percent of the cases, fibroids cause debilitating symptoms such as severe bleedings and pain. Fibroids can also impair a woman’s fertility. The highest burden for patients with endometriosis is the severe (menstrual) pain often associated with subfertility. Unlike with fibroids, this pain often occurs very early in women’s reproductive life, even at the time a girl has her first menstruation. Because diagnosis is difficult, many cases aren’t diagnosed for up to 10 years. Many young women think this pain is normal. They don’t know what a normal menstruation feels like. So I’m glad that through my work, I can ease the lives of many women. You can help people not only by treating life-threatening diseases; you can also do it by improving patients’ everyday quality of life. With so few treatment options available for these diseases, women deserve the best possible care!
Two Diseases – One Medicine
To treat both diseases, we are currently testing a medication called Vilaprisan in clinical studies. I was already involved in the development of Vilaprisan before it entered clinical studies. I’m very proud to be part of the development, because most substances don’t make it that far. In previous phases, we tested its safety and tolerability on healthy subjects before we find a suitable therapy dosage for proving its effectiveness. Currently we’re treating affected women with it to show its effectiveness in significantly reducing or abolishing their clinical symptoms. It’s of utmost importance to prove the efficacy of a medication as early as possible in clinical studies. But this task can also be extremely difficult. I specialize in biomarkers, which can be measured within human tissue, or in body fluids such as blood or urine All different kinds of substances can work as biological markers, for example, proteins, genes, or hormones. With biomarkers, we can track an illness as it progresses and changes. We can also measure the success of a treatment.
Music, Art and Watersports
I spend my entire workday dealing with diseases and the pains they cause. I find it very satisfying to help women who are suffering to find a way out of their misery. Outside of work, I need some positive activities. That’s why I enjoy Berlin’s cultural offerings. I love visual arts and music. I began subscribing to the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra more than ten years ago, but I also get distracted by mainstream radio music. Water is my element for trying to keep fit, and I swim, or go snorkeling and diving frequently during my vacation. In my free time, I also like exploring natural areas outside of Berlin. Normally I do so by bike; a few years ago, I even took tours with donkeys, gorgeous animals – and a good way to test your stress level and patience.
CV Dr. Andrea Wagenfeld
|1967||born in Delmenhorst, Germany|
|1993||Master’s Degree in Biology with a focus on Microbiology, Muenster University, Germany|
|1997||Doctoral thesis at the Institute for Reproductive Medicine, Muenster University|
|1997-2001||Post-Doctoral role with Rockefeller / Ernst Schering Foundation “Application of Molecular Pharmacology for Post-Testicular Activity” (Muenster, Charlottesville, Turku)|
|2002-2007||Lab leader, Male Health Care Research, Gynecology & Andrology, Schering AG, Berlin, Germany|
|2007-2010||Senior Scientist, Uterine Fibroid Research TRG Gynecological Therapies, Bayer Healthcare, Berlin|
|2010-2012||Extra-occupational studies at Charité Teaching Hospital, Master’s Degree Course in Consumer Health Care, Berlin|
|2010-2016||Principal Scientist, TRG Oncology & Gynecological Therapies, Bayer Pharma, Berlin|
|2016-current||Director, Biomarker Strategy in Clinical Sciences and Experimental Medicine, Bayer AG, Berlin|
Selective progesterone receptor modulators (SPRMs): progesterone receptor action, mode of action on the endometrium and treatment options in gynecological therapies.
Expert Opin Ther Targets. 2016 Sep;20(9):1045-54
Wagenfeld A, Saunders PT, Whitaker L, Critchley HO.
BAY 1002670: a novel, highly potent and selective progesterone receptor modulator for gynecological therapies.
Hum Reprod. 2013 Aug;28(8):2253-64
Wagenfeld A, Bone W, Schwede W, Fritsch M, Fischer OM, Moeller C.
Male contraception – a topic with many facets.
Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2004 Mar 15;216(1-2):75-82
Lye R J, Sipilä P, Vernet P, Wagenfeld A.
Mouse models of infertility due to swollen spermatozoa.
Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2004 Mar 15;216(1-2):55-63
Cooper TG, Yeung CH, Wagenfeld A, Nieschlag E, Poutanen M, Huhtaniemi I, Sipilä P.
Lack of glutamate transporter EAAC1 in the epididymis of infertile c-ros receptor tyrosine-kinase deficient mice.
J Androl. 2002 Nov-Dec;23(6):772-82.
Wagenfeld A, Yeung CH, Lehnert W, Nieschlag E, Cooper TG.
Molecular cloning and expression of rat contraception associated protein 1 (CAP1), a protein putatively involved in fertilization.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1998 Oct 20;251(2):545-9.
Wagenfeld A, Gromoll J, Cooper TG.
2016: Otto Bayer Medaille