Vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC) is a fungal infection (also known as a yeast infection) of vaginal mucous membranes by Candida. Approximately 75% of women will have at least one case of VVC, and 40-45% will have two or more cases within their lifetime.
Some women with VVC develop chronic, recurring cases of VVC, which is called recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis (RVVC). Women who have three or more episodes of VVC within a year suffer from RVVC.
Estimates show that VVC affects approximately 65 million women in the United States, with seven million of those women (approximately 8% of the female population aged 16-55 years) suffering from RVVC.
Physical symptoms of VVC include vulvovaginal inflammation, burning, soreness, abnormal vaginal discharge, severe itching, discomfort and pain. Beyond these symptoms, RVVC can have a large negative impact on patients' quality of life and self-esteem, causing problems in their social and sex lives. The cost of continually treating RVVC is also a burden for many patients.
Unfortunately, the only effective treatment available to prevent these infections from recurring requires constant use of antifungal drugs, which do not work for all patients. While over-the-counter antifungal topical medicines are moderately effective in treating these infections, they do not reduce the frequency of RVVC episodes. Prescription treatments are somewhat more effective than over-the-counter medicines, but still do not prevent future infections unless used all the time. Patients and their doctors are looking for a treatment that can more effectively reduce the frequency of RVVC infections.
NovaDigm Therapeutics is developing an investigational vaccine, called NDV-3A, which has the potential to more effectively control and prevent RVVC. The company conducted a clinical trial to study NDV-3A in patients diagnosed with RVVC, enrolling patients with three episodes of VVC in the previous year. Further data from the study will be published at a later date.