AbbVie recruits 'Dancing with the Stars' champ to put the 'ME' in 'endometriosis'

AbbVie has recruited celeb Julianne Hough to raise endometriosis awareness.

Endometriosis affects one in 10 women, but the fact that it's common doesn't mean it's quickly diagnosed—in fact, it can take up to a decade in some women. AbbVie, which is developing a treatment for endometriosis pain, has rolled out a campaign aiming to hasten that timeline.

The Illinois pharma has teamed up with Julianne Hough, of “Dancing with the Stars” fame, to help women “get in the know about ME in EndoMEtriosis." Hough, diagnosed with the condition in 2008, is aboard to “show women what the face of this chronic and painful disease looks like,” she said in a statement, adding that “endometriosis is a part of me.”

As part of the campaign, AbbVie has launched a website,, where women can find an endometriosis symptom checklist, a symptom tracker and other info about the malady. It’s also encouraging women to join its online conversation by sharing the hashtag #MEinEndo.

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Although there’s not a cure for endometriosis, there are drugs meant to combat the pain that comes along with it—and AbbVie is hoping it’ll soon have such a med in its product stable. Along with partner Neurocrine, the company is developing prospect elagolix for that very indication. Last October, the companies announced the candidate had in phase 3 trials topped placebo at cutting menstrual pain and non-menstrual pelvic pain associated with endometriosis. AbbVie plans to file a new drug application with the FDA this year.

The pair is also gunning for a uterine fibroids indication for elagolix, and on that front, it could get some competition from Allergan and Gedeon Richter. That tandem in January trumpeted positive phase 3 data for its own prospect, the long-delayed Esmya.