Viagra faces stiff opposition from Striant patch

Click to follow

A Scottish company, run by a former tour manager for the Human League, has raised nearly £30m to develop a "testosterone patch", a tablet which men will take to help problems such as lack of libido, erectile dysfunction or depression.

A Scottish company, run by a former tour manager for the Human League, has raised nearly £30m to develop a "testosterone patch", a tablet which men will take to help problems such as lack of libido, erectile dysfunction or depression.

Ardana Biosciences, based in Edinburgh, has just finished a £9m fundraiser to add to £20m raised last year. This, it hopes, will be enough to bring to market the patch, called Striant SR, which it will pitch into the £12bn-a-year reproductive health market dominated by Pfizer's Viagra.

Ardana has licensed this product from Columbia Laboratories in the US and has just received regulatory approval to market it in the UK. It has exclusive European rights to other Columbia products, one of which, Teverelix LA, has begun phase two clinical trials for the treatment of prostate cancer.

Striant is to be sold as a tablet that patients stick to their gums for treatment of male hypogonadism. This problem is characterised by testosterone levels being below the normal range. Signs and symptoms of hypogonadism can include decreased libido, erectile dysfunction, fatigue, depression, reduced muscle mass and osteoporosis.

Testosterone replacement therapy is designed to provide and maintain normal levels of testosterone. Ardana expects sales of Striant in Europe to be worth £25m within three years.

Ardana was created in July 2000 to commercialise research developed by the Medical Research Council's Human Reproductive Sciences Unit (HRSU) in Edinburgh. The HRSU is one of only four academic centres of excellence in human reproductive biology in the world. Ardana has an exclusive relationship with the HRSU to exploit all intellectual property and patent applications which arise in the course of HRSU research until July 2005.

Ardana's founder and chief executive, Simon Best, launched the first genetically modified food into UK supermarkets and was earlier the tour manager for eighties' pop band the Human League.

His ambition is: "Building a global reproductive health-based pharmaceutical company in the UK which has the leading research in the whole world in this field."

Comments