SRI International, a California-based independent nonprofit research institute, and Nobelpharma, a Japanese pharmaceutical company, have entered into a licensing agreement to test SR16234, an SRI drug candidate that may be effective in treating endometriosis. SR16234 is a member of a class of drugs known as selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) that regulate the effects of the hormone estrogen.
"This important collaboration is addressing a critical, unmet medical need, and we are doing so via a novel therapeutic approach targeting the underlying biological mechanisms of endometriosis," said Walter H. Moos, Ph.D., vice president of SRI Biosciences.
Jin Shiomura, Nobelpharma president and CEO, said, "After upcoming preliminary studies are completed, we hope to advance SR16234 into clinical trials in Japan for the treatment of endometriosis."
Endometriosis is a chronic disease that occurs when cells that line the uterus or womb grow elsewhere in the body. This misplaced tissue responds to hormonal changes and causes internal bleeding and inflammation that can lead to pain, scar tissue formation and infertility. According to the World Endometriosis Research Foundation, endometriosis affects approximately 176 million women worldwide.
"Currently available endometriosis treatments often address only the symptoms, such as pain and infertility, and not the underlying causes of the disease," said Krishna Kodukula, Ph.D., executive director of strategic development at SRI Biosciences. "There is a clear need for something better."