The stepwise funding commitments, together with previous funding from Tekes, are expected to reach $13 million over three years, of which Karolinska Development will invest up to $3.9 million.
Forendo Pharma is developing a potential treatment of endometriosis based on inhibition of the 17β-HSD1 enzyme, a novel drug target with potential for tissue/organ specific regulation of hormone activity. Endometriosis is a common disease, affecting up to 10% of young and middle-aged women worldwide and causing painful symptoms and infertility. This project is currently in preclinical development.
The company is also developing fispemifene, a potential treatment for patients with low testosterone levels. This oral treatment offers several possible benefits over current therapies, including the potential to maintain male fertility. In contrast to testosterone replacement therapy, fispemifene stimulates the testicular function in men. Fispemifene has demonstrated efficacy in phase II clinical studies. Forendo Pharma will seek partners for this program.
“We see this as an excellent opportunity to invest in a drug development program which has the potential to provide endometriosis patients with an entirely new effective and well-tolerated treatment expected to have many benefits compared to current treatment options,” said Torbjörn Bjerke, chief executive officer of Karolinska Development.