A University of Warwick spin-out has raised almost £3m from Mercia Asset Management to develop the world’s first testosterone patch for women with menopausal symptoms.
Medherant aims to begin clinical trials later this year and ultimately to gain regulatory approval in the UK and internationally. If successful, it would be the only testosterone replacement patch available globally and could transform the lives of post-menopausal women suffering from loss of sex drive.
Testosterone is an essential hormone for women but its production declines with age.Guidelines issued by National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommend that testosterone supplementation be considered for menopausal women with low sex drive if hormone replacement therapy alone does not work.
However, currently there are no testosterone products specifically for women approved in the UK and therefore women can only be prescribed testosterone on an off-label basis. As a result, many women are restricted to using irregular doses of gel only approved for use on men. They also have to be sure to apply the correct amount to the skin and the product can transfer to clothing and other surfaces. The Medherant product consists of a patch that delivers the correct amount and would have to be changed twice a week.
Mercia first invested in Medherant in 2015, a year after its inception. Since then it has provided repeat funding rounds to help the company develop its novel patch technology.
Dr Mark Payton, CEO of Mercia, said: “The lack of a testosterone patch represents a clear gap in provision for post-menopausal women that clearly restricts their options. Medherant aims to fill that gap and is one of a number of businesses we have backed developing medical products specifically for women. This funding will enable the company to initiate its clinical trial programme to help bring it to market. Ultimately the patch could become widely available and help millions of women worldwide to lead happier, more fulfilling lives.”
Medherant’s CEO, John Burt, said: : “Having the funding in place for the first clinical trial of our testosterone patch for post-menopausal women will enable Medherant to take a major step towards registration of the product and being able to address this significant gap in the options available for women in this very important stage of their lives.”