Drug regulators in the United States made it known on Friday that they have approved drugs from Amag Pharmaceuticals and Palatin Technologies that will address the loss of sexual desire in premenopausal women. According to NY Times, the efforts of the two companies are the latest attempt to develop a ‘female viagra.’
Vyleesi will be available soon to a market that has seen previous attempts to develop such a drug fail. However, nalysts estimate that annual sales of Vyleesi could reach as high as $1 billion.
Shares for Palatin are now trading at $1.93. This represents a 44 percent rise in value. Shares of Amag are trading at 11 percent more than before the announcement.
The chemical name for Vyleesi is bremelanotide. The drug causes pathways in the brain that control sexual desires to become more active.
A main competitor to Vyleesi is Addyi, which was produced by Sprout Pharmaceuticals. Addyi is a once a day pill released in 2015 to help women suffering from a condition known as hypoactive sexual desire disorder.
Addyi was deemed to be relatively ineffective by scientists working for the Food and Drug Administration. The drug was released to the public anyway as a result of pressure applied by advocacy groups.
Vyleesi is considered by many who are familiar with the market to possess significant advantages over Addyi. Among these advantages is the fact the drug does not have to be taken on a daily basis, less severe side effects, and faster results.
Reported side effects for Vyleesi include mild to moderate nausea the first few time clinical trial subjects took the drugs. The symptoms were experienced by 40 percent of the trial subjects and lasted about two hours.
The drug is delivered by an injection into the thigh or abdomen. The drug gives the best results if the shot is received approximately 45 minutes before sexual activity is anticipated.
There are approximately six million women in the United States suffering from HSDD. However, a very small percentage of these women seek help for the condition.
Ami Fadia is an analyst for SVB Leerink. Fadia explains that awareness for issues regarding HSDD needs to be raised through social media marketing straight to the consumer.
William Heiden, CEO of Amag, says the market for products to fight HSDD is lacking because until now women suffering from the problem have suffered in silence.
One financial expert predicts Vylessi sales will reach well over $700 million annually by 2030.