Forendo Pharma Initiates Phase I Study for Potential New, Targeted Treatment for Endometriosis

Forendo Pharma, a drug development company focusing on novel oral treatments for endometriosis patients, announces that it has received clinical trial authorisation (CTA) from the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to commence a study for its lead program FOR-6219.

Endometriosis is a chronic condition that affects up to 10% of women in reproductive age and causes repeated pain symptoms, infertility and impaired quality of life. Currently available treatments for endometriosis have limitations in efficacy or cause harmful side effects. They often lead to systemic estrogen depletion, with known safety issues on bone mineral density and menopausal symptoms.

Forendo Pharma has developed a potential new treatment for endometriosis based on inhibition of the HSD17B1 enzyme, a novel drug target for tissue specific regulation of hormone activity. Proof of efficacy for this novel mechanism has been demonstrated in primate model of endometriosis. The clinical compound FOR-6219 inhibits the conversion of low potency estrone into highly potent estradiol in endometriotic tissues. The most important expected differentiator of FOR-6219 compared to currently available treatments is its selective activity and the ability to act locally in the target tissues, without impacting systemic hormone levels.

The Phase Ia trial is a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study in healthy postmenopausal women aged between 45 and 65 years. The primary objectives of the study will investigate the safety, tolerability and pharmacokinetics of single and multiple ascending oral doses of FOR-6219. Results are expected at end of 2018.

Risto Lammintausta, CEO of Forendo Pharma, commented: “Commencing the first clinical study of FOR-6219 marks an important milestone for Forendo Pharma. FOR-6219 has the potential to address significant unmet needs in women’s health, and potentially offers multiple benefits over the current endometriosis therapies including long term use, as well as the opportunity for earlier intervention to this chronic disease. We are excited by the significant clinical applications and commercial opportunities it holds for Forendo Pharma.”

Stephan Christgau, Chairman of Forendo Pharma and Senior Partner at Novo Seeds, said: “Forendo Pharma has world class experience in steroid hormone biology and the emerging field of intracrinology. The team has developed a novel, first in class therapy for a new target that holds the potential to be a game changer in the treatment of endometriosis. FOR-6219 is a unique molecule that may provide an efficacious and safe treatment for women suffering from the severe debilitating disorder of endometriosis.”

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