It took a backseat to drugs for erectile dysfunction in men, but Palatin Technologies, Inc. (AMEX: PTN) and King Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NYSE: KG) seems to be making headway with a nasal spray designed to treat female sexual arousal disorder (FSAD) in post-menopausal women. Phase IIa pilot studies involving 26 patients diagnosed with FSAD showed favorable results.
Results showed that on a 14-item questionnaire, 73 percent of the women reported an increased level of genital arousal while on bremelanotide compared with 23 percent of women on placebo. Also, 46 percent of women on bremelanotide reported an increased level of sexual desire while only 19 percent of women responded similarly after placebo treatment. Additionally, subjects receiving bremelanotide reported a higher incidence of engaging in sexual activity compared to placebo.
Bremelanotide, the active ingredient in the nasal spray, is the first compound in a new drug class called melanocortin receptor agonists under development to treat sexual dysfunction.The companies are now enrolling patients for an larger Phase IIb trials throughout the US.