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Hormone skin patch maker in deal with P&G

August 21, 2008|From Bloomberg News

Noven Pharmaceuticals Inc., maker of a hormone skin patch designed to boost women's sex drive, said Wednesday that it had agreed to license the treatment to Procter & Gamble, the world's largest consumer products company.

Procter & Gamble will pay Noven undisclosed royalties, manufacturing fees and milestone payments for meeting development and commercial goals, Miami-based Noven said.

The experimental testosterone patch treats lack of desire, the most common sexual complaint of women, according to Noven. The Food and Drug Administration hasn't yet approved any treatment for the condition, Noven said.

Procter & Gamble sells a testosterone patch known as Intrinsa in Europe, but U.S. regulators have declined to approve the product.

"We are excited to be advancing our collaboration with one of the world's best-regarded companies," said Peter Brandt, Noven's president and chief executive.

The success of Pfizer Inc.'s Viagra, which was approved in 1998 and generated $1.76 billion in 2007 sales, followed by GlaxoSmithKline's Levitra and Eli Lilly & Co.'s Cialis to treat impotence in men, has spurred a search for a "female Viagra" to treat lack of desire in women.

A study published July 23 in the Journal of the American Medical Assn. found that Viagra improved sexual desire in women taking antidepressants who had complained that the medication diminished their arousal. However, Pfizer has said it conducted numerous tests of Viagra in women that showed the drug didn't increase women's desire or sexual enjoyment.

Cincinnati-based Procter & Gamble will fund clinical development costs for the patch and oversee applications to regulatory agencies, Noven said.

Noven's shares rose 96 cents, or 7.7%, to $13.43 in extended trading after closing at $12.47, down 10 cents, before the announcement. Procter & Gamble's shares fell 42 cents to $70.30 and were unchanged after hours.

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