Yesterday, Swiss biotech ObsEva highlighted positive Phase III results that show their fertility treatment nolasiban improved the pregnancy rate of women following in vitro fertilization.
ObsEva, a clinical stage, Geneva-based biopharmaceutical company dedicated to women’s reproductive medicine, states that current Phase III results for the drug show an increase in pregnancy rate of 32 % after administration of the drug compared to placebo.
Next to nolasiban, the company currently has two other drugs in its pipeline: OBE2901 and OBE022. Nolasiban, an oral oxytocin receptor antagonist, has the potential to decrease contractions, improve uterine blood flow and make the lining of the uterus more receptive to embryo implantation.
Founded by gynecologist Ernest Loumaye in 2012, ObsEva aims to treat a variety of women’s health issues and has shown rapid growth in recent years. Loumaye also co-founded PregLem in 2006 to develop and commercialize reproductive medicine for women.
Loumaye’s passion for medicine and motivation to improve women’s health through biotech innovation comes across in a 2017 interview. As he states, “I find it extremely attractive that I can stay in my area of interest as a gynecologist and deliver something more broadly applicable and concrete than making observations that perhaps one day could be useful.”
Reproductive health appears to be an underdeveloped area in the biotech industry. For example, birth control pills need to be taken daily, can have unwanted interactions with other medications and become ineffective due to human error. Interestingly, a recent study on an injectable hormonal male contraceptive had to be terminated due to side effects.
ObsEva’s pipeline could offer significant improvements in women’s fertility and pregnancy in a market expected to reach $27Bn (€21.91Bn) by 2022. The current positive Phase III outcome seems to have motivated investors: Since the announcement the company’s shares rose by almost 10% on NASDAQ, a big jump for a company worth $500M (€410.43M). Notably, their stock price is close to the original IPO. ObsEva states it will report follow-up the Phase III results with data on live birth rate, 28-day neonatal safety and a six-month infant check-up.
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