BioSante's female sexual dysfunction drug draws partnering interest

BioSante CEO Stephen Simes says the developer is in talks with "many, many companies" about a potential partnership deal for its sexual dysfunction treatment LibiGel. The testosterone drug, which is applied directly to the skin, recently passed a Phase III safety trial.

Since Viagra's approval in 2009, developers have advanced many possible treatments for the condition, but they have been unable to bring any to market. If BioSante is successful with this new therapy, it would represent the first approved treatment in a market worth up to $4 billion.

"Nobody really wanted to touch BioSante when they had a three-, four-, five-year window ahead of them," Rodman & Renshaw analyst Elemer Piros tells Bloomberg. "The company is just being recognized, just starting to appear on people's radar screens." Recent safety data has drawn interest from potential partners, but the real test will come when BioSante gets Phase III data from two trials of the drug's effectiveness. The results are expected later this year.

Analysts point to Pfizer (already experienced in the erectile dysfunction market), Endo Pharmaceuticals and Warner Chilcott as possible partners for LibiGel. BioSante could land up to $1 billion in a buyout early next year if the company's Phase III trials are successful. The developer hopes to file and NDA with the FDA next year and bring the drug to market by 2013.

- read the Bloomberg article