SRI teams up with Japan's Nobelpharma on gynecology drug

Nonprofit researcher SRI International has struck a deal with Japanese drugmaker Nobelpharma to collaborate on a new treatment for the painful gynecological disease endometriosis.

Under the deal, Nobelpharma will work with SRI Biosciences, the organization's in-house CRO, on SR16234, a preclinical estrogen receptor modulator.

The drug, which grew out of SRI's R&D division, targets the root cause of endometriosis, in which cells from the womb or uterine lining errantly grow elsewhere in the body. That leads to pain, inflammation and, in some cases, infertility, SRI said, afflicting about 176 million women around the world.

"Currently available endometriosis treatments often address only the symptoms, such as pain and infertility, and not the underlying causes of the disease," SRI Biosciences Strategic Director Krishna Kodukula said in a statement. "There is a clear need for something better."

The two organizations plan to complete preliminary studies in the near term, then advance SR16234 into clinical trials in Japan.

SRI Biosciences has become an increasingly important segment of its parent organization. Last year, SRI spent $2.8 million to add 2,500 square feet of space for preclinical research, drug discovery and drug development programs to a Virginia R&D hub.

- read the statement

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