Researchers are developing the world’s only testosterone patch for women with menopausal symptoms.
Medherant, a company founded by Professor David Hadleton of the University of Warwick, is aiming to start clinical trials in the autumn.
If the clinical trials go well and the treatment is approved by the regulatory authorities, this would be the only testosterone replacement patch available worldwide and launched first in the UK.
Prof. Haddleton said the potential to improve women’s lives is “huge”helping them with their loss of sex drive.
Women currently seeking treatment for the effects of menopause on libido can’t prescribe testosterone on the NHS.
Some resort to irregular doses of gel approved only for use on men, experts say.
Testosterone is an essential hormone for women and its production drops sharply after menopause.
Although estrogen and progesterone patches for hormone replacement therapy (HRT). – which stick to the skin to deliver drugs – are available, there is no testosterone delivery patch for women with adverse symptoms.
‘Potential to improve women’s lives is enormous’
Prof Haddleton said: “This is a very exciting development for us – the potential of this technology to improve women’s lives is huge.
“The work we do at Medherant and Warwick is not just theoretical, but focuses on an issue women face that can drastically affect their daily lives and work. This could deliver a product that is much needed and that is just not available.
“Now that the technology has already been proven to work, we can use our new patch to remove unnecessary misery from women’s daily lives.
“We hope this will change the lives of women suffering from postmenopausal issues, both nationally and globally.”
Since 2015, guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) recommend that testosterone supplementation should be considered for menopausal women with low sexual desire if HRT alone is not effective.
The new patch aims to address this gap in menopausal products, by providing a treatment specific to women that can be made widely available.
John Burt, the CEO of Medherant, which raised nearly £3 million for the study, said: “Funding the first clinical trial of our testosterone patch for postmenopausal women will allow Medherant to take a big step towards registration of the product and being able to fill this significant gap in the options available to women at this very important stage of their lives.”