COLUMBUS, OH (November 28, 2016) – Sermonix Pharmaceuticals LLC, a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of female-specific oncology products, today announced that its poster on physician perceptions of estrogen agonist/antagonists in menopausal health has been accepted for presentation at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (SABC).
The Dec. 6-10 meeting at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio will include the poster “Physician Perceptions of Estrogen Agonist/Antagonists in Menopausal Health: A Survey to Address Osteoporosis, Urogenital Health and Breast Concerns in Menopause and Breast Cancer Survivorship.”
The poster’s presenting authors are:
- Shari Goldfarb, M.D., Medical Oncologist, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
- Michael Krychman, M.D., Executive Director of the Southern California Center for Sexual Health and Survivorship Medicine in Newport Beach, California; Medical Director, Sexual Medicine, Hoag Hospital, Newport Beach, California
- Paul Plourde, M.D., Sermonix Oncology Team Leader
- David Portman, M.D., Sermonix Chief Executive Officer and Chief Medical Officer
Among the study’s findings was that of women suffering from vulvovaginal atrophy (VVA), an average of just 16 percent are reported to be treated with a selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM).
“Symptoms of vaginal atrophy have a severe detrimental impact on breast cancer survivors’ quality of life and should not be ignored,” said Dr. Krychman. “Aromatase inhibitors, in particular, have a serious negative health impact for women even after adjuvant endocrine therapy is ceased. There is a need for a non-estrogen treatment, such as oral lasofoxifene, which these women can take for restoring both their bones and their urogenital health while potentially protecting their breasts.”
Oral lasofoxifene, Sermonix’s lead investigational drug, is a third-generation SERM, also known as an estrogen agonist/antagonist. It’s one of the most well-studied drugs in its category, having been evaluated in more than 15,000 women in a comprehensive worldwide phase I-III clinical development program that includes the PEARL, OPAL and other trials, showing a positive impact on VVA in addition to a reduction in the risk of vertebral and non-vertebral fractures.
Sermonix is currently focused on developing lasofoxifene for breast and ovarian cancer treatment, particularly an indication in advanced Estrogen Receptor positive (ER+) endocrine-resistant breast cancer. Seventy percent of the more than 240,000 U.S. women annually diagnosed with breast cancer are ER+ and there are an estimated 3 million living breast cancer survivors.
“There are unmet needs in the breast cancer survivorship population as it relates to osteoporosis and urogenital health,” said Dr. Goldfarb. “The good news is that we have treatments for breast cancer. However, many of these therapies create chronic conditions that adversely impact breast cancer survivors’ bones and vagina.”
Lasofoxifene is being investigated for the treatment of metastatic breast cancer and, if found effective, will have the potential to provide women with an improved alternative to existing endocrine treatments.
“The results of this physician survey highlight the unmet medical needs women have during and after endocrine treatment of their breast cancer,” said Dr. Plourde. “Anti-estrogens have been the cornerstone of ER+ breast cancer for decades, yet physicians have underappreciated the impact such therapy has on quality of life. Oral lasofoxifene is a novel investigational agent with a strong anti-estrogen effect on breast. It also has beneficial estrogenic effects on the vagina and bone that helps mitigate bone loss and symptoms related to vaginal atrophy.”
Sermonix Pharmaceuticals LLC is a specialty pharmaceutical company with a targeted focus towards bringing female-specific oncology products through proof of concept, preclinical and clinical development with a clear regulatory pathway in place. The company was founded in 2014 by David Portman, MD, a leading clinical researcher and expert in women’s health, menopause and selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM) therapy. Sermonix has as its lead product oral lasofoxifene, with exclusive licensing rights for the U.S. and Japan obtained from Ligand Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: LGND). The Sermonix internal management team, led by Dr. Portman, has significant experience in all stages of the drug development and regulatory process.
James Symons, MS, PhD, is Vice President of Clinical Development at Sermonix. Paul Plourde, MD, Sermonix Oncology Team Leader, was previously with Astra-Zeneca, where he was instrumental in the development and approval of both tamoxifen and Arimidex®. Elizabeth Attias, MMSc, ScD, is Vice President of Business Development. Miriam Portman, M.D., is the Chief Operating Officer of Sermonix. She is former Co-director and Founder of the Columbus Center for Women’s Health Research. Sermonix Non-Executive Chairman of the Board is Anthony Wild, PhD, former president of both Parke-Davis Pharmaceuticals and Warner-Lambert’s Pharmaceutical Division.