Bremelanotide: First Approval
Bremelanotide (Vyleesi™) is a melanocortin receptor agonist recently approved in the USA for the treatment of premenopausal women with acquired, generalized hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD), as characterized by low sexual desire that causes marked distress or interpersonal difficulty. It is a self-administered, on-demand subcutaneous therapy. Initially developed by Palatin Technologies who sponsored the Phase 3 clinical trials, bremelanotide was subsequently out-licensed to AMAG Pharmaceuticals Inc. for exclusive North American rights to develop and commercialize the drug, including submitting the New Drug Application to the US FDA. Bremelanotide is a synthetic peptide analogue of the neuropeptide hormone alpha melanocyte-stimulating hormone (α-MSH) with high affinity for the melanocortin type 4 receptor (thought to be important for sexual function), giving it the potential to modulate brain pathways involved in sexual response. This article summarizes the milestones in the development of bremelanotide leading to this first regulatory approval.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
The preparation of this review was not supported by any external funding.
Conflicts of interest
During the peer review process the manufacturer of the agent under review was offered an opportunity to comment on the article. Changes resulting from any comments received were made by the authors on the basis of scientific completeness and accuracy. Sohita Dhillon and Susan Keam are salaried employees of Adis International Ltd/Springer Nature, are responsible for the article content and declare no relevant conflicts of interest.
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