Initiator Pharma A/S is a Danish clinical stage life science company developing innovative drugs that target key unmet medical needs within the central and peripheral nervous system. Initiator Pharma’s pipeline consists of three clinical programs – the clinical programs IP2018 and IPED2015 for treatment of erectile dysfunction of psychogenic and organic origin, respectively, and the orphan drugprogram IPTN2021 for Trigeminal Neuralgia, a severe neuropathic pain condition.

Background

Initiator started off as a spin-out company from Saniona AB together with Dr. Claus Olesen, Dr. Dan Peters, Professor Ulf Simonsen and Dr. Mikael Thomsen, with the business idea of further developing a family of drug candidates based on so-called MRI technology (Monoamine Reuptake Inhibitor). The technology aims to inhibit the reuptake of monoamines in the body’s nerves and thereby increase dopamine levels in various parts of the brain and body. Dopamine is an important neurological signaling substance, and by increasing the dopamine level, a number of different diseases can be treated. All founders of Initiator have long and solid experience of preclinical and clinical drug development and are also world-leading researchers in erectile dysfunction and MRI technology, which forms the basis for the company’s drug candidates.

The opportunity

The development and launch of PDE5i products such as Viagra© and Cialis© have dramatically improved the Quality of Life for men that respond to this treatment, improving the mood, overall sexual function, satisfaction in relationships and their overall Quality of Life (Rosen et al., 2004; Shabsigh et al., 2001). Unfortunately, approximately 30-40% of men with ED do not respond to the PDE5i drug therapy and this group of patients still experiences low Quality of Life (Gupta et al, 2005). Patients suffering from neurologic damage, diabetes mellitus or severe vascular disease are particularly at risk (Jackson et al, 2006), in addition to patients on medications of central nervous system disorders, like antidepressants, antipsychotics and anxiolytics (Gratzke et al, 2010). New alternative therapies are clearly needed for this medical condition.