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New fertility drug development techniques by Organon

In the 7th International Symposium on GnRH Analogs in Cancer and Human Reproduction, Organon presented new techniques of development of fertility drugs. Organon scientists have succeeded in customizing the follicle-stimulating hormone(FSH) molecule by adding a hybrid subunit, which extends FSH's active life. This was achieved through an international collaboration. This longer active life will mean fewer injections for the infertile patient, making the treatment less difficult// and more patient-friendly. The company indicated that a long-acting form of the genetically-produced fertility drug, Puregon(rFSH), has moved into the dose-finding phase of its development using the latest techniques of "knowledge driven drug development" (KD3). These new techniques model the drug's underlying mechanisms, and use that information to support decisions about doses, dose regimens and design of future trials.

Organon is also in the process of developing oral tablet formulation alternative to the injectable hormone hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin). hCG has been used, in the past 30 years, to make ovulation and final oocyte maturation take place with precise timing. However, it has only been available in the injectable form due to its high molecular weight. Now, scientists have identified through high-throughput screening, compounds similar to hCG, but with lower molecular weight. These compounds have been optimized with respect to potency, selectivity and safety. The new compound, an LH/hCG agonistic agent, interacts with the human LH receptor just like LH (and hCG). Scientists carried out pre-clinical tests of this LH agonist in rats and found that it induced ovulation after a single oral dose and that fertilization of the ovulated eggs resulted in the normal implantation of healthy embryos in these rats. The scientists at Organon who are also exploring the IVF cycle concluded that this oral compound could also play a role in other infertility indications or at othe r moments during and after an IVF cycle.


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