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Tefina, a ‘female Viagra’ ?

Tefina, the first testosterone based intranasal gel, has been in part developed by the ULg’s Galenic Pharmacy Laboratory. It is currently at the stage of testing before being marketed by the Canadian company, Trimel Pharmaceuticals.

Tefina, a ‘female Viagra’ currently being studied, has been partly developed within the University of Liège’s Department of Pharmacy

The University of Liège’s Galenic pharmacy laboratory, directed by Professor Brigitte Evrard, is contributing to the development of the Tefina gel, the first testosterone based intranasal gel. It should be injected, in the form of a nasal spray, one to two hours before sexual relations. The nose being an organ rich in blood vessels, it enables a rapid and targeted absorption of the active ingredient.

The Liège researchers have been working jointly for two years with the Canadian company, Trimel Pharmaceuticals in the context of developing Tefina. This new drug, which constitutes treatment for female anorgasmia – the impossibility of having an orgasm due to organic, behavioural or psychological reasons – is currently undergoing phase 2 clinical trials in the United States, Canada and Australia. The Canadian company which wants to launch on the market a treatment capable of stimulating desire in women, turned to the Liège laboratory to optimise the product

The University of Liège’s Galenic pharmacy laboratory thus developed the composition and formula of an intranasal gel so that a sufficient quantity of testosterone can be administered in a single dose, whilst maintaining the integrity of the nasal epithelium. To ensure optimal activity of the active ingredient it was necessary to solubilise and stabilise it, which proved a genuine challenge for the researchers. The manufacturing process was also studied at the laboratory, which is known for innovating and optimising industrial drug manufacturing processes.

The specific skills developed by the University of Liège’s Galenic pharmacy laboratory in the field of formulating and manufacturing drugs regularly lead it to work with the Belgian and international pharmaceutical industry. The valorisation of its research work is regularly expressed through the registering of patents (Brigitte Evrard, the Director, is the co-author of 25 patents), placing new drugs on the market and also by the creation of spin-offs. The Galenic pharmacy laboratory is part of the University of Liège’s Pharmacy Department, within the Faculty of Medicine. It brings together some fifteen researchers (pharmacists, industrial pharmacists, biologists and chemists).

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