Put your product ahead regardless of all odds

Angela Hildreth had never worked in the pharmaceutical industry until she became Shield Therapeutics ‘ Finance Director — and first employee — in 2011. Everything her previous experience was about corporate finance.

In her time at Shield, Hildreth oversaw the entire development, acceptance and marketing process of anemia care — a disease she knows from personal experience.

She joined Futura Medical 18 months ago. Located in Surrey, UK, the company was changing its approach as its flagship product — a condom for the treatment of erectile dysfunction — became apparent to the public.

While the drug had been accepted, for strategic reasons, two main partners had gone out of relationships to market it. One was Durex, the other was Church & Dwight, his rival.

Futura Medical had to rely on another erectile dysfunction treatment, this time in the form of a gel. The business has signed an agreement with GSK.  The pharma stopped, however, dropping the plan because it did not fit its priorities. The company currently promoted its antiretroviral drugs strongly.

Confident in the potential of the drug, Hildreth set out to raise funds for a business that struggled with a history of losing investors and moreover, could not monetize its first brand.

But the tipping point will be in December, when the company expects the team worked so hard to get the results of the trial. Such results will be crucial for the company to secure funding for a second, smaller Phase III trial, which could lead to treatment approval.

In the past, other firms have tried to develop similar products. Most of the studies focused on using harsh enhancers of permeation to help absorb a drug through the body. They damage the skin, however, and cause severe inflammation — which is a particularly serious problem in the treatment of sensitive areas.