Liege, Belgium, 04 May 2023 – 7:30 CEST – Mithra (Euronext Brussels: MITRA), a company dedicated to Women’s Health, today announces that through a collaboration with researchers from the University of Liège’s Center for Integrated Technology and Organic Synthesis (CiTOS), proof-of-concept has been demonstrated for a novel manufacturing process of a key estetrol intermediate.
Estetrol (E4), Mithra’s core asset, is a natural estrogen with potential applications across multiple therapeutic fields including Women’s Health (contraception and menopause). After successfully launching the first estetrol-based product in 2021, the contraceptive pill Estelle®, Mithra continued to work towards innovation in manufacturing aimed at reducing cost of goods and potential environmental impact through the removal of a metal catalyst in the production process.
The Mithra and CiTOS teams have developed a novel, intensified manufacturing methodology to improve robustness and productivity while ensuring a limited environmental footprint. The new metal-free process is based on the thermolysis of a key sulfoxide derivative of estrone. Early proof of concept for this novel methodology was published in the peer-reviewed industry journal Reaction Chemistry & Engineering earlier this year here.
Mithra and CiTOS will continue their development work, with initial commercial production by a CDMO using the enhanced manufacturing process expected in 2026/27.
David H Solomon, Chief Executive Officer of Mithra, commented: « Mithra’s collaboration with CiTOS demonstrates our commitment to innovation and sustainable drug supply in women’s health. With the mass production of estetrol integral to our daily activities, we are always looking at ways we can enhance the manufacturing process. This particular method allows us to produce estetrol at scale to meet increased demand while also delivering reduced cost of goods. »
Jean-Christophe Monbaliu, Professor of Organic Chemistry at the University of Liège, added: « With this novel methodology we are able to yield about 1kg of the estetrol intermediate every three hours in just our pilot setup. If we applied these metrics to an industrial estetrol production setup, a forecast of several tons, is achievable with minimal global footprint. »