RED BANK, N.J., Nov. 4, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Nearly one in two non-menopausal women ages 30 to 50 say they have experienced low sexual desire at some point in their lives, and many of these women (61%) felt distressed by it, according to a new national survey.
Low sexual desire that is accompanied by distress can strain a woman’s relationship with her partner and may be a sign of a common type of female sexual dysfunction known as hypoactive sexual desire disorder, or HSDD. While most women in the survey were aware of erectile dysfunction and other men’s sexual health issues, only 14 percent of those surveyed, including women with symptoms of low desire, were aware of HSDD, which has been a medical diagnosis for over 30 years. The survey sampled ~1000 U.S. women between the ages of 30 and 50 and was supported by HealthyWomen and Palatin Technologies, Inc., which is developing an on-demand treatment for HSDD.
On October 27th and 28th, the FDA held its first public workshop on female sexual dysfunction (FSD). The workshop was held by the FDA to gather information on patients’ experiences with FSD and clinicians’ and experts’ input on diagnosis and drug development for FSD. The results of this survey are supportive and in line with the key messages conveyed to the FDA at this recent workshop. “Sex is an important part of a romantic relationship, so a lack of intimacy can sometimes create tension within an otherwise healthy partnership,” said Beth Battaglino, R.N., CEO and President of HealthyWomen. “Women who are distressed by their low sexual desire may not realize that this could be a sign of a medical issue. Most women don’t know what female sexual dysfunction is nor do they understand that conditions like HSDD are real and can be a serious concern for them as well as their partner.”
Indeed, most of the women surveyed said low sexual desire would hurt the level of intimacy with their romantic partner (85%) and impair communication (66%). Among those respondents who report experiencing low desire or who self-identified with HSDD, nearly half (45%) blame themselves and 38 percent admit that it makes them question their worth in the relationship.
Currently, there are no drugs in the United States approved for the treatment of HSDD. According to the survey, most women (87%) believe there should be a treatment available but are not aware of any treatment options for the condition. More women would be interested in a treatment taken “on-demand” or when needed for sexual activity as opposed to a daily pill (58% vs. 42%, respectively). Among those who self-identified with HSDD, nearly all (92%) said they would be interested in HSDD treatment; 75 percent said they are frustrated that one is not yet available.
“It is important for women living with HSDD or some other form of female sexual dysfunction to not blame themselves and feel confident to discuss their concerns with their healthcare provider and their partner,” Battaglino said. “At HealthyWomen, we support the ongoing research in female sexual health focused on providing women with access to safe and effective therapies.”
FDA Workshop on FSD
On October 27th and 28th, the FDA held its first public workshop on female sexual dysfunction (FSD). The workshop was held by the FDA to gather information on patients’ experiences with FSD and clinicians’ and experts’ input on diagnosis and drug development for FSD.
Patients, their partners or interested parties may add their comments to the public record of this meeting at http://1.usa.gov/1pbdGrY.
About Female Sexual Dysfunction
Female sexual dysfunction (FSD) is often described as a disturbance in sexual functioning. It is multidimensional and can be caused by physiological, psychological, emotional and/or relational factors. FSD can have a major impact on a woman’s sexual relationships, interpersonal relationships, quality of life and even their general well-being.
There are four main types of FSD: sexual desire disorders, female sexual arousal disorder (FSAD), female orgasmic disorder (FOD) and sexual pain disorders. One type of sexual desire disorder is hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD), the most common form of FSD.
HSDD is characterized by a lack of sexual thoughts and desire or interest in sexual activity, which causes a woman distress and cannot be accounted for by another medical, physical or psychiatric condition or a substance-like medication. HSDD can put a strain on the patient’s relationship with her partner. It is estimated that one in 10 women may have signs of HSDD. There are no drugs in the United States approved for the treatment of HSDD.
About the Survey
The survey was conducted by Ipsos North America, an independent market research company, and supported by HealthyWomen and Palatin Technologies, Inc. The 10-minute online survey was fielded from April 4 to 18, 2014 among a representative sample of U.S. women ages 30 to 50 (n=1,028). Of these women, 906 self-identified as non-menopausal (have not yet experienced menopause or are considered perimenopausal). The margin of error for U.S. non-menopausal women ages 30 to 50 is +/-3.3%. If the study were replicated, the research findings would not vary by more than 3.3 percentage points, respectively, in either direction 95 times out of 100.
A copy of the survey can be found on healthywomen.org.
HealthyWomen (HW) is the nation’s leading nonprofit health information source for women. For 25 years, women have been coming to HW for answers to their most pressing and personal health care questions. HW provides award-winning health information through a wide array of online content and print publications that are original, objective and reviewed and approved by medical experts. Its HON-certified website, www.HealthyWomen.org®, has been recognized by ForbesWoman as one of the “Top 100 Websites for Women” for the third year in a row and was named the top women’s health website by Dr. Mehmet Oz in O, The Oprah Magazine. To learn more, visit www.HealthyWomen.org.
About Palatin Technologies
Palatin Technologies, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company developing targeted, receptor-specific peptide therapeutics for the treatment of diseases with significant unmet medical need and commercial potential. Palatin’s lead compound under development is Bremelanotide, a first-in-class, investigative melanocortin agonist being developed as an on-demand treatment for female sexual dysfunction (FSD). Phase 3 clinical trials are anticipated to start in the fourth quarter of calendar 2014. Palatin’s strategy is to develop products and then form marketing collaborations with industry leaders in order to maximize their commercial potential. For additional information regarding Palatin, please visit Palatin’s website at http://www.palatin.com.
Statements in this press release that are not historical facts, including statements about future expectations of Palatin Technologies, Inc. such as statements about clinical trial results, potential actions by regulatory agencies including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), regulatory plans, development programs, proposed indications for product candidates and market potential for product candidates, are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Palatin intends that such forward-looking statements be subject to the safe harbors created thereby. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause Palatin’s actual results to be materially different from its historical results or from any results expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Palatin’s actual results may differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements for reasons including, but not limited to, results of clinical trials, regulatory actions by the FDA and the need for regulatory approvals, Palatin’s ability to fund development of its technology and establish and successfully complete clinical trials, the length of time and cost required to complete clinical trials and submit applications for regulatory approvals, products developed by competing pharmaceutical, biopharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, commercial acceptance of Palatin’s products, and other factors discussed in Palatin’s periodic filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Palatin is not responsible for updating for events that occur after the date of this press release.
 Clayton A. Epidemiology and Neurobiology of Female Sexual Dysfunction. J Sex Med.2007;4:260-268.
 Frank J, et al. Diagnosis and Treatment of Female Sexual Dysfunction. Am Fam Physician.2008;77(5):635-642.
 Basson et al. Report of the International Consensus Development Conference on Female Sexual Dysfunction: Definitions and Classifications. J. Urol. 2000 Vol. ;163:, 888-–893.
Frank J et al. Diagnosis and Treatment of Female Sexual Dysfunction.AmFam Physician 2008; 77(5): 635-642.
 Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.4th ed. Text Revision. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association; 2000.
 Shifren JL, Monz BU, Russo PA, et al. Obstet Gynecol. 2008;112(5):970-978.
SOURCE Palatin Technologies, Inc.