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Inventor of the 1st Heart Drug for women

Licensing Opportunities

Dimera Incorporated seeks partners interested in commercialization of Dimera DP9, the first drug that effectively treats women's ischemia symptoms, specifically coronary (angina pectoris) and peripheral (intermittent claudication) dysfunction. Dimera DP9 is a unique, proprietary formulation specifically designed to prevent long lasting blood vessel narrowing and the resulting reduction in blood flow that becomes harmful ischemia, an unmet medical need which affects over 3 million women in the USA alone.

Technology Details

Consistently repeatable biochemical, single cell, and whole animal studies show that myocardial ischemia can be prevented by a new form of exposure to progesterone, the endogenous ovarian hormone. Transdermal delivery is ideal because it provides blood vessels with the continuous exposure that most closely mimics the natural supply of progesterone experienced by women prior to perimenopause, rather than the large peak exposure of insufficient duration that is seen with oral progesterone treatments. Dimera DP9 is currently formulated as a transdermal progesterone cream to be applied to the skin (e.g., thighs, chest, or abdomen), and development of a transdermal patch is planned. Both DP9 cream and patches can be used independently or in concert with estrogen patches. The effectiveness of Dimera DP9 --via gene expression-- in preventing and reversing myocardial ischemia has been repeatedly demonstrated at both the coronary perfusion and the blood vessel muscle cell level.


Prior to the large NIH studies called the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) and the Women's Ischemic Syndrome Evaluation (WISE), it was generally believed that Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) would protect post-menopausal women from cardiovascular disease by extending the natural protection afforded by normal ovarian function. Unfortunately, both of these studies have indicated that the progestin used in HRT (medroxyprogesterone acetate or MPA) has an adverse, rather than protective, effect on coronary circulation and can actually promote myocardial ischemia.

These first large prospective studies revealed an unmet need for effective treatment of women's ischemia symptoms, specifically coronary (angina pectoris) and peripheral (intermittent claudication) dysfunction. According to NIH WISE clinical studies, the majority of women appear to have non-obstructive, non-exercise induced angina pectoris. This is in contrast to the obstructive, exercise-induced angina that is predominant in men. Presenting signs and symptoms of angina in women include shortness of breath, dizziness, fainting, nausea, diapharesis, and non-chest referred pain--rather than the classic chest pain that is usually the lead symptom in men.

Until recently, the underlying reasons for non-obstructive, non-exercise induced angina have not been well understood. This is because women have a preponderance of microvascular angina, with ischemia occurring in blood vessels too small to be resolved using customary radiographic X-ray catheterization studies that are definitive for men. The discoveries, technology, and advances made by Dimera have resulted in both the first cardiac drug for women and the first effective drug for peripheral vascular disease in women.

The development of DP9 was enabled by Dimera's key discovery that microvascular ischemia is correlated with increased expression of a key signal molecule called the thromboxane-prostanoid (TP) receptor in blood vessel muscle cells. This abnormal TP over-expression state results from a deficiency in exposure to progesterone and is the cause of the long-lasting blood vessel narrowing (vasoconstriction) that results in ischemia. Dimera has shown that both the over-expression of TP and the resulting damage to blood vessel walls (which is adversely promoted by MPA) can be reversed by continuous, low-level treatment with endogenous progesterone. DP9 provides such treatment and thus addresses this unmet medical need of millions of women.

Licensing Opportunities

Licenses to Dimera's patents (see below), trade secrets, and know-how may be exclusive, partially exclusive, or nonexclusive.

Technology Status

Anti-anginal therapy: US Patents 6,056,972, 6,511,969, and 6,602,487
Peripheral vascular disease therapy: US Patents 7,572,780 B2 and 8,182,833 B2, and US Patent Application 13/476,443 (allowed)

The Dimera Team

Professor Hermsmeyer is the founder and President of Dimera Incorporated. In his 40 year career dedicated to blood vessel research, he was a faculty member in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics at the University of Nebraska, the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Iowa, and the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology at Oregon Health and Science University. He has over 140 major publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals, and is the recipient of numerous national and international awards, including the American Heart Association Katz Prize, the American Physiological Association Bowditch Award, National Institutes of Health Research Career Development Awards, a Fogarty International Scholar Award, a Hoffman-La Roche International Exchange Award, and a Swiss Cardiology Association Research Award.

Vice-President Amanda E. Durkee, MBA, is a marketing research expert. Amanda has over eight years of experience managing both domestic and international scope research studies for high-technology companies. She is the recipient of an American Marketing Association Four Under Forty International Award, and an experienced multilingual leader with expertise in product evaluation, pricing, positioning, branding, market profiling, and market size optimization.

Vice-President Theresa L. Thompson, PhD, is a molecular biologist with expertise in oligonucleotide chemistry, vascular muscle cell biology, DNA probe design, and clinical manufacturing and controls.

Advisor Paul-Andre de Lame, MD, is an intensive care specialist and pharmaceutical industry expert who is providing leadership of Dimera DP9 clinical trials.

Advisor Len Selihar is a pharmaceutical industry expert with drug development successes who is guiding the development of licensing and alliances with Dimera.

Contact Information

R. Kent Hermsmeyer, PhD, FAHA
Dimera Incorporated
PO Box 56600
Portland OR 97238
503 295 2775