Herjan Coelingh Bennink, Netherlands
From 1987-2000 HCB was Executive VP of the Women’s Health R&D programme at Organon in The Netherlands, where he was responsible for the development of RM drugs such as recFSH (Puregon) and the GnRH antagonist Antagon, both for IVF; the contraceptive vaginal ring (Nuvaring), a progestogen implant for contraception (Implanon), a progestogen-only desogestrel oral contraceptive (Cerazette) and the steroid tibolone (Livial) for menopausal hormone therapy (MHT).
HCB founded Pantarhei Bioscience in December 2000, where he discovered (i) the natural fetal estrogen Estetrol (E4) as a drug for oral contraception and MHT, licensed out to Mithra Pharmaceuticals in Belgium in 2015, (ii) a new combined contraceptive pill containing DHEA to prevent symptoms caused by the loss of testosterone due to COCs (the Androgen Restored Contraception ARC pill), licensed out to Gedeon Richter in Hungary in 2018 and (iii) an immunotherapy for the treatment of Zona Pellucida 3 (ZP3) cancer antigen expressing ovarian, prostate, breast, colon and non small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The ovarian cancer ZP3 application was licensed out to HRA in France in 2014. That same year Pantarhei Oncology was founded as a subsidiary of Pantarhei Bioscience to develop new cancer drugs in the field of Reproductive Endocrine Oncology (REO), with a focus on improved endocrine treatment of advanced breast cancer (BCa) and advanced prostate cancer (PCa). For both cancer applications successful phase 2 proof-of-concept studies have been completed and published in November 2020 (BCa) and May 2021 (PCa) and next phase 2 and 3 studies are in preparation.