Women’s health company Mithra has sold all its shares in Mayne Pharma for €12.8m ($13.7m), a week after the former set out plans to secure its long-term cash runway.

Belgium-based Mithra originally acquired shares in Mayne Pharma because of an exclusive 2019 licence agreement to commercialise Mithra’s oral contraceptive drug Estelle (estetrol-E4 / drospirenone).

The proceeds raised from selling all 4,221,815 of its shares in Mayne Pharma will go to prepayment of loans and operational purposes.  The shares were sold at a price of A$5.03 per share, Mithra said in a 15 February press release.

In recent years, Mithra has experienced tough financial health, forcing the company to secure its precarious cash runway that it says will last only through early March. Share prices in the Euronext Brussels-listed company have tanked by more than 90% during the past three years.

Releasing its position in the Australian biotech Mayne Pharma is the first step Mithra has taken since announcing a remedying course of action. Mithra made a net loss of just more than $50m for the first half of 2023 and has appointed debt advisors and investment banks as the company eyes raising equity from selling assets.

Mithra’s stake in Mayne Pharma is the first major action the company has taken since outlining its plans last week.

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Mithra stated it would sell or out-licence several assets along with selling rights of future milestones and royalty payments for existing partnerships. It is also evaluating the “best strategic alternatives” for two of its businesses – the pharma company Novalon and a contract development and manufacturing organisation (CDMO) facility.

In an email to Pharmaceutical Technology last week, Mithra stated: “We are continuing to work hard to ensure that we can continue to deliver differentiated medicines to women worldwide. To achieve this, we are currently reaching out to current and potential investors in a drive to raise additional capital, as well as putting in place a remediation plan.”

Mithra’s two most fruitful assets are Myring (ethinylestradiol / etonogestreland) and Estelle (estetrol-E4 / drospirenone). The latter is marketed as Nextstellis and Drovelis in the US and EU respectively. In the first half of 2023, Myring saw sales of €2.4m while Estelle netted €2.6m.

Amidst its remediation plan, Mithra could potentially have a new drug entering the fray. Its investigational treatment for vasomotor symptoms or hot flashes Donesta has produced positive topline results from an ongoing Phase III study. The orally administered estetrol (E4) hormone therapy is slated for US approval in 2024 and EU approval in 2025.