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Bremelanotide chemical structure.png
Systematic (IUPAC) name
(3S,6S,9R,12S,15S,23S)-15-[(N-acetyl-L-norleucyl)amino]-9-benzyl-6-{3-[(diaminomethylidene)amino]propyl}-12-(1H-imidazol-5-ylmethyl)-3-(1H-indol-3-ylmethyl)-2,5,8,11,14,17-hexaoxo-1,4,7,10,13,18-hexaa zacyclotricosane-23-carboxylic acid
Clinical data
  • US: Unscheduled
Pharmacokinetic data
Half-life 120 minutes[1]
189691-06-3 YesY
PubChem CID 9941379
ChemSpider 8116997 YesY
UNII 6Y24O4F92S YesY
KEGG D06569 N
Chemical data
Formula C50H68N14O10
1025.2 g/mol
 N (what is this?)  (verify)

Bremelanotide Listeni/ˌbrɛmɨˈlænətd/ (formerly PT-141) is a compound under drug development by Palatin Technologies as a treatment for female sexual dysfunction, hemorrhagic shock and reperfusion injury. It functions by activating the melanocortin receptors MC1R and MC4R, to modulate inflammation and limiting ischemia.[2] It was originally tested for intranasal administration in treating female sexual dysfunction but this application was temporarily discontinued in 2008 after concerns were raised over adverse side effects of increased blood pressure. As of December 2014, Palatin is conducting a human Phase 3 study[3] using a subcutaneous drug delivery system that appears to have little effect on blood pressure.


Bremelanotide was developed from the peptide hormone Melanotan II which underwent testing as a sunless tanning agent. In initial testing, Melanotan II did induce tanning but additionally caused sexual arousal and spontaneous erections as unexpected side effects in nine out of the ten original male volunteer test subjects.[4]

In studies, bremelanotide was shown to induce lordosis in an animal model[5] and was also effective in treating sexual dysfunction in both men (erectile dysfunction or impotence) and women (sexual arousal disorder). Unlike Viagra and other related medications, it does not act upon the vascular system, but directly increases sexual desire via the nervous system.[6]

A Phase III clinical trial was scheduled to begin in the first half of 2007, but was delayed until August 2007. On August 30, Palatin announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had expressed serious concerns regarding the risk/benefit ratio of bremelanotide with regards to the side effect of increased blood pressure. The FDA stated that it would consider alternate uses for bremelanotide, including as a treatment for individuals who do not respond to more established ED treatments. However, On May 13, 2008, Palatin Technologies announced it had "discontinued development of Bremelanotide for the treatment of male and female sexual dysfunction" while concurrently announcing plans to develop it as a treatment for hemorrhagic shock instead.[7] The company additionally announced intentions to focus its attention on another compound, PL-6983, that causes lower blood pressure in animal models.[8] Palatin has since re-initiated Bremelanotide studies for ED and FSD using a subcutaneous delivery method. On August 12, 2009, the company announced that in a double-blind study of 54 volunteers bremelanotide failed to evoke the hypertensive side effects seen with the nasal delivery system used in prior studies, concluding that "variability of uptake" inherent in intranasal administration of the drug resulted in "increases in blood pressure and gastrointestinal events...primarily related to high plasma levels in [only] a subset of patients" and that subcutaneous administration of the drug circumvented the potential for this side effect.[8] Palatin has completed a human Phase 2B study utilizing subcutaneous administration and reported positive results.[9]


Bremelanotide is a cyclic hepta-peptide lactam analog of alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (alpha-MSH) that activates the melanocortin receptors MC3-R and MC4-R in the central nervous system. It has the amino acid sequence Ac-Nle-cyclo[Asp-His-D-Phe-Arg-Trp-Lys]-OH or cyclo-[Nle4, Asp5, D-Phe7, Lys10]alpha-MSH-(4-10). It is a metabolite of Melanotan II that lacks the C-terminal amide function.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ King SH, Mayorov AV, Balse-Srinivasan P, Hruby VJ, Vanderah TW, Wessells H (2007). "Melanocortin receptors, melanotropic peptides and penile erection". Current Topics in Medicinal Chemistry 7 (11): 1098–1106. doi:10.2174/1568026610707011111. PMC 2694735. PMID 17584130. 
  2. ^ Bremelanotide for Organ Protection and Related Indications, Palatin Technologies fact sheet. Retrieved on 2009-01-18.
  3. ^ "Palatin Announces Start of Bremelanotide Phase 3 Program For Female Sexual Dysfunction". PR Newswire. Retrieved 2015-02-17. 
  4. ^ "Tanning drug may find new life as Viagra alternative". CNN. 1999. Retrieved 2007-09-16. 
  5. ^ Pfaus JG, Shadiack A, Van Soest T, Tse M, Molinoff P (July 2004). "Selective facilitation of sexual solicitation in the female rat by a melanocortin receptor agonist". Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 101 (27): 10201–4. doi:10.1073/pnas.0400491101. PMC 454387. PMID 15226502. 
  6. ^ Vicki Mabrey (2006). "ABC News "The Business of Desire - Love Potion"". ABC News. Retrieved 2009-01-24. 
  7. ^ "Palatin Technologies announces new strategic objectives and reports third quarter 2008 financial results". Palatin Technologies press release. 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-21. 
  8. ^ a b "Palatin Technologies Announces New Strategic Objectives". Retrieved 2008-05-13. 
  9. ^

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