Forendo Pharma

Novel therapies for women’s and men’s health

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who we are

Forendo Pharma is a drug discovery and development company, with core competence in tissue specific hormone mechanisms. The company was founded in 2013 as a spin out from Hormos Medical. The founding team includes leading academic professionals in endocrinology and pioneers within Finnish drug development. Forendo has strong investors with drug development expertise and broad international contacts: Novo Seeds, Karolinska Development, Novartis Venture Fund, Merck Ventures and Finnvera.

Our solution

Forendo Pharma has core competence in tissue-specific regulation of sex hormone effects. The current product pipeline of the company includes two lead programs. 

Fispemifene is a selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM), with a unique tissue-specific pharmacological profile. It is in clinical Phase 2 development, with potential for the treatment of multiple male urological conditions.

HSD17B1-inhibitor is targeted initially for the treatment of endometriosis. The potent and selective lead compounds have demonstrated in vivo proof of efficacy in primate disease model of endometriosis. HSD17B1 program is in preclinical phase.


Fispemifene is intended for patients with male urological conditions. It has both anti-estrogenic and estrogenic actions. Restoring the hormonal balance is an important, novel approach to treating both the underlying mechanisms and symptoms of lower urinary tract symptoms.

HSD17B1 -inhibitor is a novel approach for treating patients suffering from endometriosis. Endometriosis is a disease in which endometrial tissue forms lesions outside the uterine cavity causing pain, abnormal bleeding and infertility. Forendo is expecting its novel product concept to offer the first opportunity for local elimination of lesions and symptoms without unwanted systemic effects.

what we are looking for

Forendo Pharma is looking for strategic licensing partners who can advance the Fispemifene program through its remaining development, regulatory and commercial stages. An ideal partner would have a dedicated urology franchise with both commercialized and development-stage products; a track record of successfully advancing programs from proof-of-concept to commercialization and access to the capital required for all the remaining development and regulatory activities.

team profiles

Risto Lammintausta, Chief Executive Officer, M.D., Ph.D. Pharmacology and Clinical Pharmacology. He has over 30 years of drug development experience in different positions of R&D management, from Farmos Group, Orion Pharma, Hormos Medical and QuatRx. During his career, five new compound discoveries have been launched to global markets, including Ospemifene. In 2013, he co-founded and became CEO of Forendo Pharma. Risto has served as a board member for several biopharma companies and has had positions of trust in associations for Finnish Bioindustry, Chemical Industry and Pharma Industry.


Janne Komi, Chief Medical Officer, M.D., Ph.D., has over 10 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry and has held various positions ranging from R&D lead roles in early drug discovery to clinical development, both in Finland (Hormos Medical) and in the US (QuatRx Pharmaceuticals Company). In addition, Dr. Komi has over 5 years of regulatory experience at the Finnish Medicines Agency (Fimea) and the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) at the European Medicines Agency (EMA).   


Maarit Merla, Head of Business Development, MSc (Econ), eMBA, is a life science business professional, with over 14 years of international experience in neonatal and maternal health screening and diagnostics at PerkinElmer Inc.  She has been responsible for several operational and R&D functions, marketing and business development, working in global teams across Europe, Middle East and Africa, North America and Asia. Maarit joined Forendo Pharma in 2015 and she is responsible for out-licensing.

Contact information

Maarit Merla

Head of Business Development


+358 40 3108023

Itäinen Pitkäkatu 4B, FI-20520 Turku

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