The drug is an oral reformulation of duloxetine – an anti-depressant which is currently marketed under the brand name Cymbalta.
Studies have shown that the drug has “promise” as a treatment for premature ejaculation, and N4 believes its reformulation will make it “faster acting and longer fasting”.
Should the patent be granted, the AIM-listed firm said it would allow a licensing partner to take the drug through clinical trials knowing that the final product will be commercially protected.
N4 specialises in reformulating drugs to improve their effectiveness. For example, last year it applied for patent protection for its reformulation of sildenafil, commonly known as Viagra. The company believes its version of the erectile dysfunction drug is quicker to get to work and lasts for longer.
“We are excited to have reached this important milestone in the patent process for our duloxetine application,” said chief executive Nigel Theobald.
“Our sildenafil clinical trial results will help to provide useful information to allow us to investigate possible formulation work on our duloxetine product. Continuing the patent process is a crucial step in helping us build a portfolio of generic reformulation opportunities.”
N4 shares were up 6.9% to 20.5p in late-afternoon trading.