Innovus Pharmaceuticals buys VC-backed Semprae Labs

Innovus Pharmaceuticals said Tuesday that it has acquired Semprae Laboratories. No financial terms were disclosed. Based in Saddle Brook, NJ, Semprae Laboratories is the maker of Zestra, a product designed to improve women’s sex lives. Semprae’s backers included Quaker Partners and Versant Ventures.


Innovus Pharmaceuticals announced that the company acquired Semprae Laboratories through a merger and for shares of common stock of Innovus Pharma. Semprae is a New Jersey company founded by women in 2008 with the goal of improving women’s sexual lives.
From the beginning, Semprae has been marketing Zestra, the first non-prescription product clinically proven to increase arousal, sensation, pleasure and satisfaction in women. In 2011, Semprae introduced Zestra Glide, an accompanying water based lubricant. Together the two products had gross sales of approximately $1 million in 2013.
Innovus Pharma currently has two products targeting male sexual health including EjectDelay for premature ejaculation and CIRCUMserum to help alleviate reduced penile sensitivity
The acquisition of Semprae brings a number of benefits to Innovus Pharma:
1. Immediate revenue-generating non-prescription products for women’s sexual health. The Company believes that Zestra™ is the only non-prescription product shown in published double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials in close to 300 women in the U.S. to have a statistical increase in desire, arousal and satisfaction in women with Female Sexual Arousal Disorder (“FSAD”) with minimal side effects; Zestra™ is recommended by many gynecologists, urologists and sex therapist due to its clinical efficacy and safety.
2. Approximately $1 million in new additional annual gross revenues from the sales of these products;
3. Strong intellectual property protection. Zestra™ is protected by patents extending to beyond 2021.
4. Immediate retail presence in some of the largest U.S. retail chains such as Walmart, Target, K Mart and and large drug wholesalers such McKesson, Cardinal Health and H.D. Smith;
5. Over 85,000 retail customers for these two products; and
6. Institutional venture shareholders, including Quaker Partners, L.P. and Versant Ventures, L.P.
“This acquisition of Semprae moves Innovus Pharma into the commercial revenue-generating stage with needed products in the female sexual health space,” said Dr. Bassam Damaj, President and Chief Executive Officer of Innovus Pharma. “In addition, it gives Innovus the needed retail infrastructure for distributing the rest of our OTC products in the US. The combination of Semprae’s two products with those of Innovus Pharma creates a company that is clearly an emerging leader in the over the counter male and female sexual health space.”
“The synergy of Innovus Pharma’s products in the male sexual health space including EjectDelay™ for premature ejaculation and CIRCUMSerum™ to alleviate reduced penile sensitivity, with Semprae’s products which target the female sexuality area including Zestra™ for female sexual arousal and Zestra Glide™ as a lubricant, uniquely position the Company in the sexual health category for further accelerated growth and expansion,” said Adele C. Oliva, Partner at Quaker Partners, L.P., a Philadelphia life sciences venture fund and one of the two lead venture investors in Semprae.
“The expertise of the Innovus management team, including Dr. Damaj’s past experience and success with other products in this category when he was CEO of Apricus Biosciences, will be very valuable to grow the Semprae products in the U.S. and internationally,” commented Camille Samuels, former Managing Partner and currently Affiliated Director at Versant Ventures, the other lead venture investor in Semprae.
Dr. Damaj added that Innovus Pharma expects to acquire or develop more products to treat male or female sexual health.

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