Background

The origin

Before founding Dicot AB, Jarl Wikberg, was a professor at the Department of Pharmaceutical Biosciences at Uppsala University in the early 2000s. During a conference in South Africa, he met Dr Philippe Rasoanaivo, Professor at the Institut Malgache des Recherches Appliquées in Madagascar. Dr Rasoanaivo spoke about his research on the traditional medicine’s use of plants and roots. In particular, he mentioned a decoction of the root from the tree Neobeguea Mahfalensis which was used to treat failing sexual ability in older men in Madagascar. The effect was said to be long lasting after ingestion.

Dr Wikberg, who was an expert on pharmacologically active substances that could affect sexual function, became fascinated and suggested a research collaboration. In an initial experiment in Uppsala, a decoction was prepared according to a recipe from Madagascar and given to laboratory animals, whereupon Dr Wikberg found that the animals became more sexually active.

To better understand the perceived effect in humans, interviews of men who used the decoction in Madagascar were arranged by Dr Rasoanavio and one of his colleagues. During the series of interviews, the men stated that they experienced clearly improved sexual ability and that they did not experience side effects.

Discovering Libiguin

Dr Wikberg wanted to investigate whether there was a pharmacologically active substance in the decoction that triggered the effect, which could thus be reproduced as a semi-synthetic pharmaceutical product. Research resulted in the isolation of two previously unknown substances; Libiguin A and Libiguin B. In follow-up studies in rats, both substances proved to have strongly potent effects on their sexual behavior (link to article).

Due to the synthesis of Libiguin, Dicot did not need to harvest roots from the plants on Madagascar, which are a limited biological resource. Instead, the attention was turned to plants in southern Africa that carried seeds with a closely related but inactive molecule. Through a semi-synthesis via a few short steps, it could be converted into the active substance Libiguin, which was thus originally produced from the roots on Madagascar. In doing so, Dicot ensured that biological natural resources would not be consumed in an unsustainable manner.

The future 

Information and data provided by folk medicine usage indicates that Libiguin has a great potential to achieve long-term improvement in the two most common forms of male sexual dysfunctions; erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation. However, the stories from Madagascar are anecdotal and the decoction used is not controlled according to any pharmaceutical standards. Dicot's work is therefore now progressing in a controlled and sustainable manner to implement its drug development program in accordance with authority regulations, with the goal of achieving a registered approved drug that can help millions of men around the world.