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. His particular interest was in plants used to treat failing sexual ability in older men.
Dr Wikberg, who was an expert on pharmacologically active substances that could affect sexual function, became fascinated and suggested a research collaboration. In initial experiments in Uppsala, various botanical extracts were prepared and given to laboratory animals, whereupon Prof. Wikberg found that the animals became more sexually active with some of these extracts.
Dr Wikberg wanted to investigate whether there was a pharmacologically active substance in the preparations 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 behaviour.
Due to the ability to synthesise Libiguin, the attention was turned to plants in southern Africa that contain a closely related but inactive molecule. Through a semi-synthesis via a few short steps, it could be converted into the active substance Libiguin.
The future – developing LIB-01 to a registered drug
Information and data generated since then indicates that Libiguin has a great potential to achieve long-term improvement in male sexual dysfunctions and. Prof. Jarl Wikberg founded the company Dicot AB with the purpose to develop Libiguin into an approved pharmaceutical drug.
In 2018, Dicot AB was listed on the Spotlight Stock Market and up until today, further research and development has continued with preclinical studies, development of the manufacturing process, patent work, etc. The drug candidate now goes by the name LIB-01 and Dicot's work progresses in a controlled and sustainable manner, in purpose of thus continuing the drug development program with the objective to develop a completely new potency drug for the world market. Since August 2023, LIB-01 is in clinical phase.
The company name Dicot
Dicot is a short version of dicotyledon, a Latin term meaning dicotyledonous flowering plant - herb, flowers or trees that have two leaves when germinating, as opposed to a monocot (a monocotyledon) plant which has only one leaf when germinating e.g. grasses, palm trees, ferns, bracken etc.