Mithra and Searchlight Pharma Announce Availability of Nextstellis® in Pharmacies Across Canada

Nextstellis® contains estetrol (E4), the first new estrogen in a combined oral contraceptive in the Canadian market in 50 years

LIEGE, Belgium and MONTREAL, Sept. 15, 2021 /CNW/ – Mithra and Searchlight Pharma are pleased to announce that women across Canada looking for the latest advancement in combined oral contraception (COC) now have access to Nextstellis®1, a first-of-its-kind COC that includes the unique natural estrogen estetrol (E4), featuring strong efficacy, safety and tolerability with excellent cycle control. E4 is the first new estrogen in a COC in the Canadian market in more than half a century. E4 is naturally produced in the human body during pregnancy and, in Nextstellis, it is synthesized from plant-based sources.

As combined oral contraceptives continue to be the most common method of hormonal birth control in Canada and worldwide, the importance of innovation to address the needs of women is critical,” said obstetrician and gynecologist, Dr. Brian Hauck. “Nextstellis, with its unique mode of action and good safety profile, is a game changer for contraception for women in Canada.”

About Nextstellis®

  • Nextstellis®is Mithra’s novel combined oral contraceptive product containing estetrol (E4) 15 mg and the well-established progestin drospirenone (DRSP) 3 mg in a 24/4 dosing regimen.
    • E4 is a naturally-occurring estrogen produced in the human body.
    • E4 has a unique mechanism of action that displays tissue selective activity compared to other estrogens. E4 shows agonist activity on the vagina, the uterus and the endometrium, the bones and the brain, with little activity in breast tissue.
    • The metabolism of E4 is unique, with no active or carcinogenic estrogen metabolites produced.
    • In contrast to other estrogens, E4 has a limited impact on the environment as demonstrated through testing in aquatic models.

“Patients in my practice are looking for more natural options for birth control and options that are more advanced than what their mothers used,” said obstetrician and gynecologist, Dr France Leduc. “Nextstellis unlocks a new era in women’s health and contraception. In addition to its safety profile, it is a more environmentally-friendly option, which reflects the personal priorities of many of my patients.” 

Nextstellis® clinical data
Health Canada’s approval of Nextstellis® is based on two multinational, multicentre Phase 3 clinical studies which enrolled 3,725 women between the ages of 16 and 50 with a Body Mass Index (BMI) up to 35 kg/m2. Nextstellis® demonstrated contraceptive efficacy across all evaluated age and BMI ranges. The studies also demonstrated good bleeding profiles, cycle control and tolerability, and low rates of adverse reactions.

“We are very pleased to see our innovation reaching Canadian pharmacies only a few months after marketing authorization,” said Leon Van Rompay, CEO of Mithra. “We are proud to work with Searchlight Pharma to launch our first estetrol-based product in Canada, one of our most important global markets.”

About Mithra

Mithra (Euronext: MITRA) is a Belgian biotech company dedicated to transforming Women’s Health by offering new choices through innovation, with a particular focus on contraception and menopause. Mithra’s goal is to develop products offering better efficacy, safety and convenience, meeting women’s needs throughout their life span. Mithra explores the potential of the unique native estrogen Estetrol in a wide range of applications in women health and beyond (Covid-19, neuroprotection…). Mithra also develops and manufactures complex therapeutics in the areas of contraception, menopause and hormone-dependent cancers. It offers partners a complete spectrum of research, development and specialist manufacturing at its technological platform Mithra CDMO. Active in more than 100 countries around the world, Mithra has an approximate headcount of 300 staff members and is headquartered in Liège, Belgium.

About Searchlight Pharma Inc.

Searchlight Pharma Inc., headquartered in Montreal, aspires to become a leading Canadian-based specialty healthcare company through best-in class execution of the search, acquisition, commercialization, and focused development of innovative and unique specialty healthcare products that improve life-long human health and wellness. With a core focus on women’s health, urogynecology, and urology, our team is committed to improving people’s lives by bringing the right products to market. Follow us, learn more about what we do, and get to know our product portfolio at

Important information

The contents of this announcement include statements that are, or may be deemed to be, “forward-looking statements”. These forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology, including the words “believes”, “estimates,” “anticipates”, “expects”, “intends”, “may”, “will”, “plans”, “continue”, “ongoing”, “potential”, “predict”, “project”, “target”, “seek” or “should”, and include statements the Company makes concerning the intended results of its strategy. By their nature, forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties and readers are cautioned that any such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance. The Company’s actual results may differ materially from those predicted by the forward-looking statements. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise forward-looking statements, except as may be required by law.

1 Estelle® brand name in Canada and in the United States


For further information: Searchlight Pharma, Corporate: Mark Nawacki, President & CEO: 514-613-1513,; Media: Marlo Taylor, Gage Communications,; Mithra, Investor: Benoît Mathieu : +32 473 35 80 18 –; Press: Maud Vanderthommen : +32 473 58 61 04 –