Contraceptive gel maker Evofem kicks off strategic review

After winning an FDA approval for its contraceptive gel Phexxi back in 2020, San Diego's Evofem Biosciences is launching a strategic review.

Thursday, Evofem said its board has unanimously voted to start reviewing options for the company. Potential strategic options might include a merger, asset sales or a potential licensing deal, the company said.

Evofem markets Phexxi, a non-hormonal gel contraceptive. 

It's unclear how much interest there would be in a potential Evofem acquisition. Around the time of the drug's approval in May 2020, Evofem shares were trading at nearly $75. On Friday, shares were down 15% to 3 cents.

Last year during the second quarter, Phexxi sales reached $6 million.

More than 23 million U.S. women do not want to get pregnant but also do not want to use hormonal contraception, which can carry side effects of weight gain, depression and reduced libido, Evofem points out.

Looking forward, Phexxi might face even more competition in the contraceptive market. Perrigo, maker of the prescription birth control drug Opill, is looking to switch its drug from a prescription requirement to over-the-counter availability.

If the OTC switch gets approved, it would change the contraceptive game. There has never been a daily birth control drug available without the need for prescription and the option could be vital in a post-Roe v. Wade world.