Mayne Pharma (ASX:MYX) shares have jumped more than 10 per cent to a 17-month high after US regulators approved the next-generation birth control pill it licensed from a Belgium company in 2019.

Mayne Pharma expects to launch Nextstellis by the end of June in the United States, where the market for short-acting combined contraceptives was $US3.6 billion last year.

Developed by Mithra Pharmaceuticals, Nextstellis is a mix of drospirenone, a progestin, and esterol, a plant-derived estrogen that’s the first new estrogen introduced in the United States in more than 50 years.

It has a lower impact on liver function than similar pills like Yasmin and Yaz and doctors believe it could help with the decrease in libido some women on those pills experience.

“Nextstellis is a new innovative contraceptive that has been shown in clinical trials to be not only safe and effective but also well tolerated with a desirable bleeding profile and minimal impact on triglycerides, cholesterol and glucose, as well as weight and endorcine markers,” said Mitchell Creinin, director of family planning at the University of California.

Mayne Pharma chief executive Scott Richards said the approval was a milestone, “providing women with a new choice for their reproductive health.”

Under the licensing agreement, Mayne will now pay Mithra $US11 million in cash and 85.8 million Mayne Pharma shares.

The contraceptive is under review by Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration.

At 11.19am, MYX shares were up 7.6 per cent to 49.5c, their highest level since November 2019.