This male birth control pill prevents 99% of pregnancy

Scientists from the University of Minnesota on Wednesday presented the American Chemical Society with research results on a new non-hormonal birth control pill for men that could lead to a fundamental change in contraception.

A study of the drug in mice showed that it significantly reduced sperm count and prevented pregnancy by 99%. The researchers observed no side effects, and the mice regained their ability to reproduce four to six weeks after stopping the pill.

Unlike other male contraceptives that target specific hormones like testosterone, the researchers focused on proteins essential for sperm production or motility. During this process, they identified a compound that targets a protein critical for cell growth, sperm formation and embryonic development.

Abdullah Al Noman, a graduate student in Gunda Georg’s lab, head of the medicinal chemistry department, said previous hormonal male contraceptives have largely failed because hormonal changes can lead to side effects such as depression and the risk of cardiovascular disease. Also, most hormonal male birth control pills require injections.

“The pill has a tremendous public health impact because half the world’s population could be potential users of this pill that we discovered,” Noman said, according to the Courthouse News Service, highlighting the “revolution in family planning and sexual health.” ‘ which followed the development of the first female birth control pill more than 60 years ago.

“Mice are much more fertile than humans, so hopefully we’ll see similar or better effects in humans,” Noman said. He added that the compound acted as an effective contraceptive when mice were given a dose of 10 milligrams per kilogram of their mass, noting that the mice received up to 1,000 milligrams per kilogram of their mass and did not die.

The research team expects human clinical trials to begin before the end of 2022. Georg added that manufacturing of the active ingredient is underway. She said while side effects can occur if a broader population takes the drug, they remain optimistic.

“Unless something big happens, which is of course always possible in drug research, we are very, very optimistic that we will switch to the clinic,” said Georg. “So we are very excited because it would be the very first non-hormonal drug to come into the clinic. There are many studies that show that men, women and couples would actually be very happy to have other methods at their disposal. »

Leave a Comment