Another Male Birth Control Pill Is Being Developed

The birth control pills on the market now are all developed for women. In addition to hormonal injections, IUDs and condoms are three other methods that can be used to prevent pregnancy. Researchers from Baylor College of Medicine, Texas have discovered a compound that has the potential to be used as a birth control pill for men.

Researchers have found that protein serine/threonine kinase 33 (STK33) is necessary to ensure sperm fertility in humans and mice. If the production of the STK33 protein can be prevented, the ability of sperm to pool can be reduced and thus limit fertility in men.

In tests on laboratory mice, the compound CDD-2807 successfully inhibited the production of STK33 without long-term effects such as toxic accumulation in the brain. Even more important is that after CDD-2807 is no longer taken, STK33 is produced again allowing the mice to be fertile again and reproduce. Tests on CDD-2807 will continue on primates before tests on humans are done.

Two years ago the YCT529 compound was found to successfully target the RAR-α protein required for spermatozoa cell division. When reduced in the body it is able to sterilize male mice with the ability to breed back to normal after 4-6 weeks. As with CDD-2807, efforts to offer YCT529 as a male contraceptive pill are ongoing.

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