Durham, NC - Male Contraceptive Initiative (MCI), a private non-profit foundation, announced five grants, including a grant to Eppin Pharma Inc to support research and development of a male contraceptive, raising MCI’s total commitment to male contraception to over $5M USD since 2017.
Eppin Pharma will receive $300,000 to aid in their work developing a novel form of male contraception. Eppin Pharma’s product, EP055, is a hormone-free method of contraception that is quickly moving to first-in-human studies. EP055 inhibits sperm motility that is crucial for fertility. The drug is intended to be administered as a pill to men on a daily or on-demand basis, providing protection from pregnancy.
With over $5 million invested in male contraceptive product development, MCI seeks to push male contraceptive research projects towards commercialization. There are a variety of male contraceptive research projects in the drug development pipeline; from early stage screening of drugs to studies that pave the way for early clinical trials, and consistent with their mission, MCI focuses their funding on promising projects within this pipeline like Eppin Pharma’s EP055. MCI’s mission is to facilitate research and development of male contraceptives for people around the world, and to build awareness among researchers, donors and the general public about the demand for and status of novel male contraceptive methods.
Through its funding efforts, MCI has championed this mission in manifold ways: investing in promising product development through this and other rounds of funding, supporting students and young professionals through fellowships and travel grants, and consistently advocating with the public and media for an increased method mix that includes male contraception.
“More and more men are expressing the desire to participate in contraception with their partners. We are confident that the time is right to emphatically get behind the talent and energy in the field in order to achieve a real vision for a contraceptive future,” said MCI Executive Director Heather Vahdat.
Dr. Michael O’Rand, CEO and Co-Founder of Eppin added - “We are grateful for the continued support that MCI has given us and hopeful that this additional investment in our technology will advance the field of male non-hormonal contraception. MCI funding has made a significant difference in our ability to reach our goal of a phase one clinical trial in a timely manner.”
About Male Contraceptive Initiative: Male Contraceptive Initiative works to bring new male contraceptives to market. We accomplish this through direct funding, technical support, research, and advocacy. We believe that couples deserve more contraceptive options and that we offer the biggest potential impact for them by focusing on male contraceptives. It’s time men are given more opportunities to contribute toward family planning.
About Eppin Pharma: Eppin Pharma Inc. of Durham, North Carolina, is an emerging pharmaceutical company focused on developing a safe, effective short-term, non-hormonal oral male contraceptive pill. Eppin Pharma’s lead male contraceptive candidate is a small organic compound (EP055) that binds to EPPIN, a protein on the surface of human sperm, resulting in the loss of sperm motility. This non-hormonal treatment is fast acting and does not affect the production of sperm. Eppin Pharma’s prime mission is to develop a male contraceptive pill that prevents pregnancies with no side effects. Eppin Pharma’s vision is to provide a new male contraceptive that will revolutionize family planning. Please visit their website for more information: https://eppinpharmainc.com/
Male Contraceptive Initiative Invests $1 Million in Contraline to Conduct Clinical Trial for Long-Lasting, Non-Hormonal Male Contraceptive
Durham, NC and Charlottesville, VA – Male Contraceptive Initiative (MCI), a 501(c)(3) non-profit, has partnered with the medical device company Contraline, Inc. to provide a $1 million Program Related Investment (PRI) to support a first-in-human clinical trial for the company’s novel vas-occlusive contraceptive device, ADAM™.
This is the first PRI from Male Contraceptive Initiative and is representative of the organization’s continued evolution. “We are very excited about adding program related investments to our portfolio as a means of accelerating male contraceptive product development through a “team science” approach. Returns on these investments will go directly back into supporting research efforts to continue driving the field of non-hormonal male contraception forward,” said MCI Executive Director Heather Vahdat. “Contraline is a particularly exciting investment opportunity as they are the first US-based company to bring a novel non-hormonal male contraceptive to the clinical stage; it shows that we are moving closer and closer to realizing a more robust portfolio of contraceptive options that includes more methods for men,” Ms. Vahdat added.
Contraline has developed ADAM™, the world’s first injectable hydrogel designed to provide long-lasting barrier contraception for men. ADAM is designed to be inserted into the vas deferens through a quick and minimally invasive outpatient procedure using local anesthesia, where the hydrogel blocks the flow of sperm without affecting sensation or ejaculation. ADAM may be the first set-and-forget male contraceptive method, similar to intrauterine devices (IUDs) for women.
MCI’s investment in Contraline will be used to establish proof-of-concept of safety and feasibility of the ADAM device and procedure through a human clinical trial. This is an important first step prior to conducting a larger efficacy study required for gaining regulatory approval and widespread consumer access to the procedure.
“We have been excited about Contraline’s technology since 2018, when we provided them with a grant to validate their benchtop and preclinical studies. Given the success of their science to date, we are pleased to expand our collaboration as Contraline continues advancing their male contraceptive towards the clinic,” said MCI Research Director Dr. Logan Nickels.
“We are grateful to MCI for their dedication to supporting innovation in male contraception and for recognizing the transformative potential of ADAM,” said Kevin Eisenfrats, Contraline co-founder and chief executive officer. “At Contraline, we are dedicated to developing new options for men who desire to take control of their fertility and we look forward to having our lead product, ADAM, enter the clinic soon.”
With over $5 million invested in product development, MCI seeks to advance male contraceptive research projects to market in order to achieve its organizational vision of “Reproductive Autonomy for All”. MCI’s mission is, “To empower men, and couples, to fully contribute to family planning goals by providing them the resources they need for reproductive autonomy.”
About Male Contraceptive Initiative: Male Contraceptive Initiative’s vision is “Reproduction Autonomy for All”, and works to accomplish this by bringing new male contraceptives to market. The non-profit accomplishes this through direct funding, technical support, research, and advocacy. They believe that couples deserve options and that they offer the biggest potential impact by focusing on male contraceptives. It’s time men are given more opportunities to contribute toward family planning.
About Contraline: Contraline is a venture-backed medical device company devoted to providing men and couples with long-lasting, safe, and effective contraception. The company is developing ADAMTM, a non-hormonal male contraceptive that uses proprietary advancements in hydrogel technology for occlusion of the vas deferens. The company was founded in 2015 by Kevin Eisenfrats and Dr. John Herr, and is headquartered in Charlottesville, Virginia. To learn more, visit http://www.contraline.com/.