Durham, NC – Male Contraceptive Initiative (MCI), a private non-profit foundation, announced grants to four institutions including Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) to support research and development of male contraceptive methods, raising their total commitment to male contraception to over $3M USD since 2017.
Dr. Stephen Palmer, Associate Professor, Pathology & Immunology and Director of Lead Discovery and Development at the Center for Drug Discovery at Baylor, will receive $300,000 to aid in his work developing novel forms of male contraception. Working with Dr. Martin Matzuk, director of the Center for Drug Discovery at Baylor, Palmer is focused on the development of a hormone-free method of contraception that inhibits the metabolic activity of sperm, and their ability to move. Intended to be administered to men, the project intends to develop drugs that target lactate dehydrogenase C, a crucial component of sperm motility that is required for male fertility.
With over $3 million invested in male contraceptive product development, MCI seeks to push male contraceptive research projects towards market. There is a breadth of male contraception research, and funds grants in the drug development pipeline, from early stage screening of drugs up to studies that pave the way for early clinical trials. The organization’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, the non-profit 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 shared contraceptive future,” said MCI Executive Director Heather Vahdat.
Steve Palmer added – “Global population grows by one person every 16 seconds, imposing continual stress on our environment and depletion of our natural resources. We have reached the point where ‘another contraception revolution*’ is warranted that offers both men and women equal opportunities to control population growth. Women have shouldered the responsibility of contraception since the introduction of the birth control pill, while drug discovery efforts for a male contraceptive pill have been postponed for decades despite experimental and clinical validation of several opportunities from other laboratories. Our research goal is to provide men with innovative therapeutic molecules that empower them to become an active partner in the couples’ family planning goals. Male Contraceptive Initiative has provided this award to help us discover small molecule, sperm-specific lactate dehydrogenase inhibitors that inhibit hyperactive motility required for fertilization of the ovulated oocyte.”
*Term used originally by Anderson, N Engl J Med. 2019 Aug 1;381(5):397-399.
About Male Contraceptive Initiative: Male Contraceptive Initiative (https://www.malecontraceptive.org/) 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 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. Follow MCI on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/malecontraceptive) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/MaleBCNow).
About Baylor College of Medicine: Baylor College of Medicine (www.bcm.edu) in Houston is recognized as a health sciences university and is known for excellence in education, research and patient care. It is the only private medical school in the greater southwest and is ranked 22nd among medical schools for research and 4th for primary care by U.S. News & World Report. Baylor is listed 20th among all U.S. medical schools for National Institutes of Health funding and No. 1 in Texas. The Baylor pediatrics program ranked 8th among all pediatric programs, reflecting the strong affiliation with Texas Children’s Hospital where our faculty care for pediatric patients and our students and residents train. Nationally our physician assistant program was ranked 3rd in the health disciplines category and our nurse anesthesia program ranked 2nd. Located in the Texas Medical Center, Baylor has affiliations with seven teaching hospitals and jointly owns and operates Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center, part of CHI St. Luke’s Health. Currently, Baylor has more than 3,000 trainees in medical, graduate, nurse anesthesia, physician assistant, orthotics and genetic counseling as well as residents and postdoctoral fellows. Follow Baylor College of Medicine on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/BaylorCollegeOfMedicine) and Twitter (http://twitter.com/BCMHouston).