Buenos Aires, Argentina - Male Contraceptive Initiative (MCI), a private non-profit foundation, announced five grants, including a grant to Dr. Mariano Buffone at Instituto de Biología y Medicina Experimental (IBYME) to support research and development of male contraceptive methods, raising MCI’s total commitment to male contraception to over $5M USD since 2017.
Dr. Mariano Buffone will receive $150,000 to aid in his work towards developing a novel form of male contraception. The project focuses on a drug screening method to discover chemical inhibitors of the male contraceptive target CatSper. “The strategy of blocking CatSper as a male, non-hormonal contraceptive has not been fully explored due to the lack of good screening methods to discover novel and specific inhibitors. The reason for this lack of appropriate methodology is the structural and functional complexity of this channel. We have developed a high-throughput method to screen drugs with the capacity to inhibit CatSper. We believe that this approach will identify new compounds that inhibit CatSper which will be refined in a second phase to improve selectivity, potency and adequate drug-like properties for in vivo preclinical studies.”
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. 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, 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.
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 IBYME: The Instituto de Biologia y Medicina Experimental (IBYME, www.ibyme.org.ar) is part of the National Research Council of Argentina (CONICET). It has over 60 full time researchers and over 200 postdoctoral and graduate students. The large scale and highly interdisciplinary nature of the research activities provides an environment that fosters collaboration. The institute was founded on March 14, 1944 by Dr. Bernardo A. Houssay, Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine (1947) as the first non-profit organization devoted to scientific research in Argentina.