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New study reveals this male contraceptive pill will stop your sperm swimming without any side effects

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 22 April 2018, 15:58 IST

A new study published in the journal PLOS ONE details reveals how a drug called EP055 binds to sperm proteins to significantly slow the mobility of the sperm without affecting any hormones, making EP055, a potential "male pill" without side effects.

"Simply put, the compound turns-off the sperm's ability to swim, significantly limiting fertilization capabilities," said lead investigator Michael O'Rand, Ph.D., retired professor of cell biology and physiology in the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine, and president/CEO of Eppin Pharma, Inc. "This makes EP055 an ideal candidate for non-hormonal male contraception."

Currently, the options which men has were condoms and surgical vasectomy which is known to be safe forms of birth control. Also, there are hormonal drugs that affects the production of sperm, also affecting the natural hormones in men and women, much like their female contraceptives.

During the study, thirty hours following a high-dose intravenous infusion of EP055 in male rhesus macaques, O'Rand and researchers in the Oregon National Primate Research Center at OHSU in Portland, Oregon, found no indication of normal sperm motility. Further, no physical side effects were observed.

"At 18 days post-infusion, all macaques showed signs of complete recovery, suggesting that the EP055 compound is indeed reversible," said study co-investigator Mary Zelinski.

O'Rand and Zelinski indicate that more work is needed before EP055 becomes available for human use. They and their teams have begun to test a pill form of the compound and will eventually conduct a mating trial of EP055's effectiveness against pregnancy.

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First published: 22 April 2018, 15:58 IST