American researchers have conducted successful laboratory testing of a new substance, which can form the basis for the production of non-hormonal “birth control pill” for men. The drug was tested on monkeys-the rhesus monkey. Details about this study was published in the journal PLOS ONE.
The basis for a new contraceptive may be an organic compound EP055, which binds the protein EPPIN to the surface of male germ cells. According to the head of the study, biologist Michael O Rand, this limits sperm motility. Slow sperm are often the cause of male infertility. According to scientists, the deliberate slowing of sperm will help to create a contraceptive that does not affect the balance of hormones in the body.
Scientists tested the effect of EP055 on laboratory animals. 30 hours after injections made by a group of four male macaque monkeys, scientists have discovered that the sex cells of animals lost mobility. The movement began to grow only three days, and fully function recovered after 18 days, when completely stopped the effect. At the same time, according to scientists, no side effects when the experiment was observed.
Changes in sperm motility in macaques
The authors of the article in PLOS ONE believe that more research will be required before EP055 will be able to use people. Now researchers are working on a formula of tablets containing the required amount EP055. After this the researchers plan to conduct another series of tests.
At the moment the main means of male contraception remain condoms and vasectomy — a surgical procedure is ligation, or deletion of a fragment of the VAS deferens. In April also began testing of hormonal contraceptives for men. In them take part about 400 pairs from different countries.
Trials of hormonal preparations have been carried out earlier. For example, in 2016, the study was conducted, the financing of which was carried UN. However, these studies were interrupted due to unforeseen side effects. Among patients there were complaints of depression, arrhythmia, and muscle pain, increased libido and acne.