The findings, which will be presented at the American Chemical Society’s spring meeting, mark an important step forward in diversifying methods of reproductive planning and increasing accountability, according to AFP news agency. for men.
“Many studies show that men also want to share the responsibility of contraception with their partner or partner. However, they currently only have two options: use a condom or have a vasectomy,” said Md Abdullah Al Noman. — the University of Minnesota masters involved in the study — adds that vasectomy is expensive and not always successful.
The mechanism of action of oral contraceptives for women is to use hormones to disrupt the menstrual cycle. Therefore, when making birth control pills for men, researchers also target the hormone testosterone. However, this approach causes some side effects such as weight gain, depression and increased cholesterol, increasing the risk of heart disease.
To create a hormone-free drug, Norman turned to a protein called “RAR alpha”.
Inside the body, vitamin A is converted into many different substances, including retinoic acid, which plays an important role in cell development, sperm formation and embryonic development.
Retinoic acid needs to interact with RAR alpha to perform the above functions. The researchers tested mice that did not have the RAR alpha gene, which was 99% effective. Norman’s team has developed a compound that blocks RAR alpha from working. They best determine the molecular structure with the help of computer modeling.
Compound YCT529 is designed to specifically interact with only RAR alpha, rather than the other two related receptors RAR beta and RAR gamma to minimize potential side effects.
When administered orally to male rats for 4 weeks, YCT529 significantly reduced sperm count and was 99% effective at preventing pregnancy without causing any side effects. After 4-6 weeks of stopping the drug, the mice were still able to reproduce.
Norman said the group received funding from the National Institutes of Health and the Men’s Contraception Initiative. They will begin human trials in the second half of 2022.
“I believe the research will progress rapidly,” the researcher expects, in the next five years, the male contraceptive pill will be on the market.
The future question of male birth control pills is whether women will trust their partners to use them. But surveys show that most women express confidence in their partners and a significant number of men say they are willing to take the pill.
“Men’s contraceptives allow men and women to choose which method is right for birth control,” says the nonprofit Men’s Contraception Initiative.
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