A new male contraceptive has received funding, so that clinical trials can proceed to eliminate pesky sperm from impregnating women who don’t want to become pregnant. Vasagel is a new male contraceptive that unlike a vasectomy, is reversible.
The Parseumus Foundation has received $85,000 in donations, two-thirds of the funding it needs to test the gel on humans. So far, the product has been tested in rabbits with great success, but the time is now to test it on men’s repro junk.
The gel works by injecting the gel into the vas deferens, ducts that deliver the man sperm through the testes into the lady impregnating penis. In a traditional vasectomy, the procedure involves cutting the vas deferens, which is permanent and irreversible. The gel blocks the sperm from traveling through the vas deferens.
During a 12 month study period, the rabbit’s “azoospermic” level (when there are no levels of measurable sperm in the the semen) lasted the duration of the year study.
“Results from our study in rabbits were even better than expected, said Dr. Donald Waller, a professor of pharmacology and toxicology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. “Vasalgel produces a very rapid contraceptive effect which lasted throughout the study due to its unique hydrogel properties.” Dr. Waller has spent much of his career developing contraceptives.
Vasagel is easily reversed by injecting baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) into the vas deferens. The Parsemus Foundation conducted a survey with 4,467 subjects. 87.3% of male respondents saying they would prefer Vasalgel as a better alternative to vasectomies. Parsemus says they hope to bring Vasagel to the market in 2018 if they get the rest of the funding.
According to Elaine Lissner of the Parsemus Foundation, “Contraceptive development is a hugely expensive project. But this is not just another early-stage lead; we’re so close on this one. It’s time to finish the job we’ve started,” she said in a press release.
“Results from our study in rabbits were even better than expected, said Dr. Waller. “Vasalgel produces a very rapid contraceptive effect which lasted throughout the study due to its unique hydrogel properties. These features are important considerations for a contraceptive product to be used in humans.”
How does Vasagel work? “Once the substance is injected into the vas deferens, it forms a hydrogel,” says Parsemus. “The implant remains in a soft gel-like state, with the ability to flex and adhere to the walls of the vasa deferentia. Hydrogels allow transit of many water-soluble molecules but not larger structures such as spermatozo.” Thanks for the mansplaining.
Parsemus Foundation is a non-profit organization based in Berkeley, California. “The ultimate goal is for Vasalgel to be available world-wide, at a cost low enough to be affordable to all men. The foundation works to advance innovative and neglected medical research. The foundation supports studies and then seeks to raise awareness of results, to ensure that they change treatment practice rather than disappear into the scientific literature.
Many of the studies the foundation supports involve low-cost approaches that are not under patent, and are unlikely to be pursued by pharmaceutical companies due to limited profit potential. Successful studies to date have included breast cancer treatment advances, nonsurgical dog and cat sterilization, and non-invasive treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia. Parsemus Foundation’s main focus is currently bringing Vasalgel to market. More information on Parsemus Foundation and the work presented here can be found at: https:/
Photo: Parsemus Foundation