EP055 compound identified by researchers binds to sperm proteins to significantly slow the overall mobility of the sperm without affecting hormones, making EP055 a potential "male pill" without side effects. Findings of the research published in the journal PLOS ONE.
Currently, condoms and surgical vasectomy are the only safe forms of birth control currently available for men.
There are hormonal drugs in clinical trials that target the production of sperm, but these affect the natural hormones in men much like female contraceptives affect hormones in women.
"At 18 days post-infusion, all macaques showed signs of complete recovery," said study co-investigator Mary Zelinski from Oregon National Primate Research Center at Oregon Health and Science University in the US.
"Simply put, the compound turns-off the sperm's ability to swim, significantly limiting fertilization capabilities," said lead investigator Michael O'Rand, a retired professor in University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine and President/CEO of Eppin Pharma Inc.