A recent Gizmodo article discussed the latest in contraceptive news. The long-awaited male birth control pill has proven effective with mice, and will now enter human trials. The pill was developed by researchers at the University of Minnesota that focused on vitamin A, which has proven essential for fertility in mammals.
A diet deficient in vitamin A has been linked to sterility, so the team searched for an experimental compound that blocks a protein that binds retinoic acid (vitamin A) in our cells. In trials, the pill kept lab mice sterile for 4-6 weeks with essentially no side effects. Since the pill is non-hormonal, it doesn’t come with unwanted side effects such as higher cholesterol or lower sex drive, making it more appealing than other options.
The protein-blocking compound has been licensed to YourChoice Therapeutics for further development, and should enter clinical trials later this year.