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Why won’t pharmaceutical companies invest in male birth control?

| | October 16, 2017
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This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

Male birth control is the great promise that never was. We’ve been just a few years away from a male pill for decades. But each time, side effects or lack of effectiveness foils every woman’s dream of finally passing on the burden of [protecting against] pregnancy prevention to her partner.

This latest male contraceptive candidate put into play—one that’s expected to enter human clinical trials in the next year or so—is a gel that uses a technique called “reversible inhibition of sperm under guidance” to block sperm from being ejaculated. It’s looked promising in trials done in rabbits and primates.

But we’ve seen this before. Pharmaceutical companies have been reluctant to invest much into the male contraceptive market and few techniques have moved past initial phases of testing. That’s partially because the bar for side effects is very low. While women’s birth control causes a litany of side effects for many women, regulators view those side effects as acceptable because they’re a trade-off for preventing another potentially dangerous medical condition: pregnancy.

The market demand is there, however—and it’s a market potentially worth billions and billions of dollars. Maybe one day genetic engineering will lead to a male birth control option that’s just a little easier to swallow.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Is Genetics the Answer to Birth Control For Dudes?

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