Latest news, April 2013: The rabbit reversal study has started, thanks to supporters! The 6-month rabbit study is complete, with all rabbits free of live sperm. We’re still aiming to start the first clinical trial by the end of this year. Notification list at right!
Vasalgel, a multi-year contraceptive
VasalgelTM is a long-acting, nonhormonal contraceptive similar to vasectomy but with one significant advantage: it is likely to be more reversible. The procedure is similar to a no-scalpel vasectomy, except a gel is injected into the vas deferens (the tube the sperm swim through), rather than cutting the vas (as is done in vasectomy). The polymer forms a semi-solid plug with a water-permeable structure that blocks sperm — sperm are too big to fit through — but lets fluids through. If a man wishes to restore flow of sperm, whether after months or years, the polymer is flushed out of the vas with another injection.
READ MORE: Vasalgel in WIRED
Vasalgel grew out of work ona polymer contraceptive called RISUG®, which is in advanced clinical trials in India; some of the men have been using RISUG® for more than 15 years. But right now, only local men near the study sites in India are eligible for the trials, and formal reversibility studies have only been done in animals, not men.
In early 2010, Parsemus Foundation purchased rights to begin studying the RISUG® polymer technology in the U.S. and developing a polymer contraceptive for the rest of the world outside India. Since then a contract manufacturer has been selected to make the polymer to FDA requirements; technology transfer work has been completed; and the 6-month rabbit safety and efficacy study ended March 20 and showed no sperm from the second semen sample onwards! The new polymer contraceptive is called Vasalgel™, and the goal is to have it on the market as an alternative to vasectomy as early as 2015, with the first clinical trial beginning by the end of this year (2013).
READ MORE: Vasalgel in TechCITEMENT
Vasalgel is being developed by the foundation as a “social venture,” a company that makes enough money to stay afloat but not to make anybody rich, with affordable pricing and wide availability as its mandate. The social venture company within the foundation is moving fast on getting the first steps done; however, it won’t have enough money to finish the project, and will be turning to the public later this year to crowdfund the clinical trials.
Want to see Vasalgel make it to market? Since long-term methods aren’t a big money-maker (it’s a lot more profitable to sell pills to men’s partners every month), big pharma isn’t interested– so we’re relying on public support. Here’s how you can get involved:
Help make it happen
Where is the vas deferens exactly? How does Vasalgel block the sperm? What’s its history? Learn more.
Follow Vasalgel’s progress on Facebook and hear as it gets close to clinical trials.
Read the FAQ– then help us out by posting comments & corrections when you see errors in news stories!