Vasalgel, a multi-year contraceptive
Update April 2, 2015: New details on Vasalgel and RISUG were shared in a VICE Motherboard article. Want to be informed of clinical trials and get updates? Notification list at right!
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). 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.
Vasalgel was inspired by the work on a 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 began developing a polymer contraceptive for the rest of the world outside India. The new polymer contraceptive is called Vasalgel™, and 12 months of rabbit studies have shown no sperm from the second semen sample onwards! Sperm flow quickly returned in rabbits that had the polymer flushed out. The goal is to have it on the market as an alternative to vasectomy as soon as possible, with the first clinical trial expected to begin in 2015-16.
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 has conducted fundraising campaigns which have helped to support the nonhuman primate studies that will be concluded by the end of 2015.
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. With over 20,000 men and women waiting to hear about clinical trials, even $5 or $10 each will fund the preclinical studies (the animal research needed before human trials). Stand up and be counted as a supporter! So far over 800 supporters have contributed to the study. Already donated? Here’s how else you can get involved:
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Where is the vas deferens exactly? How does Vasalgel block the sperm? What’s its history? Learn more.
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