Spermatch -in the front of international research on male contraception
Spermatech AS was established in 2002 by researchers at the University of Oslo (UoO) . It is one of few early drug discovery companies established in Norway, and its main goal is to develop a non-hormonal male contraception pill. Spermatech is a privately held company financed by individual investors and the Research Council of Norway.
The discovery of key proteins for fertilization which is only located in the sperm cell is the basis for Spermatech’s technology. The findings lead to the idea that these proteins could act as drug targets for non-hormonal male contraception. The novel scientific concept and story of Spermatech attracted huge public interest (news).
A breakthrough came in 2007 as researchers in Spermatech managed to develop a test set-up (assay) using living human sperm cells. This assay is compatible with High Throughput Screening (HTS) and has been used to identify male fertilization blockers. The HTS experiments were performed in collaboration with the drug discovery company Evotec AG. To our knowledge, this is the first time a HTS has been performed on living human sperm cells.
Spermatech has evolved from ideas and concepts into a company possessing a set of promising hit compounds which are potential male contraceptives. We are now entering an exciting phase where hits will be modified into more active and specific lead compounds. Spermatech has reached its milestones and finished the first challenging steps of a drug discovery pipeline.