Idea and concept
The sperm cell is highly specialized, and research done throughout the last decade has shown that the sperm contain proteins only found in these cells and nowhere else in the body (sperm-specific proteins). If such proteins are performing a task crucial for male fertility, they are ideal drug-targets in the search for a contraceptive for men. The risk of side effects is also minimal since the drug-target is only found in sperm cells.
Spermatech’s idea is to develop an oral birth control pill for men. The pill will consist of a small chemical compound which interferes with the function of a sperm-specific protein essential for male fertility. In order to reach this goal we will take advantage of the ground breaking technology developed in Spermatech’s laboratory. We have elucidated the molecular structure of one out of several such drug-targets and developed an assay (test set-up) which effectively identifies drug-like chemicals which reversibly suppresses male fertility. This has enabled us to start an advanced drug discovery campaign in collaboration with Evotec AG. Our recent findings have put Spermatch in the front of international research on male contraception.