The MCDP is a cooperative research program formed in an effort to expand research leading to the development of male contraception. The Contraceptive Discovery and Development Branch(CDDB) (formerly the Contraception and Reproductive Health (CRH) Branch), in collaboration with the other NICHD Branches, initiated and restructured programs, including the MCDP, to encourage a spectrum of activities leading to development of novel male contraceptives.
The Program is funded through a Cooperative Agreement Research award mechanism (U01) and a Specialized Cooperative Research Center award mechanism (U54). The Program includes sites that are also participating in other CRH Branch research programs, such as the Contraceptive Development Research Center Program (nine projects in three centers), and the Contraceptive Clinical Trials Network (CCTN). The Program also relies on existing contracts for Chemical Synthesis and Peptide Synthesis Facilities to synthesize bulk quantities of drugs, under current Good Manufacturing Practices, for use in clinical trials.
Research in the MCDP includes basic, applied, and clinical studies on topics such as mechanisms that regulate sperm maturation and identification of new therapeutic targets for male contraception.
Other research topics include (but are not limited to):
- Studies of how mechanisms that regulate sperm maturation (spermiogenesis) might be targeted by novel male contraceptives
- Studies of the significance of signaling pathways for the protein receptor c-Ros in male fertility
- Studies of sperm glycolytic enzymes, which are required for sperm motility, as novel contraceptive targets
- Studies of nonhormonal targets for male contraception, including the tight junctions between Sertoli cells and germ cells, which are required for appropriate cell-cell interactions during sperm development (spermatogenesis)
- Clinical trials in men using an injectable formulation of Acyline, a potent gonadotropin-releasing hormone antagonist, to assess drug safety and ability to suppress spermatogenesis
- Development and characterization of novel male contraceptives, including H2-gamendazole, an orally active anti-spermatogenic compound
- Studies of pharmaceutical targeting of a sperm-specific calcium cation channel (CatSper) and consequences of targeting on male fertility
- Baylor College of Medicine
- Children’s Hospital Boston, Harvard University
- Columbia University
- Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor–UCLA Medical Center
- Moffitt Cancer Center, University of South Florida
- Population Council (New York, NY)
- University of Florida
- University of Kansas Medical Center
- University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
- University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
- University of North Carolina, Charlotte
- University of Virginia, Charlottesville
- University of Washington