New Women Contraceptive Product Developed
Apart from contributing to population growth, unintended pregnancies also cause adverse effects in maternal physical, mental and economic wellbeing.
Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) and ZabBio (San Diego, CA) developed a new anti-sperm monoclonal antibody, the Human Contraception Antibody (HCA) to solve these issues.
“HCA appears to be suitable for contraceptive use and could be administered vaginally in a dissolvable film for a woman-controlled, on-demand method birth control method,” explains senior author Deborah Anderson, PhD, Professor of Medicine at BUSM.
The researchers tested HCA over a wide range of concentrations and under different physiologically relevant conditions in vitro.
When mixed with sperm from healthy volunteers the sperm became immobilized and firmly stuck together within 15 seconds. The researchers also found that HCA did not cause vaginal inflammation in lab tissue culture tests.
HCA can address the current gaps in the contraception field due to its effectiveness and safe nature.
“HCA could be used by women who do not use currently available contraception methods and may have a significant impact on global health,” said Anderson. To that end, HCA is currently being tested in a Phase I Clinical Trial.
The researchers also believe that HCA can be combined with other antibodies such as anti-HIV and anti-HSV antibodies as a multipurpose prevention technology to serve both as a contraceptive and to prevent sexually transmitted infections.