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MCI’s NHRMC Target Database

This post originally appeared on the Male Contraceptive Initiative website. View the original post here.

What potential male contraceptives are out there, and when will they be available?

These are two of the most frequent questions we hear and are asked. While it is difficult to pinpoint an exact date and time that the next generation of male contraceptives will be on the market, we wanted to at least attempt to provide some clarity on the great work being done to bring new methods of sperm-targeting contraception to market. As such, we have developed a dedicated space on our website to catalogue the various non-hormonal, reversible male contraceptives being researched.

Our Non-hormonal, Reversible Male Contraception (NHRMC) Target Database is the result of an extensive audit of scientific publications and other resources. We endeavored to be as exhaustive as possible in the initial identification process, with the understanding that this will be a “living” database that we continually update as more targets are identified and more details about each known target becomes available. ​As an organization that supports the male contraception research and development field through funding and advocacy efforts, we have a close working relationship with our grantees. This affords us with a more intimate understanding of the targets they are developing, so we can better estimate where along the development pipeline each is. This graphic represents where we envision the 20 different targets we have supported or are currently supporting:

As you can see, the promising research that we support spans the breadth of the development pipeline, from early stage target identification to in-human clinical trials. We remain committed to supporting the preliminary research necessary to vet a target and support it until it is proven safe and effective, or not. Coupling this with the support of targets further along the pipeline will help to ensure that a robust mix of diverse products is developed as we work towards creating an equitable contraceptive method mix for all people. ​Beyond the researchers and targets that we work directly with, there are a multitude of male birth control targets being investigated. Some of these targets have seen significant study and are being investigated by academics or other institutions around the world, while others have been identified for their potential as male contraceptives but have not been investigated as thoroughly as other promising leads. In an effort to make this section easier to navigate, we have aggregated the targets within broad categories that represent the aspect of male reproduction that they will impact:

  • Spermatogenesis: targets that impact the development of new sperm cells.

  • Sperm Transport: targets that function by interrupting the transit of sperm out of the body.

  • Sperm Function: targets that impact sperm’s ability to properly perform its duties, including motility and fertilization.

  • Multiple Categories: targets that have the potential to disrupt multiple aspects of sperm functioning.

  • Other: targets that fall outside of traditional, functional categories and could even include unisex contraceptives.

Again, the NHRMC Target Database is ever-evolving as more research is made available. We encourage you to contact us with any questions that you may have, as well as to share any additional targets you may be aware of that are not yet featured in the database. It will take a collective effort to bring the next generation of sperm-targeting contraceptives to market, so please don’t hesitate to reach out to us and explore opportunities to collaborate with us today. The reality is that there are well over 100 different potential targets being researched that could represent the next generation of sperm-targeting contraception. There are significant challenges that need to be addressed, not least of which funding, but the future of contraception grows brighter each day.


Are you a researcher interested in or currently investigating any of these targets? Please reach out to us. We are eager to collaborate with you in furthering your research activities.

For further information about the contraception development pipeline for all users, we also recommend visiting Calliope from FHI360’s CTI Exchange.