A new reversible male contraceptive being developed by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has evoked interest from health agencies abroad, with a US-based organization seeking technology transfer.
An option for condoms and vasectomy, Reversible Inhibition of Sperm Under Guidance (Risug) involves an injectable drug that partially blocks tubes that carry sperm, providing effective contraception for up to 10 years per dose.
The contraceptive, which is in its advanced stages of clinical trial in India, is effective immediately and has proved to be reversible. “A top US agency has approached us for transfer of technology of Risug—the most promising of the potential male contraceptives. It is under consideration,” says R.S. Sharma, deputy director general, division of reproductive health and nutrition of ICMR. The name of the agency was not disclosed.
Risug has been developed keeping in mind the disadvantages of the two most common male contraceptives available now, he adds. “While vasectomies are not reversible, condoms have a high failure rate,” Dr Sharma explains. “With Risug, the sperm become functionally infertile and no pregnancies occur following intercourse. A drug can be again used to reverse the contraception.”