Researchers at the Scottish University are hoping to hit long-lasting male pills, thanks to a $ 900,000 gift, which will allow them to review thousands of existing medicines to see if they have the potential.
The money comes from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which has for years been planning on family planning, with initiatives that help more women in developing countries to access contraception that they want to control the size of their family.
Now he invests in research into male pills after global studies show that men in many countries will be willing to use it – if any.
Researchers at the University of Dundee received $ 929,585 (£ 728,311) over two years for work at their National Phenotypic Screening Center. They are looking for existing drugs or chemical compounds that can interfere with certain sperm behavior (phenotypes) that are necessary for fertility.
Dr. Paul Andrews, director of surgery, said: "First, their ability to swim the female reproductive tract, and the second cellular process in sperm head that the cell needs to progress toward the egg. So far, screening efforts have shown us that such drugs exist . "
News on granting a grant was discovered as a team in the United States that announced an attempt at a more traditional approach – hormone gel. Men in three places use a gel that is absorbed through the skin on the upper arms and shoulders, which contain the progestin hormone used for women's contraception and testosterone.
Already in the 1640s there was a male contraceptive. It was made from animal hoses and came with Latin instructions for washing in warm milk to avoid infections.
Although today's condoms look a bit different and widely available, the basic concept of sperm blocking is the same and is the only reversible method of male contraception – unless you count on pulling. Hunting a male contraceptive pill has been happening since the 1950s when it was an inventive female pill.
Apart from the condom, Chris Barratt, a professor of reproductive medicine at Dundee Medical School, said, "The reality is that we have a vasectomy that is irreversible, but for men there is nothing else."
The traditional approach was to try hormones and steroids to stop sperm production. But so far these have not worked well and there are side effects, ranging from weight to acne. "People were more optimistic than they needed, and she dominated by funding," he said.
Permanent disappointments have led to fewer attempts to find answers. "The research carried out on male contraception can be written on a postal note," Barratt said.
Although there has long been a question of the willingness of men to use a contraceptive pill – and women's willingness to rely on them – Barratt insisted that attitudes have changed.
"People are moving away from the feeling of reproductive health is basically a female problem," he said. "World Health Organization research has shown that a reversible pills for men's contraception are available, people would take it."
Andrews said that their approach was novel in terms of semen behaviors in infertile patients who may have a sperm that can not move or swim but not penetrate the egg.
"There are deep disadvantages that do not move them or there are errors in sperm head," he said. "We're trying to find drugs to target and immobilize the sperm and stop it in the egg.
"In a way we learn from genetic defects out there Unfortunately, there is not much to know about the genetic causes of infertility.
The team will review all the drugs and compounds they may find to think they can interfere with sperm behavior, like a 13,000-Gates library funded by Gates at California University, which was the source for potential drugs against neglected tropical diseases. If they find nothing in California, their technology can track "a multitude of other libraries," Barratt said.
"I think we will have very good information after two years if there are medicines that are currently on the market or in pipelines that can be stuffed for contraception. If there are remedies, that will be fantastic."
Meanwhile, nine centers around the world – including Los Angeles, Seattle, Manchester and Edinburgh – have been launched, which men can apply to their body, allowing hormones that will prevent sperm production from absorbing through the skin.
Following the two injections every eight weeks ordered by the World Health Organization, which was successful in preventing pregnancy – but halted in 2016, as the side effects caused too many men to drop. Problems include severe acne and mood swings.
This time, Dr. Christina Chung-Lun Wang of the Institute for Biomedical Investigation in Los Angeles, who is conducting a trial sponsored by the National Institute for Child Health and Co-Head of the Population Council in the United States, are hoping men will be a more comfortable gel.
The researchers will ask the participants to fill in the questionnaire on their welfare before and after the trial. "The male sexual function must be maintained," she said. "And last time, we do not follow the mood swings prospectively."
Man must spread 5ml of gel on the skin. "It puts it on both hands and shoulders, drying quickly, but instructions are that after application it should not be in close contact with skin with any other person," she said.
The gel can be cut off to someone else. It should be taken a few hours after that, and then it may have contact with a family, partner or children. Or she can wear a T-shirt. "
They hope to get answers about a year. The researchers worked on the pill, she said, but at the moment it was not possible to get the required testosterone dose in a single daily tablet. Challenges for male contraceptives remain, but the quest continues.