U of M College of Pharmacy receives contract to continue work on contraceptive development
With the recent overturning of Roe v. Wade, contraceptive use in the United States is on peoples’ minds more than ever. While there are 12 types of contraceptives readily available for women, there are only two for men — condoms and vasectomies. In a 2019 survey from the Male Contraceptive Initiative, 70% of U.S. men aged 18 to 44 said “they are very or somewhat interested in new male contraception.”
A newly awarded contract will allow U of M scientists to help bridge this gap.
The University of Minnesota has been awarded a $6.5 million contract by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development’s (NICHD) Contraceptive Development Program (CDP) in order to maintain its Chemical Synthesis Facility (CSF). NICHD is part of the National Institutes of Health. CDP conducts research in the synthesis and testing of a broad spectrum of male and female contraceptive agents. The ultimate goal is to develop reliable, reversible, affordable and safe contraceptive drugs available to the American public.
“This award is more evidence of the critical role that the Institute for Therapeutics Discovery and Development (ITDD) team has been playing in the field of contraceptive development, and drug discovery and development in general,” said Dr. Vadim J. Gurvich, principal investigator on this award. “We will be supporting the CDP program, working in close collaboration with Dr. Min S. Lee, who will serve as an NICHD contract officer for our program.”
“The world is ready for a male contraceptive agent, and we are happy to help make this a reality by working with NICHD,” said Dr. Gunda I. Georg, ITDD founding director.
The CSF, which is based in the University’s Institute for Therapeutics Discovery & Development (ITTD), will provide synthetic and chemical process development support to CDP to advance its innovative agents for contraceptive development. The agents designated for preclinical development and human clinical studies will be manufactured under current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) in the U of M Molecular and Cellular Therapeutics facility. In addition, the CSF will provide regulatory support to the program.
The contract is co-led by Gurvich, who is a research associate professor and expert in synthetic organic/medicinal chemistry, chemical process development and regulatory compliance, and Georg, professor of medicinal chemistry and ITDD founding director who has led a number of NICHD-funded programs on the discovery of contraceptive agents for nearly 20 years.
About the College of Pharmacy
Founded in 1892, the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy is the only pharmacy school in Minnesota, with campuses in the Twin Cities and in Duluth. The College of Pharmacy improves health through innovative education, pioneering research and interdisciplinary practice development that attends to the diverse needs of the people of Minnesota and the world.
About the Institute of Therapeutics Discovery and Development
The ITDD is a research center within the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy with a mission to enhance the biomedical research infrastructure and create opportunities for drug discovery and early pre-clinical drug development through interdisciplinary research collaboration between various schools, colleges, research centers, and private companies.