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Home Industry News Faulty gene could provide key to male oral contraception

Faulty gene could provide key to male oral contraception

6th April 2009

A faulty gene that appears to prevent some from being able to father a child could pave the way for a new form of contraception for men.

Women have had access to oral contraception for over 40 years, but there is no effective equivalent for men.

However, scientists at the University of Iowa have now identified a gene that is involved in some cases of male infertility, which could be used as a target for drugs aimed to reduce fertility.

Co-lead author Dr Michael Hildebrand, a postdoctoral researcher in otolaryngology at the university’s Roy J and Lucille A Carver College of Medicine, revealed: “We have identified Catsper1 as a gene that is involved in non-syndromic male infertility in humans – a finding which could lead to future infertility therapies that replace the gene or the protein.

“But, perhaps even more importantly, this finding could have implications for male contraception.”

Research conducted by UK scientists at the Medical Research Council indicates men would be willing to use oral contraception if it was available to them.

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