A researcher at Kansas University Medical Center has received a five-year, $7.5 million grant to oversee an effort to develop male contraceptives, KU announced Monday.
The grant, from the National Institutes of Health, will establish the Interdisciplinary Center for Male Contraceptive Research and Drug Development.
The goal is to develop reversible, nonhormonal male contraceptives, including further work on Gamendazole, a new drug candidate developed in recent years at KU that is designed to stop sperm production temporarily.
The center will be directed by Joseph Tash, professor of molecular and integrative physiology at KUMC, and associate director Gunda Georg, who previously worked at KU and is now chairwoman of medicinal chemistry at University of Minnesota.
Other collaborators in the project include Duke University, the University of California-San Francisco, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.
Georg, while at KU, was the recipient in 2005 of a five-year NIH grant for $7.9 million to study male contraception, but the grant followed her when she left KU for Minnesota.
The new effort will involve further development of Gamendazole, plus the testing of thousands of compounds to identify those that prevent the production of mature sperm or "immobilize" the sperm so they can't fertilize the female egg.