For those who consider using condoms as one of the most inconvenient ways of deriving intimate pleasures, there is some good news. A male contraceptive to be taken as an injection -- one shot effective for 10 years -- is expected to hit the market soon. Scientists at IIT Kharagpur are in the final stages of developing the drug and planning its restricted monitored launch in few districts of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
If successful, the invention would bring about a radical change in the contraceptives’ sector. “The contraceptive called Reversible Inhibition of Sperm Under Guidance (RISUG) would generate positive electrical energy when injected in the body. The positive charge of the drug would cancel the negative charge of the sperms making them incapable for fertilisation," explained Dr Sujoy Kumar Guha, professor at the School of Medicine, Science and Technology who is also in-charge of the project.
The non-hormonal, polymer-based contraceptive is injected into the vas deferens, the muscular tube that begins at the lower end of epididymis and passes upward along the side of the testis. "The contraceptive’s effect will remain for 10 years, may be even more," Guha said.
The team working on RISUG has also come out with two of its variants -- RISUGadv and RISUG-PH. RISUGadv has been granted patent in Europe and is being clinically studied on human volunteers in some parts of Europe for its effectiveness as a combined contraceptive and prostate cancer preventive.
"RISUG-PH, is in the animal trial stage and indirect evidence shows it can cure baldness, particularly crown baldness,” Guha said.
RISUG is expected to cost Rs 200-300, depending on market forces, whenever it is launched.
All R&D is mainly funded by the Govt. of India, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and in part by the Indian Council of Medical Research. The ICMR is coordinating the final multicentric Phase III Clinical Trial of RISUG in India.