A male contraceptive called Vasalgel, which was effective in a baboon study, will be released between 2016-2017, according to its maker, the Parsemus Foundation.
The Parsemus Foundation was founded to focus on low-cost solutions by "advancing neglected medical research".
Vasalgel is one such project that the Foundation is supporting that aims to find a long acting, non-hormonal contraceptive for men.
While Vasalgel is similar to vasectomy, it has the significant advantage of being reversible.
"The procedure is similar to a no-scalpel vasectomy, except a gel is injected into the vas deferens (the tube the sperm swim through), rather than cutting the vas (as is done in vasectomy). If a man wishes to restore flow of sperm, whether after months or years, the polymer is flushed out of the vas with another injection," stated the Parsemus Foundation.
The Baboon trials
Three baboons were injected with Vasalgel for six months and each left in the company of 10-15 females, and so far no pregnancies have been reported.
The Foundation will soon be attempting the flushing out phase to attempt to reverse the contraceptive, and then on determine if the sperms start flowing again.
With the Vasalgel pre-clinical studies on baboons making progress and a recent grant from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, it is hoped that clinical trials with humans will begin by early 2015.
According to the Foundation, Vasalgel will be priced close to the cost in low-income countries, yet less than the current long-acting contraceptives in the US:
"We'll have to charge enough to make the company sustainable, but for sure it won't be $800 like long-acting contraceptives (IUDs) for women in the US. A contraceptive shouldn't cost more than a flat-screen TV! It is likely that the cost for the doctor visit will be more than for the product. We'll also work to get it covered by insurance."
Age limit and Effectiveness
The Foundation hasn't set an age limit on using Vasalgel, and says it, "will be available like vasectomy and other contraceptive options. However, reversibility evidence will be important for men who may want children in the future."