Use of mandelic acid condensation polymer (SAMMA), a new antimicrobial contraceptive agent, for vaginal prophylaxis

Fertil Steril. 2002 Nov;78(5):1107-15. doi: 10.1016/s0015-0282(02)04210-3.


Objective: To assess the contraceptive properties, antimicrobial activity, and safety of mandelic acid condensation polymer (SAMMA).

Design: Experimental study of SAMMA's in vitro and in vivo properties.

Setting: Academic research laboratories.

Patient(s): Healthy volunteers for semen donation in an academic research environment.

Intervention(s): Inhibition of sperm function indicators, conception, sexually transmitted infection-causing pathogens (including HIV), and lactobacilli was evaluated. Safety indicators were studied.

Main outcome measure(s): Quantitation of SAMMA's effect on microbial infectivity or multiplication and on sperm function in vitro; evaluation of contraceptive efficacy in vivo; assessment of safety in vitro and in vivo.

Result(s): Mandelic acid condensation polymer is not cytotoxic toward lactobacilli, microbial host cells, and spermatozoa. The compound inhibits hyaluronidase and acrosin, induces sperm acrosomal loss, and is contraceptive in the rabbit model. Mandelic acid condensation polymer prevents infectivity of HIV and herpesviruses 1 and 2 and, to a lesser extent, of Chlamydia trachomatis. It inhibits the multiplication of Neisseria gonorrhoeae. Mandelic acid condensation polymer is not mutagenic, has low acute oral toxicity, and is safe in the rabbit vaginal irritation assay.

Conclusion(s): Mandelic acid condensation polymer inhibits sperm function, is contraceptive, has broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity, and is highly safe. Further development as a microbicide is warranted.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Anti-Infective Agents / pharmacology
  • Contraceptive Agents / pharmacology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infection Control / methods*
  • Male
  • Mandelic Acids / therapeutic use*
  • Polymers / therapeutic use*
  • Rabbits
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Safety
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / prevention & control
  • Spermatozoa / drug effects
  • Vaginal Diseases / prevention & control*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • Contraceptive Agents
  • Mandelic Acids
  • Polymers