Optimization of lead compounds into on-demand, nonhormonal contraceptives: leveraging a public-private drug discovery institute collaboration†

Biol Reprod. 2020 Aug 4;103(2):176-182. doi: 10.1093/biolre/ioaa052.


Efforts to develop new male or female nonhormonal, orally available contraceptives assume that to be effective and safe, targets must be (1) essential for fertility; (2) amenable to targeting by small-molecule inhibitors; and (3) restricted to the germline. In this perspective, we question the third assumption and propose that despite its wide expression, soluble adenylyl cyclase (sAC: ADCY10), which is essential for male fertility, is a valid target. We hypothesize that an acute-acting sAC inhibitor may provide orally available, on-demand, nonhormonal contraception for men without adverse, mechanism-based effects. To test this concept, we describe a collaboration between academia and the unique capabilities of a public-private drug discovery institute.

Keywords: capacitation; male contraception; soluble adenylyl cyclase.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenylyl Cyclases
  • Contraceptive Agents*
  • Drug Discovery*
  • Humans
  • Lead


  • Contraceptive Agents
  • Lead
  • ADCY10 protein, human
  • Adenylyl Cyclases