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.
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