CHAPEL HILL, N.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Eppin Pharma Inc. announced today that it has been awarded a Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR, phase 1) grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to evaluate the effectiveness of its lead contraceptive candidate, EP007 in primates. EP007 is currently being developed as a potential non-hormonal birth control pill to be used by men as a revolutionary alternative to currently available family planning options.
The compound, a small organic molecule, targets EPPIN, a protein only present in the male on sperm in the testis and epididymis. By selectively binding EPPIN, the compound is able to inhibit sperm motility.
“The localization of EPPIN and the selective binding to EPPIN by EP007, offers the potential for effective contraception with minimal or no side effects,” commented Michael O’Rand PhD, President, Eppin Pharma Inc.
Building upon previous research conducted at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, the STTR funded study will confirm EP007’s mechanism of action and offer “proof of principle” that Eppin Pharma’s lead candidate is available in semen in primates, providing convincing evidence that this method of contraception is feasible for use by men.
“We envision that our contraceptive will be administered orally and be taken on-demand a relatively short time before sexual activity. Little has changed in the field of contraception in more than 50 years since the introduction of the birth control pill. Eppin Pharma’s approach is truly pioneering and offers a solution to an unmet need in family planning,” said Zahed Subhan PhD, CEO.
“An award from this highly competitive STTR program is a testimony to the importance and potential breakthrough opportunity associated with a novel form of contraception that does not disrupt hormonal systems,” he continued. “We are deeply appreciative of the assistance provided by the NIH STTR program.”
About Eppin Pharma
Eppin Pharma Inc. of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, is an emerging pharmaceutical company focused on developing a safe, non-hormonal male contraceptive taken orally. The company was founded based upon technology licensed from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and has received support from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Carolina KickStart Commercialization program (North Carolina Translational and Clinical Sciences Institute).
Research support referred to in this press release will be supported by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R41HD084007. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.