Researchers tackle a blockbuster market for a male contraceptive

More than half of all men say they would be willing to use a male contraceptive treatment if they had one available. That's a massive new market. And the Wall Street Journal goes into considerable detail to outline a number of the research projects underway that promise to satisfy that demand.

In one program researchers are using a polymer that is injected into the subject, killing sperm for years. But the studies undertaken in India didn't meet the FDA's standards, adds the Journal, forcing the developer to plan new studies in the U.S.

At Columbia University, meanwhile, investigators have been studying BMS-189453, which blocks vitamin A, a substance required for the production of sperm. Another treatment in their spotlight stopped sperm production a half century ago, but also triggered violent illness when matched with a drink. Now the scientists want to find another treatment that does the same thing without the side effect.

Even if the researchers are ultimately successful, Elaine Lissner, director of the nonprofit Male Contraception Information Project, says that men may have a hard time persuading their partners that they're using an effective contraceptive. "We hear from women who say, 'I wouldn't trust a guy in a bar who says he's had that injection'," she says. "If he's a guy in a bar, he should be wearing a condom. This is for your husband or your fiancé, and you should go with him to have it done."

- here's the article from the Wall Street Journal