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The CRB, formerly the Contraception Discovery and Development Branch, develops and supports research and research training programs in contraceptive discovery and development. Major research areas include studies of: new contraceptive methods; mechanisms of action and effects of contraceptive and reproductive hormones, drugs, devices, and procedures as well as optimal formulations and dosages of contraceptive agents and spermicidal microbicides.
For more information on the Branch, read the
Assessment of the Contraceptive Research Activities of the NICHD: Executive Summary (PDF 138 KB).
New: Research Priorities
Innovative Devices and Delivery Mechanisms
Gap: A key problem in contraceptive development is the delivery of pharmacologic agents to the sites of gamete production, maturation, and function.
Priority: Support research and development of novel and innovative device and delivery mechanisms for existing or novel contraceptive agents to improve ease of use, delivery schedule, and/or efficacy over current contraceptive methods. This work also should support post-marketing of the device and related behavioral research.
Gap: There is a significant need for a new generation of products that prevent both fertility and the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases.
Priority: Support research and development of dual-purpose technologies that are both contraceptive and anti-infective.
Non-steroidal Contraceptive Targets
Gap: A comprehensive understanding of potential male and female candidates is needed to identify the best candidates for entry into the development pipeline.
Priority: Identify, characterize the bioinformatics of, and prioritize potential non-steroidal male and female contraceptive targets.
Gap: Existing methods of target validation do not adequately mimic modulation by pharmacologic agents.
Priority: Improve contraception target validation though fertility evaluation of genetically modified animal models, with partial target inhibition from conditional knockdown, partial genetic inactivation, or similar methods.
Testicular Stem Cells as Contraceptive Targets
Gap: The testicular stem cell is an intriguing but poorly understood, potential site of contraceptive intervention.
Priority: Take advantage of recent scientific advances to characterize the testicular stem cell and identify potential mechanistic targets of pharmaceutical intervention.