DURHAM – Eppin Pharma has partnered with the nonprofit Male Contraceptive Initiative (MCI), which has provided the company a program related investment of up to $800,000.

The investment will support clinical trial activities for Eppin Pharma’s oral male contraceptive pill, the organization said in a statement.

“We are very excited about adding additional program related investments to our portfolio as a means of accelerating male contraceptive product development through a collaborative, ‘team science’ approach,” said Heather Vahdat, the executive director of MCI in a statement.  “Returns on these investments will go directly back into supporting research efforts to continue driving the field of non-hormonal male contraception forward.”

Vahdat explained that the investment in Eppin Pharma is an exciting one because the company has already advanced the field “by providing reproductive equity to men who still have to rely on only two methods of birth control: condoms and vasectomy.”

Durham biotech startup developing male birth control pill

How the funds will be used

The investment will be used to “establish proof-of-concept of safety and feasibility” for the method in the ramp up toward clinical trials in humans.

MCI has invested more than $10 million in product development to advance male contraceptive research, according to a statement.

“We are grateful to MCI for their dedication to supporting innovation in male contraception and for recognizing the transformative potential of our work,” said Dr. Michael O’Rand, Eppin Pharma’s President & Chief Executive Officer. “At Eppin Pharma, we are dedicated to developing new options for men who desire to take control of their fertility and we look forward to advancing our method to clinical trials in the near future,” added Dr. O’Rand.

Eppin Pharma is a spin-out from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Dr. O’Rand began to develop the company and its products in 2014.  The company moved its offices to BioLabs in Durham in 2018.