Kevin Eisenfrats is developing the ‘male IUD’

Interest in male birth control has increased in the past few years, especially since the U.S. overturned Roe vs. Wade, which protected a woman’s right to have an abortion. Since then, states have tried to make abortion nearly impossible, prompting an increased look at contraceptives to allow both men and women to have more control over family planning. This conversation has led to the topic of male birth control — something doctors haven’t quite mastered until now, perhaps.

Kevin Eisenfrats is the founder of Contraline, a company that has developed a male contraceptive in the form of a non-hormonal, sperm-blocking gel that’s injected into the scrotum. Eisenfrats discussed building this company, medical testing for it, and the medical innovation he had to create to make it all possible on TechCrunch’s Found podcast.

“Believe it or not, people have actually been working on male contraceptives since the female contraceptive pill came out in 1960,” Eisenfrats told Found. “So it’s not like this is a forgotten area of research. It’s just that the science is really, really difficult.”

Eisenfrats was inspired to launch his company after watching the MTV show “16 and Pregnant.” Years later, Contraline’s latest product, ADAM, is entering clinical trials in Australia, a country he says has so far been most receptive to the idea of male contraception. He plans to head to the U.S. soon and is gearing up for the long FDA approval process. So far, Eisenfrats hasn’t had the hardest time fundraising — and says there has been much support even given the U.S. political climate, saying the debates have only increased interest in his work.

“We attract a certain type of investor that is really here for the long run,” he continued.

He also spoke about the importance of hiring the right team when it comes to a product like this and broke down some of the challenges that come with being the founder of a medical startup. For him especially, there have been regulatory hurdles, fundraising, and testing the medical hypothesis before landing on the right one.

All of the challenges have made him and his team stronger, he said, and he hinted about one day wanting to expand into Europe and other markets. He also spoke about possibly wanting to find ways to use his technology to develop non-hormonal female contraceptives, tackling other sorts of reproductive health issues that remain unsolved.

“We want to go after these big unsolved reproductive health problems,” he said. “We’re willing to take that risk that others are not willing to take.”

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