Category Archives: Vasalgel

Vasalgel Update

Update: April 11, 2023

NEXT Life Sciences just received funding for its Vasalgel® hydrogel. It plans to bring Plan A™ to market by 2026. Male contraception is in the news a lot lately due to the fall of Roe v Wade.

Update: July 20 2022

Next Life Sciences and Vasalgel

According to an announcement from Parsemus (and its spinoff Revolution Contraceptives LLC), further development of Vasalgel will be undertaken by Next Life Sciences. The long lasting reversible male contraceptive will be called Plan A.

Vasalgel is a proprietary hydrogel that stops the flow of sperm through the vas deferens tubes. Instead of permanently cutting the vas deferens (like in a vasectomy), the hydrogel acts as a filter that blocks the flow of sperm.

September 24, 2014

Earlier this year I wrote a post about RISUG (US brand name Vasalgel), a reversible injectable male contraceptive that also supposedly cured hair loss. Under that post, someone commented that the reason it cured hair loss was because of finasteride also being injected along with the actual contraceptive polymer. None of the articles on RISUG seemed to say that the hair loss benefits were due to finasteride, but it made sense.

This month, news just came out that Vasalgel was likely to become available in the US by 2017 after successful results in highly promiscuous baboons. I doubt that they will also inject finasteride with it, but you never know, and maybe doctors will be open to doing the combo treatment on some patients. I wonder if finasteride will be more successful when delivered this way than via pill or topical form?

RISUG: A Male Contraceptive that also Cures Hair Loss

At first glance, the recent Daily Mail article about the RISUG male contraceptive that also cures hair loss (!) seemed like a scam to me. Per the inventor Dr. Sujoy Guha:

“While the injected drug would act as a male contraceptive, the nano drug compound will have beneficial effects such as preventing baldness, regeneration of hair, prevention of prostate cancer and managing prostate enlargement. The nano drug compound has been named Invivgensome.”

However, upon further research, I have become far more curious about this drug. RISUG stands for Reversible Inhibition of Sperm Under Guidance. It is basically a drug that is injected into a man’s vas deferens (the vessel through which sperm moves) via local anesthesia. Here is the India Today article on the same drug.

Update: February 2020 — New article on RISUG as a male contraceptive.

RISUG Male Contraceptive

For one, the scientist who invented this RISUG drug is no slouch. Dr. Sujoy Guha completed his undergraduate and Masters degrees in electrical engineering at IIT Kharagpur, one of India’s  premier institutions of learning. The IIT system of universities in India is synonymous with the Ivy League system of  universities in the US, but even harder to get into due to India’s vast population.

Dr. Guha then got another Masters degree from the University of Illinois in the US, followed by a PhD in Medical Physiology from Saint Louis University in the US. He returned to India, got yet another degree (MBBS), and then started the country’s Centre for Biomedical Engineering. In 2011, Dr. Guha received a $100,000 grant from the Gates Foundation to be used to pursue a variation of RISUG for the fallopian tubes as a female contraceptive.

More significantly, numerous clinical trials and studies in India for well over a decade on both animals and humans have proven that RISUG is both safe and essentially 100 percent effective as a male contraceptive when injections are applied correctly. Wired Magazine published a very interesting article on this drug and on Dr. Guha in 2011, albeit without a single mention of any effect on hair loss. RISUG will in all likelihood be released in India by the end of 2014. Here is a great 2008 seven page slide overview on RISUG and its history.

One RISUG injection will supposedly cost just several hundred dollars at most (and probably much less in India), and the effects will last for ten years!  It is also likely that the drug will be released in the US very soon after it comes out in India, under the brand name Vasalgel (rights were purchased from Dr. Guha for $100,000).

Unlike a vasectomy, the effects of Vasalgel are reversible, and the initial injection is an almost pain free outpatient procedure. This product has the potential to become a blockbuster even with no effect on hair loss. If the effects on hair loss are as positive as Dr. Guha claims, this drug will become bigger than the infamous Bob Dole endorsed Viagra.

Dr. Guha also claims that RISUG will stop prostate cancer and prevent prostate enlargement. This is not as incredulous as it sounds, since Finasteride is also supposed to help with both hair loss and prostate cancer.