Researchers at the Population Council's Center for Biomedical Research are developing a contraceptive sub-cutaneous injection system that will provide a full year of contraception with one application containing segesterone acetate (Nestorone®).
In sub-Saharan Africa, the use of discreet, injectable contraceptives is high. The Depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA) injectable, which provides three months of contraception, is the most popular method of contraception, representing nearly half of all modern method use. However, despite the ease of use of the DMPA injectable, which community health workers can administer, these products have high rates of discontinuation. Side-effects is one of the most reported reasons for discontinuation.
Researchers at the Population Council's Center for Biomedical Research are developing a sub-cutaneous microsphere injectable formulation containing Nestorone® that will provide one full year of contraception with one application. The injection could be administered into the anterior thigh or abdomen by a mid-level practitioner. The product is currently in the early preclinical stage of development. The team is working on product formulation and will soon conduct pre-clinical in vivo studies to demonstrate long-term release and absorption of Nestorone®.
If the formulation is successful, the Nestorone® injectable will have several advantages compared to DMPA: increased effectiveness through a reduction in missed or mis-timed repeat three-month injections; improved side-effect profile including potentially minimized effects on bone density; and a rapid return to fertility. The Nestorone® injectable will also provide one full year of contraceptive protection, reducing the need for frequent clinic visits and follow-up.