The International Committee for Contraception Research

Established by the Council in 1970, the ICCR is an international advisory board that contributes to the development of new contraceptives and reproductive medicine. 

The Issue

Today, women of reproductive age can choose between many contraceptive options. But no single method meets the needs of every woman, and contraceptive options for men remain extremely limited. Continued development of new contraceptive options is essential to ensuring access to an expanded method mix.

The Progress

The Population Council's International Committee for Contraception Research (ICCR) is a global network of clinical scientists who bring novel concepts to clinical development, strengthen leadership within the sexual and reproductive health community, and assist in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDG). Together with Population Council scientists, the ICCR designs new contraceptive technologies and provides guidance on contraceptive development priorities. In addition to conducting contraceptive research, the committee has strengthened the research capacity of clinical centers in developed and developing countries by building a scientific infrastructure of well-trained professionals.

Members of the ICCR and their colleagues at cooperating universities and clinics work closely with the Population Council's Center for Biomedical Research to design delivery systems and prototypes and to provide guidance on products under development. Clinics are selected for their commitment to reproductive health care, their international reputations, and the high quality of their research with a rigorous adherence to ethics at every step of the testing process.

Members include:

  • Régine Sitruk-Ware, ICCR chairperson, Population Council, USA
  • Indrani Bagchi, University of Illinois, USA
  • Philippe Bouchard, University of Paris, France
  • Vivian Brache, PROFAMILIA, Dominican Republic
  • William Bremner, University of Washington, USA
  • Kristina Gemzell-Danielsson, Karolinska Institute, Sweden
  • Anna Glasier, University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom
  • Jeffrey T. Jensen, Oregon Health & Science University, USA
  • Christina Wang, UCLA School of Medicine, USA

The Impact

Through its work with the ICCR, the Population Council has developed long-acting, reversible contraceptives, including IUDs like ParaGard® and Mirena®; Norplant® and Jadelle® implants; and Progering®, the contraceptive vaginal ring for breastfeeding women. Currently, 170 million women worldwide are using a highly effective contraceptive developed by the Council or based on our technology.

In collaboration with the ICCR, the Council has developed an one-year vaginal contraceptive system, Annovera, which was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in August 2018. Left in place for 21 days and removed for 7 days, it is indicated to prevent pregnancy for up to a year and does not require refrigeration, which is particularly important for distribution and use in low-resource settings.

The ICCR is also investigating the utility of several products, including a transdermal Nestorone®/estradiol contraceptive gel and long-acting, reversible contraceptives delivering ulipristal acetate. 

Principal Investigator