The grant will support an innovative global health research project conducted by Dr. Alexander MacDonald.
RANCHO SANTA FE, Calif. — Innolytics has received a $100,000 "Grand Challenges Explorations" grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The grant will support an innovative global health research project conducted by Dr. Alexander MacDonald, chief science officer, titled "Contraception based on inhibition of the sperm receptor."
MacDonald's project is one of 78 grants announced by the Gates Foundation in the fourth funding round of Grand Challenges Explorations, an initiative to help scientists around the world explore bold and largely unproven ways to improve health in developing countries. The grants were provided to scientists in 18 countries on six continents.
To receive funding, MacDonald showed in a two-page application how his idea falls outside current scientific paradigms and might lead to significant advances in global health. The initiative is highly competitive, receiving almost 2,700 proposals in this round.
Virtually all mammalian contraception is based on some form of hormonal action. OvoControl brand of nicarbazin, now registered for avian use, can potentially represent a new class of contraceptive technology in mammals.
MacDonald, a chemist originally from the University of Iowa, spent the first part of his career in drug development with Hoffmann-La Roche in Nutley, N.J. He has spent the large part of the last decade studying nicarbazin and its unique contraceptive properties.
The Gates Foundation funded research will determine the effectiveness of this novel compound on the inhibition of the sperm receptor in higher species. "We have demonstrated the novel use of the compound as a safe and effective contraceptive method in birds and plan to determine its effectiveness in mammals", stated MacDonald.
The winners of these grants show the bold thinking we need to tackle some of the world's greatest health challenges," said Dr. Tachi Yamada, president of the Gates Foundation's Global Health Program. "I'm excited about their ideas and look forward to seeing some of these exploratory projects turn into life-saving breakthroughs."