Foundation News

Ed Gillis travels to advance Vasalgel

Ed Gillis, CEO of Revolution Contraceptives, the social venture company tasked with developing Vasalgel for Parsemus Foundation, traveled to Paris this spring to exchange ideas with other male contraceptive innovators at the second International Congress on Male Contraception. He aimed to network with others in the field, learn about other male contraceptives in development, and help bring visibility to the need for robust funding. The latter was a hot topic among participants — check out this manifesto.

David Sokal, M.D., board chair of the Male Contraception Initiative (MCI), highlighted the development of Vasalgel in a presentation titled “Reversible Vasectomy Research and Selected Non-Hormonal Approaches.” MCI is a thriving independent advocacy organization making targeted grants to support male contraceptive development. Parsemus Foundation and Revolution Contraceptives regularly refer people to its website for up-to-date info about what’s in the contraceptive pipeline.

Diana Blithe, Ph.D., chief of the contraceptive development program at the National Institutes of Health, gave a thought-provoking presentation on the landscape of hormonal products under development.

Dr. Wang, Dr. Li, and Ed Gillis at the 15th Congress of the European Society of Contraception and Reproductive Health. (Photo by Dr. Nguyen)

Then it was off to Budapest for the 15th Congress of the European Society of Contraception and Reproductive Health. A diverse array of scientific presentations on male and female reproductive health addressed the theme of “family planning and contraception from adolescence to the menopause.” Ed was pleased to meet many of the attendees to network, learn, and introduce them to Vasalgel, including Christina Wang, M.D. of UCLA Harbor Medical Center, a leading researcher in the field of male contraception; Brian Nguyen, M.D., MSCP from the University of Southern California (USC), who is planning to start a clinic that serves both male and female family planning needs; and Raymond H.W. Li, MBBS, MMedSc from the University of Hong Kong.

A few days later, Ed went to the 2018 American Urological Association Annual Meeting back in San Francisco to build relationships with urologists who work in the area of reproductive health.

“These meetings were good opportunities for Revolution Contraceptives to meet, share ideas, and network with the world’s brightest minds in the field of male contraceptive research,” Ed says.