The Market Opportunity

The global contraceptives market was valued at $16.0 billion in 2011 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.9% from 2013 to 2018, to reach an estimated value of $23.3 billion in 2018. An important high impact driver of this market is the prevalence of unintended pregnancies [12]. In the US there are 3.1 million unintended pregnancies annually through inconsistent or non-use of contraception [13]. The contraceptive market consists of short-term methods such as condoms and oral contraception, long-term methods including IUDs, and permanent methods such as tubal ligations and vasectomies. Eppin Pharma will be competing in the short-term contraception market. As of 2014, the United States had a $7.4 billion dollar short-term contraceptive market with the main share being held by oral contraceptives (76% of the total dollars spent/92% of the prescriptions issued) [14]. The contraceptive market is one of the few areas that have seen sustainable growth during overall economic weakness. In the US 16.4% of women relied on a male method for contraception [13]. The global male contraceptive devices (male condoms) market held a majority (70%) of the male market share in 2012 [15]. Eppin Pharma’s drug will provide a pharmaceutical alternative to male condoms and is expected to command a significant market share in the contraceptive market. Despite significant research in the area of male contraceptives, innovation has been severely limited. The only male contraceptive options are the condom and vasectomy. Vasectomy is a surgical procedure that entails ligation (severing) of the vas deferens. In the US, 13.3% of married men have had a vasectomy [16]. Fifty-seven percent of these males are between the ages of 40 and 49 [16, 17]. The major limiting factor for vasectomy as a tangible contraceptive option is cost. In 2013 the average cost of a vasectomy was $350-1000. The cost is incurred again for reversal (>$3000 USD) if the male wishes to become fertile in the future, and then success is not guaranteed. Vasectomy is not generally an option for young men [18, 19]. Condom sales in the US are estimated to be $430-600 million [20, 21]. Although much more cost effective and an immediate solution compared to vasectomy, a typical user failure rate of 18% (per couple over 1 year of use) exists with condoms [13].

In the male contraceptive market, consisting of only condoms and vasectomies, Eppin Pharma anticipates providing an additional option for both men and women who are unsatisfied with their current means of contraception with the availability of an oral, non-hormonal male contraceptive that can be taken as needed and has no material side effects. In addition to the current limitation on men’s options for contraception, namely condoms and vasectomy, the satisfaction rate for women on contraception is less than 60% for every method except tubal ligation [8, 9, 10, 22]. There are approximately 62 million women of reproductive age (15-44) in the United States and 70% (43 million) of these women are sexually active but do not wish to become pregnant [13]. Without contraception they could experience an unintended pregnancy at high rates. The average U.S. woman wants to have 2 children over the course of her lifetime and in order to achieve this goal she and her partner must use contraception for over 30 years [13]. Women are currently the primary consumers of contraceptive products; however, hormonal birth control products are not an option for many women in part because of a plethora of potential side effects. These issues suggest that there is an unmet need for improved birth control options for women and, although Eppin Pharma’s product is not initially intended for female use, it is clear that women who are in committed relationships can benefit from its use. Additionally, it is not uncommon for couples to decide that they do not want to have children in the future but also do not wish to pursue a permanent means of contraception. Current options for this include long-acting options such as IUDs or implants, or shorter acting hormonal female contraception or barrier methods that are inconvenient. Only 8% of contraceptive users choose barrier methods [13]. The availability of an alternative method, matched with the improved ability of a couple to plan when they may engage in intercourse, makes Eppin Pharma’s product a significant new option for committed couples. A non-hormonal male contraceptive will fill an unmet need in contraception.

References Cited

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  2. Richardson RT, Sivashanmugam P, Hall SH, Hamil KG, Moore PA, Ruben SM, French FS, O’Rand MG. 2001. Cloning and sequencing of human Eppin: A novel family of protease inhibitors expressed in the epididymis and testis. Gene 270: 93-102 18.
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