Partial synthesis of male contraceptive drugs and anticancer agents

Case ID:

Synthesis of Male Contraceptive Drugs and Anti-Cancer Agents (20-011)



Natural products remain an important source of new drugs, new drug leads, and new chemical entities. The plant-based drug discovery is mainly involved in the development of anticancer agents. Herbs have a vital role in the prevention and treatment of cancer. Triptonide and Triptolide are isolated from extracts of the Thunder God Vine (Chinese Herb), while their derivatives exhibit numerous biological activities making them potentially useful chemotherapeutic agents, including anticancer, immunosuppressive, and male contraceptive drugs. These compounds are extremely expensive when obtained from the natural source.


Researchers at the University of Nevada, Reno have invented an efficient approach to the synthesis of the male contraceptive triptonide from inexpensive starting materials. According to our researchers, triptonide can be readily converted to triptolide and other derivatives that have anticancer and immunomodulatory properties. It provides triptonide in suitable quantities for development as a male contraceptive. This new synthesis may also be modified to produce diverse other analogs for biological testing.


  • This synthesis provides known and new drugs at much lower cost than currently available.
  • This is a novel and efficient approach to the synthesis of bioactive compounds from inexpensive starting materials.
  • The compounds exhibit numerous biological activities including anticancer and male contraceptive drug.
  • This synthesis can produce natural products in high optical purity, in addition to the unnatural, mirror image forms (enantiomers)
Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Cara Baird
Licensing Associate
University of Nevada, Reno