A new target for the production of natural FSH in fertility treatment


Published: 10Oct2019

Invention 2019-051

A new target for the production of natural FSH in fertility treatment


A novel co-receptor for the reproductive hormone inhibin B has been identified at McGill University.


Market Need

One of the primary treatments in fertility clinics is to increase the production of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). To accomplish this, scientists have tried to understand the push and pull of activin and inhibin, which together regulates the stimulation of FSH. Since no drugs have been significantly effective towards either of these proteins, recombinant FSH is the only alternative. Unfortunately, recombinant FSH is expensive, requires daily dosing, and is not as helpful as natural FSH.


Technology Summary

With the identification of a transmembrane protein co-receptor for the reproductive hormone inhibin B, this technology could help stimulate natural FSH production with the proper small molecule. Secreted by cells in the ovaries and testes, the hormone inhibin B is a potent antagonist of FSH synthesis. In order to block the production of FSH, however, inhibin B needs a co-receptor to outcompete activin. With the identification of this novel and important co-receptor, there is a strong interest in collaboration to identify a small molecule that could stimulate gonadal function and FSH production in sub-fertile or infertile individuals seeking treatment.



  • Less frequent drug administration
  • Less expensive than recombinant FSH
  • Should promote more active forms of FSH than current methods


Patent Status

Background IP for Research Opportunity

Contact Information

Sylvie Toulmond
Innovation and Partnerships
sylvie.toulmond [at] mcgill.ca
Back to top