Swedish researchers hoping to raise funds to conduct a trial of a potential drug to treat pedophilia have fallen short of their initial crowdfunding target. But they are now planning to extend the fundraising effort, and say that the study, which aims to assess whether a prostate cancer drug could help prevent pedophiles from acting on their impulses, will move ahead. They hope to complete the trial in 2 to 3 years, says project leader Christoffer Rahm, a psychiatric researcher at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm.
The initial fundraising campaign on the website Walacea draws to a close on 7 May, and so far the research team has collected just 5% of the £38,000 ($55,700) it aimed to raise. Rahm says he was hoping to use some of this money to fund the work of a Ph.D. student, but now plans to do the bulk of the work himself. In the meantime, they will extend their fundraising effort (but have set no new deadline).
The study, dubbed Priotab (Pedophilia at Risk-Investigations of Treatment or Biomarkers), has been approved by Swedish regulators. It has already enrolled a few participants: men who have sought help to deal with their pedophilic impulses. Instead of treating people who have committed offenses, Priotab wants to assess whether the drug, which lowers testosterone levels in the body, can prevent child abuse from happening in the first place.