Professor Ian Frazer, the man behind both of the HPV vaccines on the market today, Gardasil® (marketed by Merck & Co) and Cervarix® (marketed by GlaxoSmithKline), hasgone back to the drawing board to create a novel therapeutic HPV vaccine for Allied Healthcare Group’s investment company, Coridon.
While the existing HPV vaccines are effective at preventing transmission of the Human Papilloma Virus, Prof Frazer’s new vaccine is poised to combat existing infection and prevent and treat the onset of cancer.
Preclinical data supports the notion that this new therapeutic vaccine can prevent tumor growth in immunized animals compared to the control group, all of which developed large tumors.
“These are very promising results for this program. We are moving another step closer to developing a therapeutic treatment for HPV-associated cervical cancer,” said Lee Rodne, Group Managing Director of Allied Healthcare Group.
In the preclinical trial, 3 groups of 10 mice were given intradermal vaccinations. Each group was vaccinated either with the Coridon HPV mixed DNA vaccine, with E7 protein with adjuvant that served as the control model, or received no vaccination at all. The immunizations were administered twice at three weeks apart, following which, tumor cells were implanted in the mice and tumor formation was monitored.
As expected, the mice that received no vaccine developed large tumors. However, the mice that were given Coridon’s HPV vaccine survived with no tumors to the completion of the study.
“This finding further confirms through preclinical studies the potential of Coridon’s technologies for developing successful immunotherapies” stated Professor Frazer, and according to Neil Finlayson, Coridon’s CEO, “[Coridon is] developing a platform technology for prevention and treatment of diseases via next generation vaccines. These results indicate that the technology can be applied to a number of diseases.”
With HPV being the most common sexually transmitted disease in the world, this vaccine can potentially fill a globally recognized void. Not only is HPV associated with cervical cancer, it is also associated with a variety of anogenital, head, and neck cancers. Cervical cancer is second only to breast cancer as the most lethal cancer in women worldwide. Numbers-wise, this comes to about 510,000 cases per year and about 288,000 deaths globally, according to WHO.
Additional information from Medicare indicates that approximately $1.7 billion is spent in the USA every year to treat cervical cancer. The two existing HPV vaccines (targeted at young women prior to the onset of sexual activity) generate in excess of $1.5 billion in sales annually but report only a 30% vaccination rate in eligible recipients. To many who are infected with HPV, this vaccine cannot come soon enough.
Coridon has also announced that their widely publicized vaccine for Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) infection is progressing very well. The manufacturing and preclinical studies are nearing completion and the Phase I clinical trial is scheduled to begin within the next few months.