20 Dec 2012, BioSpectrum Bureau , BioSpectrum
Singapore: Professor Ian Frazer and his team at the University of Queensland, have been awarded grant from Australia's National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) of $200,000 for the next two years to support the ongoing development of a novel DNA vaccine for the prevention and treatment of human papilloma virus (HPV). The next-generation HPV vaccine is being developed by Professor Frazer's company Coridon, of which Allied Healthcare is a major shareholder.
"We welcome this contribution from the NHMRC which recognizes the important work being undertaken by Professor Frazer and his team at the University of Queensland," said Allied Healthcare Group MD, Mr Lee Rodne.
"This novel HPV vaccine promises to be another major step forward in efforts to reduce the global burden of HPV-related disease, and the fight against cervical cancer."
HPV is one-of-the-most common sexually transmitted diseases in the world and is the causing virus in approximately five percent of all cancer cases worldwide, particularly cervical cancer in women. Earlier work by Professor Frazer led to the development of the two currently available prophylactic vaccines, Gardasil and Cervarix, which are highly effective at stopping the infection in women that have not yet been exposed to HPV from contracting the sexually transmitted infection.
Pre-clinical results show the novel HPV vaccine successfully induces an immune response that can protect mice from developing cancer tumours associated with HPV infection. A commercially available therapeutic HPV vaccine that would stop uninfected women from contracting HPV and also provide a therapeutic benefit to those already infected will have immense benefits to cervical cancer sufferers globally. The commercial market for such a vaccine, if successful, is assessed at over $1.3 billion per annum, as it would be used to treat women with persistent cervical HPV infection.