Advanced Cancer Therapeutics Licenses Technology to Develop Human Papillomavirus Vaccine
News Jul 24, 2008
Advanced Cancer Therapeutics (ACT) has announced the signing of two new collaborative agreements that will advance development of the Company’s human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine program.
The vaccine, to be produced in tobacco plants, targets the L2 protein, an integral part of the papillomavirus capsid. Preclinical research indicates that this development strategy may yield a vaccine that provides broader immune protection against a greater number of the approximate 200 HPV subtypes, as well as provide a cost-effective alternative to the currently available options to patients. As such, the vaccine could have a significant impact on reducing the global incidence of HPV-linked cancers, including cervical cancer.
“There is a clear need for a lower cost HPV vaccine with broad spectrum immune protection against a greater number of the approximate 200 HPV subtypes and there are indications that a plant-produced L2 peptide based vaccine could provide a valuable treatment alternative,” said Randall B. Riggs, President and CEO of Advanced Cancer Therapeutics.
“These agreements are central to the timely and efficient development of a novel vaccine and we look forward to continuing our collaborations as we work towards this common goal,” Riggs added.
The first agreement announced is with the University of Louisville’s James Graham Brown Cancer Center and grants ACT exclusive worldwide development and commercialization rights to monovalent vaccines derived from the minor capsid protein (L2) of human papillomavirus.
The L2 protein, in combination with the L1 protein can assemble into virus-like particles (VLPs) in various expression systems. Immunization of laboratory animals with such VLP preparations or with inactivated virions from various animal papillomaviruses (PV) has been shown to protect animals from papillomavirus associated disease, indicating the potential of prophylactic PV vaccines based on PV capsids.
The intellectual property, licensed to ACT through University of Louisville’s Office of Technology Transfer, is based on research by associate professor Kenneth Palmer, professor A. Bennett Jenson and their colleagues.
The current vaccine, Gardasil, costs approximately $350 for the three-dose series. According to the World Health Organization,
The second agreement announced is with Kentucky BioProcessing, LLC (KBP), of Owensboro, Kentucky, for exclusive worldwide development and commercialization rights to KBP’s GENEWARE® plant based gene expression system for development of an HPV vaccine.