Human Papillomavirus Induced Cancers
and Precancerous Persistent Infections
Virion has developed an HPV vaccine that induces T cells to key targets of the HPV virus; the addition of our novel checkpoint inhibitor, gD, shows enhanced immunogenicity and improved treatment responses in preclinical animal models following a single intramuscular injection that are highly favorable when compared with other investigational programs that use combination multi-modal therapies, multiple injections and/or prime and boost strategies (see more).
Human papilloma virus (HPV) is a causative agent of cervical, head/neck, anus, vulvar and penile cancers. It is transmitted through direct mucosal contact with the virus and is often present as a wart. In the majority of cases, the infection is transient and rapidly removed by the immune system without any negative outcomes. However, in small percentage of patients, the infection is unable to be cleared and a chronic infection occurs that can lead to cancer.
Worldwide, HPV-induced cervical cancer is the fourth most common malignancy in women infecting/killing roughly 500,000/266,000 people a year. In the United States, approximately 12,000 new cases and 4,000 deaths a year are attributable to HPV-associated cervical cancer, with a $500 million estimated annual cost of treatment. HPV is also the causative agent in ~25% of cases of head and neck cancers (~ 14,000 new HPV related cases [2,500 deaths] in United States in 2014) – the incidence of annual number of HPV-positive head/neck cancers is expected to surpass that of cervical cancers within 2020. Lastly, roughly 7,000 and 2,000 cases of HPV-associated anal and penile cancers, respectively, are also diagnosed each year in the United States.