Inovio vaccines target HPV-related cancers

Inovio Pharmaceuticals' SynCon therapeutic vaccine for human papillomavirus (HPV) types 6 and 11 induced strong antigen-specific CD8+ T cells in mice, according to a study to be published in Human Vaccines & Immunotherapeutics (April 2012, Vol. 8:4).

HPV types 6 and 11 are the major causes of recurrent respiratory papillomatosis and genital warts. They are also associated with otolaryngologic malignancies and carcinoma of the lung, tonsils, and larynx.

Similar to Inovio's VGX-3100, two novel engineered DNA vaccines were developed to target the antigens E6 and E7 of HPV 6 and HPV 11, the company said. After designing consensus sequences of these antigens to provide broader cross-strain therapeutic effects, the vaccines were also modified to increase gene expression and production of the antigenic protein.

VGX-3100 is a therapeutic vaccine targeting cervical dysplasias and cancers caused by HPV types 16 and 18 and is currently in a phase II clinical study for CIN 2/3. This new data mirrors the similarly robust T-cell responses induced by VGX-3100 in earlier mice studies, according to Inovio.

Inovio's goal is to create a family of therapeutic vaccines targeting most significant diseases caused by HPV infection, including cervical cancer and dysplasia, vulvar dysplasia, and head and neck cancer.

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