The Next Great Innovation in HPV Vaccine Technology
NIH has a long history of ground-breaking research developments that have led to life-changing vaccines and your organization could be a part of the next important vaccine. The NIH Intramural Research Program (IRP) has published an interesting and informative timeline of the various IRP’s contributions to vaccine development that highlight NIH’s involvement in producing vaccines such as smallpox, rubella, hepatitis A, whooping cough, and human papillomavirus (HPV), among many others. The HPV vaccines developed from NIH technologies are perfect examples of how partner organizations can use NIH research to develop life-changing vaccines and are illustrative of how a new therapeutic HPV vaccine technology now available for licensing could be developed in the future.
One of the vaccines discussed in the IRP’s timeline is the Gardasil® HPV vaccine. In 2006 Gardasil®, and later Gardasil 9®, were launched into the market by Merck after developing the technology acquired from NCI and others as an HPV vaccine to protect individuals from cancers. This was the first FDA-approved vaccine that protects against cervical cancer and genital warts caused by HPV. Since the development of this technology, NCI has continued research on HPV, which has been associated as a cause of cervical, anal, head, and neck cancers.
While Gardasil has had great success in preventing HPV infections, there is currently no FDA-approved therapeutic HPV vaccine that could be used in the treatment of people who have already contracted HPV. NCI has done extensive research into what is needed to create a therapeutic HPV vaccine which led to the discovery of the three agonist epitopes that target early HPV genes. The Agonist Epitopes for the Development of a HPV Therapeutic Vaccine patent abstract goes into further detail on what makes their discovery the key piece to develop this new vaccine.