Nearly all cases of cervical cancer are attributable to HPV infection, with two HPV types – HPV16 and HPV18 – responsible for 70% of cervical cancers and precancerous cervical lesions. In the U.S., cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer in women aged 15 to 44 years, with about 13,000 new cases diagnosed annually according to the HPV Information Center. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate almost 80 million U.S. citizens are infected with HPV each year, with about 14 million new infections per year.
Vaxart is developing its first therapeutic vaccine targeting both HPV-16 and HPV-18. Vaxart’s HPV-16 vaccine was tested in two different HPV-16 solid tumor models in mice. The vaccine elicited T-cell responses and promoted migration of the activated T-cells into the tumors, leading to tumor cell killing. Mice that received the Vaxart HPV-16 vaccine showed a significant reduction in the volume of their established tumors.